Supreme Court Rally · Christmacide, Scrooge Elementary
American believers can simultaneously find solace as well as feel sorrow over the fact that the campaign to banish Christianity from contemporary society is also underway in other Western nations as well. This is particular evident in regards to the abolition of the public celebration of Christmas.
Students in America are not the only ones to have their yuletide enjoyment snatched out from under them. Similar educational policies are being pursued across the Atlantic in merry ole England.
According to Jackie Wullschlager writing in the December 2, 2000 edition of the Spectator, a British magazine of news and comment, Christmas has been virtually eliminated from the school curriculum there along with many other vestiges of Christian culture since these have been classified as inappropriate for public reflection by multicultural educationalists and other proponents of dogmatic tolerance.
Many British pupils do not know the Christmas story or even a single carol. The more secular symbols of the holiday such as Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeer and elves have faired little better in being able to garnish publicity for themselves. One retailer blandly advertises, “holiday is here”, acting as if they were ashamed to even mention the occasion but not so much so that they would willingly forego their share of yuletide prosperity.
Yet one cannot argue that such is the cost of pluralism whereby public displays of religious belief are foregone so that individuals of all persuasions might enjoy a degree of equality in their private lives free of social coercion.
British schools are in fact bustling with a considerable degree of religious activity. The daughter of the author of the Spectator article had participated in a assembly at her school commemorating the Buddhist celebration of Wesak but never in a school nativity. Another festival honored now in British schools, according to Wullschlager, is Divali, a Hindu festival of lights commemorating the New Year.
There is more to this issue than whether or not youngsters learn jingle bells or how to deck the halls with boughs of holly. This matter will eventually determine the very nature of Western civilization in the years and decades to come. It must be noted that this opinion did not necessarily originate with fanatical fundamentalists.
Jackie Wullschlager, an agnostic, says in the Spectator article, “Christianity is both the bedrock of our culture and a reference point at least for our spiritual values. ...The Bible is not just a great book; it occupies symbolic status --- it is the book by which we swear to speak the truth in a court of law...”
This author goes on to point out that without a knowledge of Christianity it is impossible to understand works of Western culture such as da Vinci’s “Last Supper” or Handel’s “Messiah”. And I might add that without a comprehension of Christianity it is impossible to understand the spiritual theses addressed by more literate and profound television fair such as “Babylon 5” or “Earth: Final Conflict”.
The Spectator article declares, “My children ... are in danger of being deprived of their cultural inheritance because a tyranny of political correctness has driven out of schools traditions that have sustained people for centuries.”
If Western education refuses to take advantage of the opportunity provided by Christmas to transmit our Judeo-Christian heritage and values to the next generation, our civilization may end up being conquered by competing systems not quite as squeamish about propagating their beliefs and not known for caring about whose liberties they squash in the process.
Frederick B. Meekins
Frederick B. Meekins is an aspiring commentator pursuing an MA in Apologetics/Philosophy through Trinitiy Theological Seminary. His letters and commentaries have appeared on various conservative websites and in Metropolitan Washington newspapers. Copyright 2000
Amidst the rancor of the nation’s ongoing debate regarding education, the charge is often made that students from private or homeschool backgrounds are not as “well-rounded” as those matriculated in the competing public alternative. Yet in reality it may be the public institutions sending forth a graduate inferior in terms of both overall knowledge and character.
The point of formal schooling is the acquisition of knowledge for the purposes of being able to understand the nature of truth and to acquire the skills necessary to survive as an American. However, many educators instead think it is their duty to censor the knowledge presented to their students in order to present a vision of reality sanctioned by prevailing scholastic philosophies.
This trend is evident in the policies and opinions regarding the recognition of Christmas expressed by a number of Washington area public schools. These statements are not falsehoods constructed by conspiracy theorists seeking to undermine public schools. They in fact come from the December 12, 2000 edition of the Washington Post.
