Tennessee Schools Fight for Right to Celebrate Christmas

by | Dec 15, 2010 | Charisma Archive

The American
Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, is threatening Tennessee school districts with
legal action if students and teachers recognize Christmas. The Alliance Defense
Fund (ADF) is stepping in to offer free legal assistance to protect the
constitutional rights of the schools.

The drama
started when the ACLU sent letters to public school superintendents in
Tennessee warning them that the schools will violate the Constitution if they
recognize Christmas without recognizing every other winter holiday.

“It’s ridiculous
that people have to think twice about whether it’s OK to publicly celebrate
Christmas. An overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas and
are opposed to any kind of censorship of it,” says ADF
Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Urban legends about the offensiveness
of Christmas are clearly out of sync with the American people, common sense and
the Constitution. The ACLU’s conclusions are without merit and are part of
a tired, worn-out, and disproven campaign of fear, intimidation and
disinformation.”

The ACLU’s
letter states that school districts risk violating the U.S. Constitution if
they “focus primarily on one religious holiday” without teaching about a
variety of other winter holidays as well, including Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Kwanza, Eid al Adha, Winter Solstice and New Year’s Day. The
letter, which goes on to recommend using only secular holiday symbols, errantly
argues that the celebration of Christmas within the public schools produces
“divisive conflicts” and constitutes “indoctrination,” “coercion” and
“censorship.”

“In recent
years, certain groups, such as the ACLU, have spread misconceptions about the
legalities of celebrating Christmas in public school,” the ADF letter states in
response. “As a result, many school officials have removed nearly all
religious references to Christmas and replaced them with secular
symbols. While many do so unknowingly, school officials have begun a new
‘tradition’ of violating the constitutional rights of students and teachers to
seasonal religious expression in our public school system.”

“And our
Constitution acknowledges that people of faith have a right to openly express
their beliefs in the public square,” the letter continues. “But many
school officials attempt to prohibit students and teachers from expressing any
religious aspect of Christmas. … No court has ever ruled that the Constitution
demands school officials to censor Christmas carols, eliminate all references
to Christmas, or silence those who celebrate Christmas.”

Tennessee
attorney Zale Dowlen,
one of nearly 1,900 attorneys in the ADF alliance, signed the letter together
with Cortman and ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum, based in
Memphis.

A 2008 Gallup poll
found that 93 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. A 2009 Rasmussen poll found that 83 percent of American adults
believe public schools should celebrate religious holidays.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: A Window of Time Has Opened for Believers to Preach the Truth

I was rejoicing and praising God on Friday, June 24, 2022, for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, knowing that an ungodly decree was overturned and one national curse was broken. I heard by the Holy...
The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

The Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: The People I Saw in Hell

In 1998, God gave me a life-changing vision of hell. I receive many questions about my experience from people all over the world, but one question I'm often asked is, "Who did you see in hell?" There are others who say they've had an experience like mine, and they...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest