Skip to comments.Audience did not remain ‘Silent’
Posted on 12/22/2009 10:44:47 AM PST by MsLady
LEBANON Silent Night was not on the program at Pioneer Schools concert Tuesday, but it was sung anyway by the audience after the kids were done.
Shortly after the children started rehearsals this fall, Principal Mark Finch had scratched the number after a parent complained that the carols emphasis was too single-religion.
Superintendent Rob Hess, in attendance Tuesday, said he didnt see who started the carol but thought approximately 100 of the more than 700 people in the audience joined in.
Sam Long, a Pioneer volunteer and the grandmother of a Pioneer student, said the only reaction following the song was applause and cheers.
Im very proud they stood up for what they believe, she said. I am so proud, because have a godson fighting (in Baghdad) for our rights and to keep us free, and if we cant sing just a little song, whats he over there for?
Dale Koger, an administrator, said Lebanon schools were reminded that its legal to sing about, or decorate with, the cultural trappings of a Christian holiday as long as those trappings are part of larger, nonreligious celebrations. Individual school administrators make their own judgment calls on the details.
Finch had said he made the program change in an attempt to create a win-win for everybody and no one complained about his decision at the time. He did not return messages asking for comment following the concert.
School Board members Mike Martin and Russ McUne said Thursday they felt Finch had overreacted.
There were 18 songs on the program, of which one has a sacred theme to it and 17 dont. Really, the complaint should go the other way: The program was too darned secular, said Martin, who was in the audience. To change that program for one person is almost a violation of everyone elses rights.
Board member Liz Alperin disagreed, saying she believes, if anything, some of the other songs should have been changed to reflect the celebrations of other cultures, to make sure all children felt included.
Its a holiday program, but its only celebrating one holiday. There are other holidays out there, she said.
Way to Go!!
Good for the audience!
I served on the Lebanon School Board, and was disappointed when the principal removed Silent Night from the program. Even though I am not on the board anymore, I received a lot of calls on this incident. The end result was even better.
God Bless those people singing! Tyranny of the minority did their best but lost out to our Lords Amazing Grace!
“Dale Koger, an administrator, said Lebanon schools were reminded that its legal to sing about, or decorate with, the cultural trappings of a Christian holiday as long as those trappings are part of larger, nonreligious celebrations. Individual school administrators make their own judgment calls on the details.”
Where does the law say that it’s legal or illegal to sing Christmas Carols in school? This BS....plain and simple.
Is she suggesting adding a song about EID and changing the words so we all feel included? Is she considering adding a song about Kwanzaa and changing the words to include everyone? I somehow don't think that is what she means.
Good for them!
AMEN!!!! I think it is so awesome the spontaneity of it all, that’s a God thing, God moving in people’s hearts. You can’t stop that :)
Yea! Why no Stars and Stripes Forever (4th of July), reciting the Gettysburg Address or Washington chopping down a cherry tree (Presidents Day) etc. there are a lot of holidays out there. /sarc
What a dufus.
To change that program for one person is almost a violation of everyone elses rights.
I have felt this way for a very long time. I get so frustrated that we have igonred the wants of 700 people in order to bend to the will of 1 person. We even put the needs of a few terrorists above the welfare of American citizens. We need to take the country back.
This is FRICKIN’ AMERICA!!! OUR culture celebrates CHRISTMAS at this time of year!
Exactly right!!!! And calling it the trappings of the holiday???? What the heck is that about. Dale needs to be shown the door.
The easiest thing would have been to include a more religious Hanukkah song. I’d vote for dropping The Dreidel song and some drivel like Up on the Housetop if they ran out of time.
I don’t like the audience’s solution. We sing Silent Night in church on Christmas eve; not having any other religious song performed made that an unkind gesture IMHO. Maybe it because I come from a school district with a high Jewish population. We always sang religious Christian and Jewish songs at our winter concert. And the chorale always ends with and outstanding rendition Handel’s Messiah where the recent grads home from college come up on stage too. I always got a kick out of seeing the random boy wearing a kippah in the tenor section.
I love it when people get fed up at stupidity.
Did they actually have any student children of these so called "other cultures"?
By the demographics the answer is not likely, meaning that Liz Alperin is making up a problem that didn't actually exist.
But then again the liberals always enjoy offending everyone else to keep from offending the one, sometimes imaginary, person with a problem.
Many of my fellow New Yorkers and Americans also celebrate Hanukkah at this time of year, my friend.
The best result would have been to find out WHICH “one parent” complained and
I’m so upset with these people. Here we have all these respectable conservatives telling us we can’t beat the liberals ever and the best we can hope for is a stalemate, and these little people just disproved that. Liberalism is nothing.
My first thought was, what other holidays is she talking about???
