Wisconsin group tells Chambersburg Gl...

Wisconsin group tells Chambersburg Glee Club to cut Christmas song

There are 195 comments on the Chambersburg Public Opinion story from Jan 2, 2013, titled Wisconsin group tells Chambersburg Glee Club to cut Christmas song. In it, Chambersburg Public Opinion reports that:

An organization that protects the separation of church and state has sent a letter to Chambersburg Area School District to stop a decades-long Christmas concert tradition.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chambersburg Public Opinion.

Since: Jun 08

Not Waynesboro or Hagerstown

#41 Jan 4, 2013
Dan the Man Chambersburg wrote:
<quoted text>
You think expecting school districts to follow the law and to respect persons who follow religions other than the majority religion is intolerant?
Interesting.
What is interesting is your interpretation of my statement.

Is your glass half-empty or half-full?

Mine is Full. ;)

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#42 Jan 4, 2013
GenPatton wrote:
<quoted text>
What is interesting is your interpretation of my statement.
Is your glass half-empty or half-full?
Mine is Full. ;)
The point is that there's no intolerance is expecting public schools to follow the law.
CHBG Glee

Chambersburg, PA

#43 Jan 4, 2013
Effington wrote:
<quoted text>
Obviously it's flagrant enough that someone complained.
Not trying to stir the pot, but no one has complained for the last 64 years of its performace. Also, forgive me if i am being naive, but I think some comments here are completely irrelevent to the situation. Theres a lot of hate going around.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#44 Jan 4, 2013
CHBG Glee wrote:
<quoted text>
Not trying to stir the pot, but no one has complained for the last 64 years of its performace.
That doesn't make it legal, does it?

Does CASHS teach its students that violating the Constitution is okay as long as nobody complains?
If you say so

Chambersburg, PA

#45 Jan 4, 2013
I Dont believe in santa claus. I am offended that there are references to him and his yearly rituals everywhere. I think all of the songs should be about snow.
CHBG Glee

Chambersburg, PA

#46 Jan 4, 2013
Dan the Man Chambersburg wrote:
<quoted text>
Does CASHS teach its students that violating the Constitution is okay as long as nobody complains?
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" This is the only reference to religion, and I see no violation of this in what we are doing. But please enlighten me about your interpretation. Again, I mean no disrespect in this.(I should also say that any opinions I express are not representative of any CASD staff or policies.)

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#47 Jan 4, 2013
If you say so wrote:
I Dont believe in santa claus. I am offended that there are references to him and his yearly rituals everywhere. I think all of the songs should be about snow.
Because there aren't ANY secular American seasonal songs out there anywhere, right?

Jingle Bells
Winter Wonderland
Let Is Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Baby It's Cold Outside
Jingle Bell Rock
Sleigh Ride
Auld Land Syne
Deck the Halls

There's not a single reason for our government-run public schools to sponsor the singing of Christian religious songs

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#48 Jan 4, 2013
CHBG Glee wrote:
<quoted text>
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" This is the only reference to religion, and I see no violation of this in what we are doing. But please enlighten me about your interpretation. Again, I mean no disrespect in this.(I should also say that any opinions I express are not representative of any CASD staff or policies.)
It's not MY interpretation. It's the interpretation of the US Supreme Court.

The US Department of Education has provided guidance to schools on this issue called: Student Religious Expression in Public Schools: United States Department of Education Guidelines.

In that document it says:
"Although public schools may teach about religious holidays, including their religious aspects, and may celebrate the secular aspects of holidays, schools may not observe holidays as religious events or promote such observance by students."

A live nativity with a narrated story of Jesus' birth is observing the holiday as a religious event.

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#50 Jan 4, 2013
A decent summary...

Religious Displays on Public Property:
A Look at The Establishment Clause and Current Case Law
http://www.uri.edu/personal/hbak9412/Reldis.h...

Since: May 12

Chambersburg, PA

#51 Jan 4, 2013
A common misconception is that it is permissible to promote Christianity at Christmas, provided that other religions receive similar treatment at other times. For example, some teachers may try to justify celebrating Christmas by celebrating Hanukkah. This approach is wrong. First, Hanukkah is not a major Jewish holiday and should not be equated with Christmas, one of the two most important holidays in the Christian year. Second, one violation of the First Amendment does not justify another. If it is wrong to promote religion in the public schools at Christmas, it is wrong every other day of the year. Instead of “balancing” Christmas with Hanukkah, teachers should work to ensure that all holiday activities focus on objective study about religion, not indoctrination.

