Charlie Brown Christmas

For a glimpse into the politically-correct minds of school administrators in the U.S., one simply needs to consider two stories concurrently unfolding in the news cycle.

In one instance a Kentucky public school district cuts any reference to Christianity during a theatrical version of A Charlie Brown Christmas. In the other, a Virginia school district defends a calligraphy lesson prompting students to write: “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

America 2015: Linus Van Pelt is too dangerous for the minds of elementary school children, but the shahada — the Muslim statement of faith — can be an official assignment given to high school students.

calligraphy VA school

Fox News reported Wednesday:

A Virginia school district is defending a classroom assignment that required students to practice calligraphy by writing the Muslim statement of faith, “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

Female students at Riverheads High School in Augusta County, Virginia, were also invited to wear Muslim clothing — a story first reported by The Schilling Show. …

“Neither these lessons, nor any other lesson in the world geography course, are an attempt at indoctrination to Islam or any other religion, or a request for students to renounce their own faith or profess any belief,” the district said in a statement provided to Fox News.

Students were also asked to try wearing traditional Islamic attire as “a part of an interactive lesson about the Islamic concept of modest dress.”

The district asserts that the teacher — who knew exactly what she was having students write — was merely asking her class to explore Arabic’s “artistic complexity.”

Meanwhile, Johnson County Schools in Paintsville, Kentucky, are adamant that a rendition of A Charlie Brown Christmas is tantamount to endorsing religion.

WSAZ reported Superintendent Tom Salyer’s statement Wednesday:

Superintendent Tom Salyer said the district received a complaint last week about the play having religious references.

The district then announced it would remove any religious references from all of its Christmas plays. …

Salyer gave WSAZ this statement:

“As superintendent of Johnson County Schools, I recognize the significance of Christmas and the traditions and beliefs associated with this holiday. Over the past few days, there have been several rumors indicating that there would be no Christmas plays this year at our elementary schools. I want to clarify that all programs will go on as scheduled. In accordance with federal law, our programs will follow appropriate regulations. The U.S. Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit are official capacities and during school activities. 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, our staff and students will continue to proudly represent our district as recently demonstrated by our many student successes.”

Got that? Schools can have Christmas plays — provided the holiday’s core inspiration, the birth of Christ, is never directly or indirectly addressed.

In the same month that an Islamic terror attack killed 14 and wounded 21 in San Bernardino, California, high school students are asked to practice writing ,“There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” but a classic Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon is somehow deemed a violation of federal law. Classic.

This is why home-schooling looks increasingly attractive to young parents with each passing year.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

7 comments

  1. Actually, I can understand objections to including Linus’ speech (quoting Luke 2: 8-14) in a play performed in a public school. But, either we have separation of church and state or we don’t. To have students writing “There is no god but Allah” is a double standard. If the former is objectionable, so is the latter.

    And couldn’t the kids just write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” or “Liza quickly mixed the very big jar of new soap” in Arabic? And why Arabic? Why not Japanese or Russian? Maybe the kids could learn to recite John 14:6 in Aramaic, and if Progressives object, teachers could claim that the exercise was just to teach the complexity of the language, not to promote Christianity. (Also that the check is in the mail, I gave at the office, it’s only a cold sore, Sharon Stone didn’t know they were filming down there, and some of Obama’s best friends are Jewish.)

    And “inviting” girls to wear nuns’ habits would convey the principle of dressing modestly just as well as having them wear hijabs.

    Public schools should not promote one religion at the expense of another. The current Islamomania (and the hostility toward Christianity and Judaism) is a case of leftist oikophobia and xenophilia. And also dhimmitude. We have to constantly appease the Muslims and praise their Religion of Peace. If not, they will kill us.

    1. Actually, I can understand objections to including Linus’ speech (quoting Luke 2: 8-14) in a play performed in a public school. But, either we have separation of church and state or we don’t. To have students writing “There is no god but Allah” is a double standard. If the former is objectionable, so is the latter.

      How is the school endorsing religion if kids are simply exposed to a Christian character? Or a Jewish character? Or a Buddhist character? Or a New Age crystal-loving character?

      Are schools not allowed to show movies if a character goes into a church to pray for one scene? Or if someone says, “Thank God”?

      This is as hypersensitive as the time I was substitute teaching and a teacher freaked out because I allowed a kid to read “nigger” out loud during a lesson on Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” The kids’ minds were so fragile that they couldn’t be exposed to a word uttered by a fictional character. I essentially told the teacher that was her position and I disagreed with it…and she never had me in her class again. Oh well. I’m confident the kids actually respected me more because I didn’t insult their intelligence.

      I’m surprised the school didn’t nix “A Charlie Brown Christmas” because Lucy Van Pelt is, for all intents and purposes, a bully.

  2. I recall reading an anecdote somewhere that “Charlie Brown Christmas” producer Lee Mendelson had about making the short. He had questioned Charles Schulz about including the religious aspects of Christmas in the story, thinking that they couldn’t or shouldn’t include it. Schulz made a reply to the effect of: “If we don’t put it in, who else can or will do it?” Seems kind of prophetic, now.

    1. It totally makes sense with Linus’ character. He was this sort of the philosophical kid who was wise beyond his years…I could see him quoting any number of great thinkers or texts throughout history.

      “Separation of church and state” does not mean that schools have to make sure no student, ever, is exposed to a religious symbol or phrase or character. If a teacher starts putting biblical cartoons on her bulletin board…or creating lesson plans like, “Why is Linus Van Pelt the hero of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for quoting the bible,” that’s one thing. Simply having a kid read his lines during a school recital of an iconic American cartoon is not an endorsement of Christianity.

    1. Christmas is the time of year when kids have off school and parents also have off work. Parents are taking their kids to the mall in droves to see Santa Claus before possibly catching a movie. And yes, every Thanksgiving and Christmas people are talking about Charlie Brown. The character also appears in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, which kids love to watch on television.

      From a marketing standpoint, one would be an idiot not to release a Peanuts movie around Christmas.

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