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.
Very true and very well written!
December 20, 2015 at 6:41 pm
Hi Joy! Good seeing you, as always. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your CHRISTmas is a good one. 😉
December 20, 2015 at 6:46 pm
First, I am glad I can read your post while it is fresh, I am happy you decided to write in my (well deserved!) reading time! 🙂
I think what is going on has all to do with the way we are raising our kids for a while now, and it is to keep feeding the monetary system. For as long a I can remember (and I am 25, which not so little anymore.) Christmas has been more about Coca Cola and presents than anything else. The way we are educating the young now is to see Christmas as a shopping holiday, just like all the other ones. It is so present and so subliminal that I, not being a christian for more than a decade, find myself feeling ashamed I cannot afford someone’s gift, find myself wanting to compete with neighbours over who has more luxurious decorations on their tree/window. Yes, this does eradicate the religious part in total and takes away from the youth a lot of beautiful things they should learn, but it is at the same time also teaching them to be envious, sad and entirely materialistic. I think using political correctness as a reason to not allow this passage in the play is a mere mask, a tool to use it and make this request seem as a plea for inclusion and denial of things that do not seem plausible to some, or even interesting for that matter, but as usual. it is unfortunately, all about the money. There is other stuff going on, not just in America but everywhere, that support this opinion of mine, like the fact we are not allowed, by law, to feed homeless and similar.
Whew, I am going to stop now not to bore you to death! I hope you are having a great time and are swimming in love and joy.
December 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm
Hi O! It’s always so good to see and hear from you. I’ve been missing you. 🙂 You know, I think you said it all in a nutshell: the world has made it about money. (Or it seems as such.) I hope you’re not too hard on yourself when it comes to not being able to give the kinds of gifts you want to. I agree that the commercialism/consumerism of Christmas focuses so intensely on money/gifts- that the underlying meanings have been lost somewhere along the way. And yes, the media does guilt us into feeling like we need to make it about the gifts, mostly. I’ll share something with you that changed my life. A few years ago, I saw a (true) story about a poor woman who had lots of children (and friends, apparently), but was unable to buy them presents for Christmas. So, she got about 15 or so small boxes and passed those out instead. When each person opened it, they were surprised to find it completely empty. They thought it was a joke, until she explained that all she was able to give them was her love.
That’s one of my favourite stories. 🙂 I try to keep that story close to me every Christmas and always remember that love is the greatest gift we can give to others. (Well, apart from forgiveness. :0) I’m betting that your friends and family are already aware that they’ve been given the best gift they could possibly receive, and that’s having YOU in their lives.
Thanks for always sharing your passion with me, and others! I love that about you. x
December 20, 2015 at 7:24 pm
Thats a wonderful story (and sounds like something I would do, but again, even when I type this I feel guilty!) and thank you very much for sharing it with me. I just constantly feel, especially and enhanced during this time of the year, like it is up to me and up t me alone to correct all the wrongs in the world, but at the same time I feel so small and powerless. I am going to make a kickass dinner though for New Years Eve (Orthodox Christmas is on 7th January), because I see how people get happy when you tell them that all that matters is to stay together, everything can be beaten then. It is personal religious experiences, so to call it, that have taught me that, in part and I think kids should hear it and experience it, whether it is about Christ or Zeus or Krishna or whoever. It is the bad stories that we should have less of!
December 20, 2015 at 7:33 pm
I couldn’t agree more, O. 🙂 I’m betting you’re a mean cook!
December 20, 2015 at 8:27 pm
so well written.
very different here in terms of piblic schooling.
December 20, 2015 at 9:15 pm
You guys are lucky, Gav. :0) Thanks for stopping by.
December 20, 2015 at 9:25 pm
yes. we are.
December 20, 2015 at 10:14 pm
Merry CHRISTmas, Hon. :))
December 21, 2015 at 9:20 am
And to you as well, Chief. :0)
December 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm
Dear B, This is so well written and it blessed my heart to read this today. It seems as these underpinnings of belief and proper attachment and focus are being hacked away at~ the world spins more violently, increasingly volatile and crazy . . . . every issue is so polarized and heated. I am sad and disturbed too. I found your blog refreshing and spot on. Thank you for sharing this. Love and blessing to you my dear friend and sister. xoxo And Merry Christmas.
December 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm
Merry Christmas to you as well, Y. 🙂 It’s loud and clear that our slow-moving, sweet world of our childhoods are long gone. Thanks for taking the time and stopping by. x
December 21, 2015 at 7:25 pm