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/religious...
CHBG Glee

Chambersburg, PA

#52 Jan 4, 2013
Dan the Man Chambersburg wrote:
<quoted text>
A live nativity with a narrated story of Jesus' birth is observing the holiday as a religious event.
Im just a high school student, so im not going to, for lack of a better term, speak out my ass about laws I know nothing about. As far as I know, no one is "compelled" to participate in any part of the performance, nor is anyone obligated to believe that what is being performed is true. All of this aside, it is truly a beautiful composition whether you believe or not. I know many atheist alums who were members of this glee club, and they had no problems with performing it...
Nerd Rage

Chambersburg, PA

#54 Jan 4, 2013
What Public Schools Can Do

Can schools continue to refer to the holidays breaks and programs by their religious titles, like Christmas and Easter? Absolutely — there is no requirement to rename them to titles like Winter Break or Spring Break. Can schools display holiday-themed religious symbols during the holiday season? Absolutely — but only so long as the display of those symbols is part of some legitimate instructional plan by the school. The display of the symbols for the purpose of endorsement, favoritism or proselytization is, of course, excluded.

http://atheism.about.com/od/religioussymbolsh...

“Snarko ergo sum!”

Since: Jan 10

West of the Moon, PA

#55 Jan 4, 2013
Were there any Kwanzaa carols? There just aren't many good Wiccan solstice songs either. Maybe they could of had Kyle sing "It's Hard to Be A Jew on Christmas."
www.youtube.com/watch...

“Snarko ergo sum!”

Since: Jan 10

West of the Moon, PA

#56 Jan 4, 2013
Better clip on Kyle's "It's Hard to be a Jew on Christmas."

www.southparkstudios.com/clips/103772/a-jew-o...
Winston Smith

Chambersburg, PA

#57 Jan 5, 2013
Nerd Rage wrote:
What Public Schools Can Do
Can schools continue to refer to the holidays breaks and programs by their religious titles, like Christmas and Easter? Absolutely — there is no requirement to rename them to titles like Winter Break or Spring Break. Can schools display holiday-themed religious symbols during the holiday season? Absolutely — but only so long as the display of those symbols is part of some legitimate instructional plan by the school. The display of the symbols for the purpose of endorsement, favoritism or proselytization is, of course, excluded.
http://atheism.about.com/od/religioussymbolsh...
How about the days taken off during Christmas and Easter? Should that stop?

Federal employees do not get time off for Easter because it's a religious holiday. Yet they give time off for Christmas. That's the government for you....no consistency.
Marisa

Biglerville, PA

#58 Jan 5, 2013
CHBG Glee wrote:
<quoted text>
Im just a high school student, so im not going to, for lack of a better term, speak out my ass about laws I know nothing about. As far as I know, no one is "compelled" to participate in any part of the performance, nor is anyone obligated to believe that what is being performed is true. All of this aside, it is truly a beautiful composition whether you believe or not. I know many atheist alums who were members of this glee club, and they had no problems with performing it...
Perform your "beautiful composition" on private property rather than in a public school, hell I'm sure nut job Pastor Dan in St. Thomas can find a suitable venue if he's paid enough.
CHBG Glee

Chambersburg, PA

#59 Jan 5, 2013
Snarky Rules wrote:
Were there any Kwanzaa carols?
No, but we did sing an anti-aparthide song in zulu. Not that that has any relevance to the situation.
CHBG Glee

Chambersburg, PA

#60 Jan 5, 2013
Marisa wrote:
<quoted text>
Perform your "beautiful composition" on private property rather than in a public school, hell I'm sure nut job Pastor Dan in St. Thomas can find a suitable venue if he's paid enough.
Well, I suppose the song will fall then. I guess it will sound just as good in a church. No point in keeping this debate up.

Since: May 09

Location hidden

#61 Jan 5, 2013
CHBG Glee wrote:
<quoted text>
Not trying to stir the pot, but no one has complained for the last 64 years of its performace. Also, forgive me if i am being naive, but I think some comments here are completely irrelevent to the situation. Theres a lot of hate going around.
There's a lot of things people didn't complain back in the old days. Civil rights is a pretty good example. The constitution says "All men are created equal" yet we justified decades of slavery, followed by inequality and segregation, because it was accepted - people didn't complain.

I'm certainly not trying to suggest this is in any way comparable to slavery, but am trying to say that this performance simply having a precedent is not a valid excuse. This argument suggests that laws should be allowed to be violated provided that "no one complains."

As for the comments being irrelevant, that's to be expected in a public forum. What I was suggesting is that I'd expect better from a newspaper headline.

I appreciate your opinion here though, particularly as a participant. But I do not consider a narration of the birth of Christ and accompanying live Nativity an appropriate use of my tax money. The Free Exercise Clause (not the Establishment Clause) of the constitution prohibits the endorsement of a religion by public institutions, and - Hannukkah song mixed in or not - I would consider this a violation of that clause.

There are many, many churches all over the area with plenty of ways to celebrate and express your faith. They don't pay taxes, they don't accept public funding. Perhaps more people would complain if they knew it was happening - as this is no different than reciting the Lord's prayer before school board meetings.

Or do you have other examples of ways to violate the constitution or break the law that are acceptable provided that no one complains?
Marisa

Biglerville, PA

#62 Jan 5, 2013
CHBG Glee wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, I suppose the song will fall then. I guess it will sound just as good in a church. No point in keeping this debate up.
Thank You!

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