What’s the Christmas season without a few breathless complaints issued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation?
A public elementary school in Oklahoma has reportedly removed a live Nativity scene from it’s annual Christmas show after one person notified FFRF, who then sent a threatening letter from an attorney warning the school they might be sued if they didn’t remove mentions of Jesus from their Christmas show.
The letter, which you can read in full HERE, amounts to nothing more than a baseless threat tantamount to bullying.
It begins by stating with absolute certitude that Edmond Public Schools were committing a “constitutional violation that occurs each year.” How they confirmed this after only receiving a call from one person is not made clear in the complaint.
The supposed violation is the annual school Christmas show that features a live Nativity scene. “Please note that including a live nativity performance in a school’s holiday concern remains illegal even if participation in the nativity scene is “voluntary,” the letter explains.
FFRF paints a dramatic picture, citing “immense pressure for students to do as their instructors and their peers are doing.” This is an interesting warning, considering FFRF is putting immense pressure on students and parents and teachers to be afraid to talk about their faith in any way, shape or form.
The mere inclusion or mention of Jesus, God or anything in the Bible, however, does not automatically mean there has been a constitutional violation. The establishment clause is not as cut and dry as FFRF would like it to be, but they begin the letter stating it as a certain fact and use threatening language like “illegal” in order to bully the school into submission.
The initial complaint came from “a concerned community member” — yes, one concerned community member. That, coupled with a threatening letter, is all it took for a group of atheists to bully a school into canceling a harmless school activity.
They also demand the school to cease with the nativity scene and “respond in writing to outline what steps the District has taken so that we may notify our complainant that this matter has been resolved.”
All because one person can’t handle seeing a nativity scene in a harmless 3rd-grade play.
The lengths atheists will go to in order to thwart any mention of God out of the public sphere is truly remarkable. But it should not be surprising. This is all part of the secular religion’s effort to stigmatize belief in God.
The wording of their letter is crafty, explaining that this sort of behavior is acceptable in a church — but not in a public school. This, of course, is designed to leave the impression that being a follower of Jesus is controversial and in some way bad. You get in trouble for talking about Jesus in school. Keep that at home or church!
In the letter, the FFRF outlines what they believe are acceptable holiday celebrations. “The government may acknowledge Christmas as a cultural phenomenon, but under the First Amendment it may not observe it as a Christian holy day,” the letter quoted from a Supreme Court decision in 1989, before stating that a nativity scene falls into this category of violation.
Remember, the folks giving advice on what is acceptable are the same ones that never put up complaints about highly sexualized drag queens promoting various forms of sexual deviancy to children. They may respond, “well, that has nothing to do with religion.”
Religion can also defined, however, as “a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.” It’s hard to argue, at this point, that far-left progressives believe pushing secular atheism and hyper-sexuality is of utmost importance.
Perhaps, in order to combat competing worldviews such as secular humanism and atheism, work could be done to get them properly defined as religions. Maybe then FFRF would see the folly of their ways. They simply don’t realize they are guilty of the very thing they claim to hate — forcing others to follow their religion.
They are imposing their religion on the rest of those who wish to celebrate and acknowledge theirs. By bullying and fearmongering schools into submission, secularists ironically force their belief system on everyone else while simultaneously demanding Christians don’t even mention theirs.
What makes secular humanism any more or less preferable to other ideologies to push in public schools? Why are they allowed to advance their atheistic worldview in while others can’t mention theirs without threat of lawsuit?
The founding fathers of America would likely belly-laugh FFRF complaints such as this out of the building. The spirit of the establishment clause was intended to protect against a repeat of what happened in England, from which America’s early founders fled.
They wanted to worship freely, not be forced into the state religion. The founders regularly led sessions of Congress with prayer and the Bible was taught in public school well into the 1900s until the secular progressive movement finally bullied the book mostly out of the system.
Christians understand the constitution doesn’t ban all mention or even celebration of religion on public property and in public schools. We understand what the constitution intended, and silence and fear isn’t part of that. Atheists, however, are unwilling to extend the same constitutional right to others while they use the government to promote their own religion at the expense of others.
If anyone is violating the establishment clause, it would be them. They just don’t see it.