March came in like a lion in York County, Virginia. Like Aslan, the lion of Narnia, Christians are pushing back against the cultural cleansing of Christianity. Over eighty citizens went to the York County School Board meeting, in the same Yorktown where the American Revolution was won, and spoke up for their freedoms. Several freedoms are at stake when Christianity is suppressed.
The problem in the public schools of this suburban county of 70,000 surfaced in October when some class parents found that Christmas was banned. Not all the schools, just some of them. But, in those schools the ban was total. No sacred, no secular, nothing traditional, or historical about Christmas. Nothing. The parents kept asking the teachers and administrators for an answer on why – who was ordering this? They heard ambiguous answers and got nothing in writing. Christmas came and went and the children learned about anything but Christmas.
Twelve speakers rose to explain the problem and offer a solution. The School Division doesn’t have a written policy. The citizens asked for a written policy from the elected School Board to give to the hired educrats of the School Division.
The School Division Superintendent professed surprise. Several School Board members said surely this can’t be so. Other School Board members said they would investigate. As expected, they deferred to the Superintendent. But, The People won’t let it stay there. They are going to keep pushing to get a written policy or they’ll elect a new School Board. Ya gotta love representative democracy.
The local newspapers covered the story. Predictably, they editorialized a bit of concern. Oh no, look out for lurking theocracy! When, actually, the schools should do what they been doing for as long as there have been public schools – and recognize all holidays.
Every argument the Liberal human secularists scam for the tolerance of intolerance against Christianity – and Christmas - was presented and demolished. The guidelines for what to do came straight from the U.S. Department of Education. These 1998 guidelines have held up in the courts. (It’s a sad commentary that guidelines originate in the Federal Executive branch and be validated by the Federal Judicial branch. Where are the legislatures and the States?)
Moreover, the Virginia Standards of Learning – our education accountability – call for students to know the traditional holidays and how they unite Virginians. Nothing unites like Christmas where 95% of the population (in an 86% Christian country) celebrates Christmas. The children must learn the history and traditions of Virginia and America to know what it means to be a Virginian and an American. Since 1607, December 25th has been celebrated as Christmas.
The name of the official holiday for the U.S. and the Commonwealth of Virginia is ‘Christmas’. Acknowledging the secular and religious symbols, songs, and traditions is an exercise in history, not theocracy. Such a distinction is lost on Pagan Puritans. The historical truth is an insult to the Multi-Culturalists and their myths.
Yet, the way forward is to be resolute, like a lion. As the speakers in York said plainly, the state’s education isn’t a church exercise and they don’t want public schools to teach religion. Confusing the two – church and state – is willful malevolence or utter ignorance. Given the unchurched condition of most Liberals and the sissy Christian confusion of some Liberals, it’s more likely that their mistakes come from the absence of their knowing God, the Bible, religion and history – not necessarily in that order.
Consequently, Christian citizens need to educate in lovingkindness as much as play hardball politics with politicians. Celebrating Christmas in schools is an exercise in ‘E Pluribus Unum’, not in exclusion. Minorities learn to tolerate the majority. Virginia’s Constitution uses the words ‘Christian tolerance’ of other religions for a reason. Precisely because the U.S. is a Post-Great Awakenings, Post-Enlightenment, Post-Reformation Judeo-Christian culture, our American Civilization and the Nation built upon it provide the greatest religious freedom in the World.
Freedoms for the free exercise of speech, religion and against the establishment of a Federal official church sect protect individuals from state abuse. These are freedoms threatened by culturally cleansing Christmas from government schools. One mother spoke how her child was told he couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas’. The family had a discussion to correct his impression. Yet, later she saw him snicker when he was reading a book, because reading ‘Christmas’ was like reading a forbidden, naughty word. That’s anti-Christian thought poisoning young minds. The lion hearts of Virginia will stop this. How about your schools?
James Atticus Bowden is a military 'futurist.' His novel, Rosetta 6.2, should be published in mid-2006. A retired United States Army Infantry Officer, he is a 1972 graduate of the United States Military Academy. He earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. He holds three elected Republican Party offices in Virginia.