Divided States of America
I remember when I was in the 4th grade; my teacher, Mrs. Ledford, would read from the Bible (KJV/ King James Version) out loud, every day. I didn’t go to a private Christian school; this was the public school system back in the ’70’s. She would read to the classroom- out loud- one chapter a day from the Bible. It was part of our daily learning, and it was not uncommon at the time.
Before we ate our daily lunches in the cafeteria, our teachers would instruct us to bow our heads at the table as we all joined together to pray over our food. Back then, the Iranian hostage crisis was still gaining momentum, and so we all wore cloths tied around our arms in support of our American hostages that were being held, and sometimes beaten, daily. I was too young to really understand the situation much; but I wasn’t unfamiliar with prayer- having been raised in a Pentecostal family. Prayer was, and still is, a very important part of my life. We stood with our hands over our hearts in the auditorium, pledging allegiance to our flag- and our country. I had a reason to feel proud of my country back then. Now, I’m filled with shame and disgust that our country has virtually banned God (and Jesus) from the classroom. I’m no longer proud of my country.
At W.R. Castle Elementary school, in Johnson County Kentucky, students are participating in the traditional “A Charlie Brown Christmas” play. What makes this particular Christmas program so important and so special, is that its creator, Charles Schultz, realized that few programs during the time of its creation were focusing on what Christmas is truly about- the miraculous birth and celebration of Jesus Christ- the Son of God.
Mr. Schultz stated that he purposely included a passage from the Bible that explains just exactly what Christmas is really about. Not Santa Claus. Not toys. Not the commercialism and hubbub of what it’s become over the years- but rather, the moving Christmas story that accompanies Jesus’ Holy birth at the manger, among lowly farm animals, and the 3 Magi who were guided to the manger by following the bright star in the night sky.
The telling of this story has been a Christmas tradition for many years and I remember my teachers telling this story to me every year in my classrooms at school. There was a feeling of charity and warmth in the air as we all learned about Jesus’ birth, as several teachers discussed the precious oils (Frankincense and Myrrh) and other gifts that the Magi/Wise men brought with them to give to Jesus.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the ever-driven “politically correct” God-banners are having none of this. They petitioned the school board at W.R. Castle Elementary school and are fighting to have the Bible passages- and all references pertaining to Jesus– removed from this Christmas play.
FYI, to whom it may concern, Jesus isn’t merely part of a Christmas story– Jesus IS the Christmas story. In the Charlie Brown Christmas story, Linus explains the meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown, who is under the impression that Christmas is about a tree and other synonymous symbols. Charles Schultz went on to create this necessary and important conversation between Linus and Charlie Brown:
Charlie Brown: “I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn’t have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don’t know what Christmas is all about. Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Linus: “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”
(Linus) Taken from the Bible/Luke 8: 2-14: “And there were (in the same country) shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Linus: “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
I can understand disallowing students (or school officials) from forcefully pushing an agenda onto other students–who may not be interested in that agenda–but this is not the case. We’re talking about elementary school children who have a right to learn about the birth of Jesus Christ in an educational and historical context. They have a right to know and learn this information!
Since when did it become “o.k.” to alter historical content in such a way? It is altogether evil to ban “the story of Jesus’ birth”- from a Christmas play during Christmas time.
We’ve reached a new low in this country.
Taken from an interview with Charlie Brown creator, Charles. M. Schultz:
I agree, Mr. Schultz.