Wrong move on school play
The Johnson County school district administration felt it faced a separation of church and state problem with A Charlie Brown Christmas school play. But their decision to cut the heart out of the play resulted in a state definition of a religious truth.
Fifty years ago when it first appeared on TV, some network executives wanted Charles Schulz to leave out Linus’ quote of Luke 2:8-14. Following the quote Linus says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” Can you cut the heart out of the play without undercutting its meaning?
The result presents an artificial government-controlled meaning for Christmas. The district defended itself noting, “However, our district is fully committed to promote the spirit of giving and concern for our fellow citizens that help define the Christmas holiday. With core values such as service, integrity, leadership and commitment … ”
Are not plays in public school about ancient Rome or Greece permitted to tell the truth about their gods? Factual presentations of any religious belief serve valid education. But to remove the central meaning out of the play teaches less than the truth, resulting in false education and places the state in control of religion.
D. Leslie Hill
What about the students?
Concerning the controversy around Johnson County’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, a group of adults from Arizona has weighed in, adults from the ACLU have weighed in, perhaps it was an adult who made the original complaint and the adults in the district administration made a decision.
Did anyone consider what the children from W.R. Castle Elementary wanted to do? By the time all the adults have finished their arguing, the play will have been performed and the children would have left for Christmas break.
No church-state issue
While I’m a firm believer of separation between church and state, the Johnson County school furor over A Charlie Brown Christmas created an issue where none existed. The character of Linus quoting a biblical passage is hardly an official endorsement of religion. It is one fictional character in a play expressing a viewpoint or a thought.
It would be like cutting all the biblical passages that the character of Matthew Brady quotes in Inherit The Wind (a very pro-evolution play) if it were done in a school. And it seems to me that if crossing the church/state line was an actual concern, then the school shouldn’t have picked this play in the first place.
But the school may have an actual issue of concern, and that is with the playwright. As a member of the Dramatists Guild, I offer this advice: They have no right to edit, cut or alter a play without the permission of the playwright or his representatives.
Charles Edward Pogue
GOP message to Santa
In light of recent events, I offer an urgent message to Santa Claus: Please don’t bring any toys this year to Muslim boys and girls. They’re not Christians. They should be on your naughty list because they don’t believe in Jesus.
GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie says we shouldn’t even let five-year-old Muslim orphans into our country. Christie (not Kringle) even wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, saying that New Jersey will not accept any Muslim refugees from Syria. Christie is that tough.
So, Santa, you can deliver toys to New Jersey kids and not worry that you’ll go down some chimney, only to meet a Muslim orphan with a paintball gun. Or worse.
Santa, here’s wishing you safe travels on Christmas Eve. If you get shot down over America by a gun nut with an assault rifle, I’ll ask everyone to keep you in their thoughts and prayers.
I’m sure that presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and House Speaker Paul Ryan will express similar heartfelt sentiments. They’ve already done so very recently.
Next step in outrage
In the Dec. 10 edition, a letter writer “demanded” that a Muslim mosque not be built on Armstrong Mill Road after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
I say, why stop there? In response to the terrorist attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, I demand that all Christian churches be torn down.
What's that you say? The actions of one deranged gunman in Colorado do not represent the teachings of the Christian faith? Yes, exactly the point. Keep that in mind while you are proposing discrimination against all members of the Muslim faith.
Terrorist, insane or both
Two Muslims kill 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif. One Christian kills three people at a Planned Parenthood Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The first we label terrorist. The second we label insane.
Both intended to create mayhem, call attention to themselves and their cause, and sow fear in the people they condemned. In our opinion both were insane, both were terrorists and both comprise a small fraction of less than one percent of their respective religions.
Why is it we’re so quick to label Muslims as terrorists, but when a Christian kills others we label them insane?
Maybe we’re bigoted to our own religion, which in our minds can do no wrong. It’s always the other guy’s religion that’s wrong. Could it be both are wrong? We believe the best advice is “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”
Joe and Kathy Crouch