I wrote a short play on the subject which is fun to do at parties.
Christmas in Montana by Nikos Vlachos
Like Stupid B*tch Day, when they parade people like you around on the back of a turnip truck.
It is sad that it happened in my town especially this is still a very conservative place where almost everyone attend church on Sunday and local companies are close on Sunday.
In schools where Jewish children are the majority of the children, I support Jewish holidays dominating the Christmas celebration season.
In schools where there is only a smattering of Jewish children present, there’s no need to replace a certain percentage of Christmas related content.
Are we not allowed to celebrate our culture?
Here in Harding Township, NJ, the local school’s annual Christmas concert (now called the Winter Concert, even though it was held a few days before winter actually began!), included two Kwanzaa songs (one extolling “collective labor”), and three Hanuka songs. Now Hanuka is a very minor Jewish holiday. How many ways can you sing about a dreydel? I am told that in Israel, the people view Hanuka as a strange, American aberration, blown out of proportion here, merely as a counterpart to Christmas. At any rate, there then were a goodly number of the usual secular seasonal songs involving chestnuts by the fire (which no one really does, do they?), and a one-horse open sleigh (which wouldn’t work on the streets around here, and has never been seen locally). There was only one truly religious Christmas song in the whole affair: Ave Verum, which is great, but as it is Latin, the grade-schoolers probably didn’t know what they were singing, and the audience was insulated from the possibility that they might be driven wild with religious fervor, and run out from the gym intent to establish a national church.
Thanks a heap, ACLU!
Well, at least they did not sing or play the Little Drummer Boy. I thank God for that.
That was a movement of God in the hearts of those people. Nothing against anyone, just a love of God. And totally fed up with being told what we can and cannot do because of, in this case, one person. If it offends someone, well I got news for them, Jesus offended a lot of people. And it would appear He’s still offending people.
Why am I beginning to feel like I’m part of a resistance movement behind the Iron Curtain or Berlin Wall?
Lady, you have no idea. And they plan on keeping it that way.
Nothing wrong with that, I love Hanukkah, I love the Jewish people. My savior was a Jew, the Lion of Juda. This isn’t about being against a religion. This is about freedom of expression. We can have Jesus in a glass of urine, we can use His name in vain, but, we can’t celebrate His birth without someone having a fit and the very reason this country was founded.
Many of my fellow New Yorkers and Americans also celebrate Hanukkah at this time of year, my friend.
Shalom Pee Wee - does Christians singing Christmas carols tick you off? What do they do in Israel for Hanukkah? Do you guys have Hanukkah carols? I’m told by many who say they are tolerant, that tolerance is a two-way street. Would you agree?
When the smattering of one of the “other” cultures, like Jewish, approaches 15 percent, and say Asian approaches 5-8 percent, and Hispanic (Christian, but no Santa Claus tradition, rather the 3 Kings) approaches 20 percent “our” particular culture may have a plurality but not a majority.
No one is denying anyone’s right to celebrate their culture, but ignoring the heritage of many of the students in a pubic school district would be wrong. I have no idea of the ethnic and religious breakdown in the school in question. I can only relate to the metro NY area.
I know I’ll get smacked down here for this, but PUBLIC school is not the place to celebrate anyone’s religious culture. Learn about it? Of course. Be exposed to it? Sure. Celebrate it? I think not.
I do like the fact that we were respectful of many different kinds of celebrations, but always felt we were lucky to live in such a urban area; I know many areas are just not so tolerant and diverse.
Only 100 out of 700 sang? That is just pathetic. America... great while it lasted. Grr!
There are now more than 300 million Christians who are either threatened with violence or legally discriminated against simply because of their faith - more than any other religion. They are subjected to legalised discrimination, violence, imprisonment, relocation and forced conversion. Even in supposedly Christian Europe, Christianity has become the most mocked religion, its followers treated with public suspicion and derision.
More Christians have been killed in this century then all the other centuries combined. At least 55,000 Christians are killed each year for religious reasons. Christians in India, Indonesia and Pakistan run the highest risk of losing their lives.
Shalom to you too, but I am Christian (Catholic). And yes, tolerance should be a two way street. But it’s easier to be tolerant when you are the majority, and you feel you’re tolerating “them” and not the other way around.
I understand that Hanukkah is not a major religious holiday, certainly not on the order of Rosh Hashana or Easter. But it has taken on a bigger meaning to Jews in America, and has become part of their American culture at this time of year.
And don’t even start me on the millions of Christians (and Easter-Christmas Catholics included) who are decorated to the hilt for Christmas with snowmen and santas and colored lights, but no trace of a nativity anywhere in their home.
For way too many Christians, Christmas has become about shopping and family gatherings and cooking and presents and not about God’s greatest gift to man.
but PUBLIC school is not the place to celebrate anyones religious culture.
