Further assaults on Christianity

Posted: Dec 22, 2001 12:00 AM
The cultural assault against Christianity continues in America. As our society bends over backward to assure Islam that it is a glorified and peaceful religion, the least it could do is to accord Christianity similar respect. In Portland, Ore., a mother was upset because the Boy Scouts were recruiting at her son¹s elementary school. Her son was repeatedly recruited, beginning when he was 6 years old, but the Boy Scouts admit only boys who profess a belief in God, and the boy and his mother are atheists. The aggrieved family filed a complaint with the school district alleging that the school, by allowing recruiting on its property during school hours, violated Oregon¹s anti-discrimination law. The law prohibits religious discrimination in Oregon¹s public school system. Boy Scout leaders insisted that school recruitment is essential because it is the most effective and least expensive method. The school superintendent twice ruled against the boy, saying that it is the Boy Scouts, not the school, that deny membership to atheists. Interestingly, when the matter was appealed to the Circuit Court the boy testified that he had never actually tried to join the Boy Scouts. When he came home after first being recruited and excitedly told his activist-atheist mother, she told him, "The Boy Scouts do not take our kind," and the boy broke into tears. Regardless, the Court overruled the superintendent and ordered him to rewrite his decision. Before you conclude that this is a splendid vindication of constitutional principles rather than evidence of our society¹s growing hostility to Christianity, consider more examples reported by The Washington Times in a recent article: -- A Frederick County school employee was prohibited from passing out Christmas cards at school because it "may not be a legally protected right on a public school campus." -- A Pennsylvania fourth-grader was stopped from giving Christmas cards to classmates. -- Two Minnesota middle-schoolers got in trouble for wearing red and green scarves in a Christmas skit and for ending the skit with a Merry Christmas wish for the audience. (You heard me right; they got disciplined for this.) -- Two Massachusetts students were forbidden from creating cards saying "Merry Christmas" or depicting a nativity scene. -- An Oregon superintendent required removal of religious, but not secular decorations from students¹ lockers. -- A Georgia school board, after being threatened with suit by the ACLU, deleted the word "Christmas" from the school calendar. Notice that all of these involve public repression of voluntary student action. You can dress them up in noble-sounding civil rights language or the enlightened vernacular of multiculturalism and pluralism, but the bottom line remains: Expressions of Christianity are becoming increasingly taboo in polite American society today. Yet expressions of utter disrespect for Christianity and what it holds sacred are celebrated in some circles. The University of Northern Iowa, for example, recently hosted "Corpus Christi," a play depicting Christ having sex with the 12 apostles. As you probably know, the war against Christianity and Christmas is not a phenomenon localized to the public schools. A county executive in Washington State issued a memo decreeing that any holiday celebrations must be "religion-neutral" and "held in a respectful, inclusive and sensitive manner that does not favor one religion over another." Greetings were ordered to be generic ("Happy Holidays"), and decorations were not to include "religious symbols." The memo added that before holding a holiday social gathering all employees ought to be consulted and care should be taken to protect from retaliation those who do not concur with holding the gathering. Thankfully, after complaints by the Catholic League and others, the executive reversed himself and permitted employees to say "Merry Christmas." Can you imagine this? The prohibitions are bad enough, but the paranoid order not to retaliate is way over the top. Besides those who are stumbling drunk from the noxious fumes of political correctness, who would even imagine that an employee would be retaliated against for not endorsing a little Christmas party? There are doubtlessly some sincere zealots out there who mistakenly believe that the First Amendment Establishment clause mandates not only a separation of church and state, but also the virtual freedom from religion in the public arena. But others just use the Constitution as a stealth weapon against Christianity. It is not constitutional rights they are promoting, but a worldview that is decidedly hostile to Christianity because its values get in the way of their agenda.