From the category of outright distortion, one official from Mount Vernon elementary said, “I think everybody knows by now that we can’t have anything of a religious nature. I try not to use the word Christmas. We talk about our winter break. We are having a winter holiday music sing along.”
Coming in at a close second in this category was a Howard County, Maryland principal who said, “Religion is not part of the curriculum at the middle school level. And we don’t do anything associated with holidays.”
So for that matter, I trust these schools will be foregoing their recognition of the Martin Luther King holiday and Black History Month since neither of these occasions can be understood properly without referencing the religious motivations of this particular group of people. After all, despite his numerous character flaws most are too afraid to address, Martin Luther King was a Christian minister. And the Washington Post just provided the insights of two credentialed and positioned educators who caution that the study of religion has no place as a part of a balanced education.
Fortunately for the sake of an educated population, these educators devoid of true learning are notoriously incorrect. Bill Clinton, hardly a friend of sound doctrine or upright morals, released Department of Education guidelines clarifying that the study of religion is an essential component of cultivating cultural appreciation. Whether or not educators implement these guidelines or cling to their agnostic prejudices is another issue.
If students can dress in Egyptian regalia and take part in a mummy’s burial ceremony as has been shown on Prince George’s County, Maryland Public School’s cable channel, then there is nothing wrong with Christmas cookies and punch. For it must be remembered that mummies were the means whereby bodies were preserved for the afterlife, clearly a religious practice.
Other school officials have made it their professional goal to eradicate what little joy might still remain nestled somewhere in the academic calendar.
One Montgomery County, Maryland principal has to win Scrooge of the Year for saying, “I just don’t think the holidays are part of the schools anymore... We focus so much on academics that you don’t have the freedom in school to do much of anything on it.” Funny how academics are played up this time of year but take a back seat when it comes to left-wing concerns such as community service, multiculturalism, and the distribution of birth control paraphernalia.
An administrator from Washington, DC’s Eastern High School perhaps provided the clearest explanation for just what motivates these people. They said, “I will probably get a Christmas tree and put it in the hall. ... There is no Christian or Jewish philosophy attached to any of this.” Would they object to another religion as vigorously, say Islam for example? Better yet, will they seek to downplay the atheism rampant in the study of evolution?
Despite revealing an inexcusable historical ignorance since Christmas trees are replete with Christian symbolism as are many other yuletide decorations, such a statement clearly exposes the hostility to Judeo-Christian belief at the heart of much of public education.
Secularism and socialism, the intertwined ideologies motivating the aspects of these policies not resulting from blatant stupidity, can be said to be totalitarian in nature. This means they seek to exert control over all areas of existence. Even the very games children play are not immune from scrutiny.
According to the December 8th Washington Times, the schoolyard classic dodge ball is close to joining a growing list of academic faux paus that already includes such traditions as honor rolls, graduation prayers, and individual school supplies (some school districts practice a bit of realized Marxism by compelling students to forfeit supplies purchased for their own use into communal stashes)
Much of the opposition to this game of choice is more a philosophical objection than a concern over the physical welfare of pupils. Much of the criticism stems from the fact that dodge bal is competitive in nature and the last thing public schools want to imbue students with is a sense of individual initiative.
Education today is about communitarianism as embodied in the asinine number of group projects students are required to participate in. But as one critic of classroom communism has pointed out, writing is not a team sport. And neither is real life for that matter. The group does not pay your bills nor does it provide you with the accoutrements needed to enjoy life in a free society such as a house or an automobile.
Some may find linking the abolition of Christmas with the prohibition of dodge ball a bit absurd. However, Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer once remarked that contemporary Christians often fail in seeing the whole picture. The pedagogues of revolution do not in their effort to recast the fundamental natures of man and society.
And in conclusion, the best thing parents can do for their children this Christmas season is to take them out of government schools where this kind of nonsense has taken the place of traditional kinds of character development and academic accomplishment.
Frederick B. Meekins Copyright 2000
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