Monday, December 11, 2006


"A Christmas-themed event to raise money at a public elementary school in Warwick, N.Y., has been altered to accommodate a parent's complaints that the program would illegally spotlight a 'religious" figure' - Santa Claus. 'Breakfast With Santa' has since been changed to 'Winter Wonderland Breakfast,' and -- in an effort to be inclusive of all beliefs -- the bearded one will now be joined at the Dec. 9 event by Frosty the Snowman.

"Organizers made the changes after one parent charged that she and others in the community were offended that the Parent Teacher Association at the Sanfordville Elementary School was sponsoring a program geared toward one religion. . . . That parent, who did not wish to have her name used, wrote a letter to the school board asserting that Santa represents Christmas -- a Christian holiday -- and by law, a public school is not allowed to promote religion."

- CNS News, 11/30/06

People, we have got to get rid of this PC mindset that so many of us have developled in the last twenty years or so.

Christmas itself, is indeed a religious holiday. I do not dispute that. However, I have never read in the Bible an account of Santa being present at the birth of Christ. He doesn't carry a Bible or espouse belief in Christ. So, how is he a religious figure? Maybe because he rewards children for being nice, not naughty? As Christians, we want our children to behave nicely, at home or in public. But isn't this true of all parents, Christian or not? Believers or not? They are reflections of us, especially outside our immediate influence when we are not present to give guidance or correction as needed.

Santa represents the secular side of Christmas, not the religious side. Santa is celebrated by those who who do not believe in Christ, or those, like the vast majority of us, who want to enjoy both sides of Christmas. And yes, Christians can enjoy the secular side of Christmas every bit as much as the religious side.

I believe in the reasons that Christ was born. I love going to Christmas programs at church and singing the hymns that are associated with the birth of Christ. I love being reminded of "the reason for the season". I also enjoy the secular side. I like the decorations, the gift giving (and receiving), and the food! I love the songs and the joyous celebration of the season. I love that people seem to be just a little nicer to each other.

Yes, the two sides intermix. They are separate sides of the coin, two threads woven into the cloth. It's hard to conceive of the holiday without one or the other. But, to make Santa Claus a "religious" figure, is just ridiculous. Christ has been removed from the schools. Now Santa? Unbelieveable!

Isn't there someone somewhere who can tell this parent that they are being, yes, I'll say it, stupid? The parent who objected to Santa has the right to their opinion, that goes without saying. But there is nothing in the Constitution that says the parent is protected from being offended.

Am I offended that the program was changed? Am I offended that Frosty has been invited to appear with Santa? No, I'm not. I am offended that Santa has been declared a religious figure. I'm offended that the school caved to one parent. I'm offended that the parent would not allow herself to be identified. If she feels so strongly about this, she should own it. She's not proud of the fact that she has changed an icon like Santa from a secular figure to a religious figure?

One more thought. It wasn't until about 1935 that the notion of separation of church and state came into being. I don't remember the details of how this all started in that courtroom, but maybe we ought to revisit this issue. Especially now that Santa has been made into a religious figure.

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