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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

School Bans “Joy to the World”

Posted by on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:18 AM
  • 198 Replies


Students at a South Carolina preparatory academy were allegedly told they could not perform instrumental versions of Christmas songs like “Joy to the World” because it might lead to lawsuits.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal firm specializing in religious liberty cases, said York Preparatory Academy has a policy banning religious music at holiday performances – even if the music is instrumental.

ADF attorney Rory Gray said the academy’s band director gave older students a choice of musical selections for the upcoming winter concert.

“The students chose two songs that included the melodies from Joy to the World and Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” Gray said.

But the band director allegedly excluded the songs based on a warning that groups similar to the American Civil Liberties Union would be monitoring holiday concerts in South Carolina schools for possible constitutional violations.

“The Academy’s principal confirmed the receipt of the ACLU’s or similar group’s communication and suggested that in order for students to play traditional Christmas carols they would need to play songs from other religions as well,” Gray said.

Gray called that requirement “fundamentally misguided.”

“The Academy’s policy of intentionally excluding band arrangements with melodies from religious Christmas carols, regardless of the music’s demonstrated cultural value and educational merit, shows impermissible hostility toward religion,” he said.

The York Preparatory Academy principal did not return my calls seeking comment.

“Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow bands to play the music to time-honored Christmas carols like this,” Gray said. “School districts can and should allow religious Christmas carols to be part of their school productions.”

Attorney Gray advised the academy that they should “not be intimidated by threats from groups like the ACLU.” And he’s calling on school leaders to reverse the ban.

And should a group threaten to sue the school – ADF said they would be happy to defend the Academy free of charge.

Public schools in New Jersey and Wisconsin reversed similar bans this year after public outcry and letters from the ADF explaining the legality of the Christmas carols.

source

by on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:18 AM
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Replies (1-10):
JTROX
by Gold Member on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:23 AM

My son is in our hs choir.  Many of their songs are religious.  

AslantheLioness
by on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:29 AM
4 moms liked this

good, religion doesnt belong in a public school and makes the non-Christians feel uncomfortable to be forced to sit through something they don't beleive in or want to hear about. 

Christmas, or Yuletide, isn't a Christian holiday, it was originally Pagan, celebrating the winter solstice. No pine trees in the mideast ;)

candlegal
by Judy on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Is it public school?  If so, expect the atheists or humanists to show up this year or next and demand they cease and desist.

Quoting JTROX:

My son is in our hs choir.  Many of their songs are religious.  


JTROX
by Gold Member on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:34 AM

Public.

What I find really interesting is that a public school system about 20 minutes away always participates in National Day of Prayer.  I've never heard of them getting flack, but it is a small school system.

Quoting candlegal:

Is it public school?  If so, expect the atheists or humanists to show up this year or next and demand they cease and desist.

Quoting JTROX:

My son is in our hs choir.  Many of their songs are religious.  



momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:35 AM
3 moms liked this

Doesn't sound as if it's a public school in the first case (from the name and description), so I guess they have the authority to ban whatever they like.  

The choir and band in my son's public school up here in liberal Mass. play and sing music with religious themes all the time, including that Leroy Anderson medley with Joy to the World.  Typically a holiday concert will have music from several religious traditions, so I will get to hear Hanukkah songs, religious Christmas songs, secular Christmas songs, and a Kwanzaa song or two at the very least.  

momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:36 AM

They are not doing so up here in your liberal home state, at least not in my town or the towns near me.  

Quoting candlegal:

Is it public school?  If so, expect the atheists or humanists to show up this year or next and demand they cease and desist.

Quoting JTROX:

My son is in our hs choir.  Many of their songs are religious.  



candlegal
by Judy on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:45 AM
That is good to hear but Give them time. They probably only have so many schools a year that they can hit or they would spread themselves too thin.
Quoting momtoscott:

They are not doing so up here in your liberal home state, at least not in my town or the towns near me.  

Quoting candlegal:

Is it public school?  If so, expect the atheists or humanists to show up this year or next and demand they cease and desist.

Quoting JTROX:

My son is in our hs choir.  Many of their songs are religious.  



momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:48 AM
2 moms liked this

Or maybe they, or I should say, we, since I is one, like holiday music of all kinds and have no problem with it being featured in a holiday concert.   

Quoting candlegal:

That is good to hear but Give them time. They probably only have so many schools a year that they can hit or they would spread themselves too thin.
Quoting momtoscott:

They are not doing so up here in your liberal home state, at least not in my town or the towns near me.  

Quoting candlegal:

Is it public school?  If so, expect the atheists or humanists to show up this year or next and demand they cease and desist.

Quoting JTROX:

My son is in our hs choir.  Many of their songs are religious.  




Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:49 AM
5 moms liked this

 When the concert program has a variety of songs then there is no issue; it's when ALL the songs performed are about Jesus only then an issue arises. Gesh-people just have to be smart about this stuff. However I think it helps coming from a diverse community too. Those more insulated towns seems to have more issue with understanding this simple concept. (must be the inbreeding-hehe-kidding! ....step away from the abuse button)

Quoting momtoscott:

Doesn't sound as if it's a public school in the first case (from the name and description), so I guess they have the authority to ban whatever they like.  

The choir and band in my son's public school up here in liberal Mass. play and sing music with religious themes all the time, including that Leroy Anderson medley with Joy to the World.  Typically a holiday concert will have music from several religious traditions, so I will get to hear Hanukkah songs, religious Christmas songs, secular Christmas songs, and a Kwanzaa song or two at the very least.  

 

norahsmommy
by Bronze Member on Nov. 23, 2013 at 6:54 AM
3 moms liked this
I find this kind of stuff exasperating. This country was founded on freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion. Trying to erase every single hint of religion from public exposure is ridiculous and wrong.
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