No Charlie Brown Christmas?
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Default No Charlie Brown Christmas?

    Should public school students be allowed to watch ?Merry Christmas Charlie Brown??

    An Arkansas secular group is defending its opposition to public school students being allowed attend a performance of ?Merry Christmas Charlie Brown? while rejecting claims they had declared a ?war on Christmas.?

    ?Those who stand up for the rights of children to be free from coercion aren?t making war either on religion or Christmas,? said LeeWood Thomas, spokesperson for the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. ?This is a case of a church forming an alliance with local government to violate religious freedom.?

    Students at Terry Elementary School in Little Rock had been invited to attend an upcoming performance of ?Merry Christmas Charlie Brown? at Agape Church. The theatrical production is adapted from the popular animated television classic, ?A Charlie Brown Christmas.?

    The Little Rock School District said students were not required to attend the performance and as far as the district is concerned ? there is no controversy.

    ?The teachers wanted to provide an opportunity for cultural enrichment for students through a holiday production and are supported by the principal,? spokesperson Pamela Smith told Fox News. ?Because it will be held at a church, as some public events often are, a letter was sent home with students so parents who took exception and wished to have their children remain at school could do so.?

    The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers said they were speaking out on behalf of a parent whose child attends the school. They said the parent felt forced to ?choose between maintaining their family religious beliefs versus their child being singled out and possibly ostracized or bullied.?

    ?Merely allowing a child to opt out of a school-sponsored religious activity during the winter holidays is no solution,? Anne Orsi, vice president of the group said in a statement. ?Such a situation exposes the children of minority faiths and outlooks to majority pressure and victimization. Thus the religious rights of children are being violated along with their right to privacy.?

    The society said public schools should not take students to churches to see plays with religious content.

    ?This isn?t about Charlie Brown or Christmas,? Orsi said in her statement. ?It?s about the separation of church and state. We must be sensitive to that and never allow public schools to promote one brand of religion over any other.?

    But attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom said the secular group is way off base.

    ?An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that it?s okay to celebrate Christmas in schools and in the public square,? attorney Matt Sharp said.

    The ADF sent a letter to the Little Rock School District offering their legal services should anyone sue over the performance.

    ?Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow students to watch a classic Christmas production simply because a Bible verse is mentioned in it,? Sharp wrote in his letter. ?Are atheist groups going to start demanding that students be blocked from attending other classic productions just because they contain religious references??
    Secularists: ‘Merry Christmas Charlie Brown’ Violates Constitution | FOX News & Commentary: Todd Starnes
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    During school time? No. It's a very religious show and it's at a church. That guy who said "it mentions a bible verse," obviously hasn't seen it recently, because about half the show is talking about Jesus. Put the show on at night and anyone who wants to attend can do so on their own time.
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    Community Host wlillie's Avatar
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    About the story- Yeah, they said the kid is still going. If this person REALLY cared about it and wasn't just being a douchebag, they'd keep their kid at home that day.

    Debate- I haven't watched it in forever but I don't remember anything overtly religious and there were a LOT of functions held at churches where I come from as they have the state and seating along wiht a sound system and are free (my old church is where the choir had our recital). We were also allowed to go on field trips to go see plays and while most of them weren't overtly religous, their is no denying that quite a few field trips touch on some form of religion whether the organizers mean for it to or not.

    You don't see Christian parents throwing a fit if they go to a children's museum if one of the exhibits is about Evolution.

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    I haven't seen the movie in forever, but I don't remember there being anything overtly religious about it. I think there is some sort of vague spiritual stuff about the wonder of the season, but nothing I would call out as being overtly religious.

    Assuming that is the case - it is not an overtly religious play - then I don't have a problem with it, unless the attendance will also include a sermon of some sort. If it is an overtly religious play and/or will be accompanied by a sermon, then I don't think that the school should get tangled up in all of that.
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    I have never seen the play, but the movie does talk about Christmas being about Christ's birth and not about buying gifts. That is the historical reason Christmas is celebrated and I do not find that threatening. For example, in Spanish class we learned all about the many Spanish holidays. Many of them had a spiritual history, so that spiritual history was explained. I do not find anything wrong with that. Wlillie is right in that there are many field trips to places and museums that teach evolution as fact. Parents that disprove either keep their kids home that day, or explain to their child why they do not believe that way.

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Is the play different from the TV show? I'm guessing not. Church groups choose it specifically because of the overt biblical content. There are entire scenes of Charlie Brown directing the nativity play with kids as bible characters acting out a story from the bible, Linus recites verbatim from the Gospel of Luke, and it ends with the whole gang singing, "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!" It's a religion lesson wrapped up in a cartoon. And that is not appropriate for a public school to be spending time on.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wlillie View Post
    About the story- Yeah, they said the kid is still going. If this person REALLY cared about it and wasn't just being a douchebag, they'd keep their kid at home that day.
    Or he cares enough about his kid that he doesn't want to see his kid bullied and berated by a bunch of other kids who have had religion spoon-fed to them and know no other options and, even worse, who see it as their job to convert every non-believer. This is happening in Arkansas, after all. And he cared enough to try to keep the school from attending the play in the first place.
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    Posting Addict fuchsiasky's Avatar
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    I don't think I would be comfortable with DD seeing the play or tv show as part of school. There is a very religious message to the story and that doesn't need to be part of school. Every family is going to react to that message differently and I feel that should be kept within the family.

    I do plan on watching it with DD when she is older and we can discuss the story. It is one of my favorite stories and I love the way it brings the focus off the materialism of the season. There is a meaning to this season that is not just presents! But that meaning differs for each family and thus should be up to the family to interpret.
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    I love CBC but I think it is inappropriate material for a school to present as a field trip as well as the location of the show.

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    Community Host wlillie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    Or he cares enough about his kid that he doesn't want to see his kid bullied and berated by a bunch of other kids who have had religion spoon-fed to them and know no other options and, even worse, who see it as their job to convert every non-believer. This is happening in Arkansas, after all. And he cared enough to try to keep the school from attending the play in the first place.
    If the Christians in Arkansas are that terrible, I would assume that not attending school one day isn't the reason the child would be bullied and berated. If they are that horrible, then they already know the family isn't Christian and wouldn't need a play as an excuse to attack the kid. Dude was just pissed because they are doing something that he doesn't like and instead of letting his kid go and see the play and explaining why he doesn't believe the same ideas, felt like he should take that experience away from other kids.

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