The metaphor "the War on Christmas" can be mocked -- as if Santa and his reindeer are dodging anti-aircraft fire. But many of our public schools have church-and-state sensitivity police with an alarming degree of Santaphobia. Anyone who's attended a school's "winter concert" in December with no traditional Christmas music -- not even "Frosty the Snowman" -- knows the drill. The vast Christian majority (that funds the public schools) is told that school is no place to celebrate one's religion, even in its most watered-down and secularized forms.
There are real-life stories of Scrooge-like school administrators, like the one at the appropriately named Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Va. A group of 10 boys calling themselves the Christmas Sweater Club were given detention and at least two hours of cleaning for tossing free 2-inch candy canes at students as they entered before classes started. They were "creating a disturbance." One of their mothers, Kathleen Flannery, told WUSA-TV that an administrator called her and explained, "(N)ot everyone wants Christmas cheer, that suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps."
Of course, that level of sensitivity is not applied when it comes to slamming Christianity during the Christmas season. On Dec. 16, The Washington Post paid tribute to another suburban school in northern Virginia, McLean High School, for warming hearts during the season with "The Laramie Project." This play is a political assault, using transcripts of real-life interviews by gay activists out to blame America's religious people for the beating death of homosexual college student Matthew Shepard in 1998.
The Post championed how in the play, "there is a Baptist minister who says he hopes Shepard was thinking of his lifestyle as he was tied to the fence ... There is a young woman who grew up in the Muslim faith in Laramie and thinks the town and nation need to accept what the case has laid bare. 'We are like this,' she says."
This account actually underplayed what the character "lays bare" -- a guilt trip. In the script, she says "there are people trying to distance themselves from this crime. And we need to own this crime. Everyone needs to own it. We are like this. We ARE like this. WE are LIKE this." (Emphasis by the playwright, Moises Kaufman.)
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