So why does the public school system recognize a Holy Day on the 25 of December? I really don’t care if public schools don’t have a Christmas recital, but would like the secular education establishment to decide whether it is really secular or a quasi secular organization. If minority rights always trump majority rights, then no one has rights. Just saying. I personally am a 6’5” pygmy who celebrates the Gilgamesh story of creation and I am really pissed no one sent me a happy Gilgamesh card this year.
Exactly. Why no Arbor Day carols for the kids who worship trees?
I know you’re operating under the assumption that religion should be verboten at our pubic schools, so this is in keeping with what your thoughts are (in general).
What you don’t seem to realize is that in at least some of our schools, Islam is being taught. Especially after 09/11, Korans were brought in, role playing took place including mach jihads, and kids were dressed up in middle-eastern garb.
Don’t get the idea that religion is being dismissed from our schools. Some religions are.
Imagine someone reading passages from the Bible in public school, and the class discussing it.
There needs to be an overall doctrine of proportionality.
A typical school might have 1000 children, of which 500 are Christian, 300 are secular, and 200 are of “other”, those religions that do not practice holidays, and those that have other holidays, and avowed atheists who reject all practice of religion.
Because the vast largest group are Christian, their calendar dominates, with respect to the important holidays of other religions. That is, since Jewish and Muslim children have special days, teachers should refrain from holding tests or giving critical instruction on those days.
Because school programs are electives, religious programs should still be used, but students of other religions should not be compelled to participate in or attend them.
Probably the touchiest area is not in pageants or music, but in sporting events. Sports training can be intense, and have considerable peer pressure, so need to be watched so that they do not fall into sectarianism. Competitive sports are aligned to an “Us vs. Them” attitude, which is very easy to overdo, and not just with religion, but with race as well.
I think you missed my point. The only reason Hannukka is a big deal for Jews (only in America) is to impose a make believe equivalence on the majority on behalf of the minority. Its kind of like having a Mosque on top of Temple Mount claiming Mohammed ascended to heaven from that spot, when is well known there were no mosques in Jerusalem (much less Temple Mount) when he died. Neither method of claimed minority equivalence leads to deep acceptance or understanding. Better to have a Rosh Hashanna holiday and let all participate in celebrating something a deep importance to Jews. Personnally, I am extremely tired of having my culture and history re-written every ten years to suit the newbees needs. Christians founded and built this country. There were Jews here during the founding, but most were located in the south, not the north at that time. The so-called Jewish American culture is nothing more than a response to the ghetto culture of NY and Boston. The ghetto model does not represent the majority of America.
The epitome of the liberal mind that spends sleepless nights worrying that somewhere somehow some minority is offended by something ('some' raised to the 4th power!) If they had their way everything would be wonderfully homogenized into meaningless pap. Of course, this 'happy ideal' would quickly run into the reef and shoals of those people who insist that they are INDIVIDUALS, like me for one! I am not going to use the sword on my opponents but that does not mean I will not practice my beliefs or muzzle them for your comfort Mz Alperin!
Hear Hear! It is high time that the majority stop apologizing for their faith and culture.
Happy Gilgamesh Day.
There is a movement in my city to divest the mexican children of anything that reeks of white people, and part of this movement is a celebration of a character named Pancho Claus, designed to replace Santa Claus. At first I and my wife thought it was nothing more than a feel-good deal among the mexis of my town, but then I read about it's more sinister side: This movement is driven by La Raza/Brown Beret-types, and has nothing to do with the spirit of love and giving, and has everything to do with racial separatism. It is one more instance of a foreign culture among us who do not want to become Americans.
THERE'S ONLY ONE LEGAL HOLIDAY IN DECEMBER!
It's called CHRISTmas!!
You stupid twit!
I took comparative religions in my NYC public high shool.
And yes we had Bibles (I even brought in the libretto from the the Broadway show Jesus Christ Superstar (ok it was the early 70s!). We had Korans (but no muslim students that I was aware of), and discussions about the Talmud, and variations of the bible, schisms in Christianity and things I don’t remember from eastern religious as well as LDS because I remember we did have a Morman student. We read passages from these religious texts and discussed them.
I never said that instruction about world religions had no place in a well-rounded PUBLIC school education. But it should be done when the students are old enough to have some grasp of thier own religion, if they are being raised in any particular faith, and it cannot ever have the appearance of proselytizing.
Being that we are at war with fanatical religious extremist (and my 18 year old son shipped out two days ago) some insight into these fanatics is not a bad idea. And we should realize that not all Muslims are trying kill/eliminate or convert us. At least the other two members of my bowling team, the 18 & 19 year old Yugoslavian Muslim cousins weren’t.
So let the jerks work on the holidays... and Sundays as well.