Skip to comments.After Action Report--Maplewood NJ "Illegal" Christmas Caroling Protest, 12.21.04
Posted on 12/21/2004 8:25:30 PM PST by Coleus
Columbia High School, Parker Avenue, Maplewood, NJ Merry Christmas
Having heard about the event on the Free Republic I decided to go down and check out the action and participate in the illegal rally singing those illegal religious songs. I arrived about 5:00 PM the time it was supposed to start and joined in the crowd, about 100 people, which was already singing Christmas Carols. We were standing in the middle of the road in front of the school where the police had blocked off the street with barricades and police cars and about 5 police were there for crowd control. It was an easy night for them with no incidents. We were not Counter protested. There was a young lady handing out packets of music containing Christmas and Chanukah songs.
I noticed that just about every NJ and NYC news vans were there (Fox-5, UPN-9, News12, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC) with their cameras and bright lights going. The reporters were out interviewing the crowds.
There was a nice group of black students singing songs and holding signs. They were students in the school who belonged to a Gospel Choir in town who were very enthused and sang very well that complemented the others who were singing. I just noticed the Channel 9 reporter didnt do them justice, she interviewed them for a few minutes and did NOT show anything on this evenings news. What a shame, I guess the reporter didnt like what they had to say.
We sang such songs as: I have a little Dreidel, Silent Night, Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Come all Ye Faithful. There were many people of many faiths and political parties in attendance, it wasnt just republicans who attended.
One person was dressed in a Grinch Costume. Among those interviewed there was Susan Rosenbluth, of the Jewish Heritage Magazine and some students as well as the republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan who organized the event. Not everyone there was a Lonegan supporter or republican for that matter.
The music director came out and introduced himself and spoke to us for a minute inviting us to attend his Concert and handed out the programs. We chose not too. I asked him if he were a democrat, which elicited no response from him.
I was surprised that I did not see any Knights of Columbus members there with their banners. The National Organization pushes and sponsors the Keep Christ in Christmas Campaign and no Catholic Priests or other Protestant and Jewish clergymen were in attendance. Oh, thats right, the rally involved a republican. There was an Immaculate Conception Church down the street, maybe it was dinnertime and they couldnt come.
The event ended early at 5:30 pm (now I know why, they had to appear on Scarborough Country in Fort Lee) . Many people came afterwards and were very disappointed that it was already over. I met people who came from Rahway and NYC. This poor old guy from NYC came by bus and had to walk a mile or two from the bus stop to the school. When we were about to leave I offered him a ride to the grocery store and bus stop.
Mayor Steve Lonegan, Ambassador Ray Flynn and atheist Ellen Johnson appeared on MSNBC Scarborough Country with Pat Buchanan interviewing them.
Columbia High School, Parker Avenue, Maplewood, NJ
Great work; great report.
Bravo. As my son was changing channels, I thought I heard ABC or NBC make mention of the protest so perhaps they did a better job covering it than Channel 9.
Thanks for being there and reporting.
Well, it's nice to see our excellent law enforcement officers protecting us from those dangerous Christmas carolers. I suppose we can all sleep easy tonight.
Super effort and great report!
Thanks for the report.
I wish I could comprehend Jewish Christmas Songs. So far I'm stumped.
You had to be there.
Coleus--you are the man. Nice work, and thanks for the report.
Merry Christmas to you!
DFU--your songs have never offended me.
Merry Christmas to you from a red county in the blue state of NJ!
Merry Christmas from a red county in the very, very blue state of California.
WABC's Curtis Sliwa played a news report which said only about 30 people turned up. Sliwa mentioned how sarcastic the reporter was about the event.
Sliwa also said that most of the newspapers this morning didn't even cover it, but I'm not surprised.
I'm glad it was as successful as it was. One hundred people on a cold night is a good turnout.
Carolers protest religious-music ban
By Ralph Z. Hallow
Susan Rosenbluth and fellow Orthodox Jews yesterday came to Maplewood, N.J., to join a crowd of more than 100 carolers in singing Christmas and Hanukkah songs in front of Columbia High School.
Holiday hymns were sung in response to school policies that Steve Lonegan -- the Republican mayor of nearby Bogota, N.J., who organized the event -- called "intolerance" toward traditional religious beliefs.
The carolers showed up outside the school, which held its annual holiday music program last night, to protest a South Orange/Maplewood School District ban on religious songs at schools in this community across the Hudson River from New York.
"The greatest works of art in Western civilization are inspired by religious -- predominantly Christian -- convictions," said Mrs. Rosenbluth, editor of Jewish Voice and Opinion, an Englewood-based monthly.
"We are religious Jews who believe Western civilization is the heritage of all of our children in the United States," Mrs. Rosenbluth said, explaining why she and other Orthodox Jews joined the protest.
"This started out as a small event I decided last week to do," said Mr. Lonegan, who is Catholic. "I expected a handful of people and attacks against me by newspaper editors. Instead, there's this groundswell of support and the newspapers haven't attacked me -- yet."
He, Mrs. Rosenbluth and about 200 fellow carolers, all in high spirits, sang such traditional tunes as "Silent Night," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Joy to the World" -- as well as "Come Light the Menorah" and "I Have a Little Dreydl."
Mr. Lonegan, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor, said he asked the other Republican candidates and the Democratic governor of the state to join in the protest caroling, but they hadn't responded. Maplewood Mayor Frank Profeta, a Democrat, came to the event to shake hands and greet the protesters.
"I've been on all three network channels here and have been doing radio shows on stations all over the United States, from Kansas and Texas to Florida and Vermont," Mr. Lonegan said.
Mr. Lonegan called the school district's prohibition of traditional Christmas music "the ultimate demonstration of intolerance by a small minority of people who appear to be offended by the very core values that the vast majority of Americas live by -- Jews, Moslems, Christian, who all believe in one God."
A recent Opinion Dynamics poll "found that more than half of American say they call the upcoming festive time the 'Christmas season,' while under a third call it the 'holiday season' and 12 percent say they use both terms," Fox News reported.
Outcries over anti-Christmas rules have been heeded by some politicians, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Republican reversed an edict by former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis that designated an official state "holiday tree," and reverted to the familiar title of "Christmas tree" during the annual lighting ceremony in Sacramento.
A Virginia-based group calling itself "RightMarch.com" has been airing a radio ad across the country urging people to "stand up and defend Christmas from ... blatant attacks."
rest of article: http://www.washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20041221-103610-9207r
Merry Christmas and Eagles Up!
I saw the thread yesterday (or Monday), but it wasn't clear to me which day the protest was going to happen. I would have gone since I live near by. I'm glad there was a large turnout.
Angel, Angel, Angel, with Angel I will play...
Merry Christmas to all!
I find that this constant dispute is not only distracting me from what I really want to be focusing on at Christmas, it is actually creating blips of hostility--the exact opposite of the Christmas message.
Rant over. Congratulations are in order for all of you who participated in this. Let's start out early next year, GW, and plan lots of these.
Maybe it was bingo night?
Many of the people there were from Maplewood. I talked to a lot of people and asked where they were from. Most of the rally information was mentioned on WABC radio on the Curtis and Kuby show and in some conservative newspapers like the Washington times. Here is the fr link and wash. times article.
You are in the right place to find information regarding activism. You may want to find out from the students who sang with the gospel choir how they found out about it.
Glad to see young people willing to get involved, have you ever thought of starting a bible club or pro-life club in the school? They may give you a song and dance about starting one but they are allowed.
Don't blame the police. Very few cops are liberals.
What I would like to know is how many people actually attended the concert. I can see the parents of those who were taking part going, but If I was part of that school, I would have boycotted it.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah BUMP
Good question, I bet there wasn't that many people there otherwise the MSM press would have reported it.
I was there for a little while but had to take an important phone call, so I had to leave earlier than I wanted to. It was a nice crowd though, and while I missed seeing the TV coverage at home there sure didn't seem to be any lacking. Looking into all those bright lights made it darn near impossible to pick out any familiar faces, so I'm sorry if I missed anyone!
What I would like to know is how many people actually attended the concert. I can see the parents of those who were taking part going, but if I was part of that school, I would have boycotted it.
I am a very lousy singer, so be glad that I wasn't there. LOL!
Thanks to all who attended. It's part our our culture.
Good job, thanks for the report. Sorry I missed that.
I was looking for ya, sorry you had to leave.
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) - http://www.alliancedefensefund.org
Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) - http://www.thomasmore.org
American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) - http://www.aclj.org
The Rutherford Institute - http://www.rutherford.org/
Stop the ACLU Coalition - http://www.stoptheaclu.org
Here are a few examples of how two of those organizations are fighting back:
Thomas More Law Center: Town of Palm Beach Pays $50,000 In Attorney Fees Apologizes To Women In Nativity Lawsuit
I think the point that MC was making was that the event wasn't publicized locally in Maplewood and surrounding communities.
Merry Christmas FRiend and a joyous Hannukah.
I was there, too. I brought my editor, Susan Rosenbluth, of the Jewish Voice and Opinion. She appeared on Channel 9 News and on an Ohio radio station last night. Lonegan was on Hannity & Colmes last night, too.
Ah well, there's always next year. I would have come, but Phoenix AZ is too far away ;o)
Why the anti-police statement? Do you always bash them for no reason?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.