Yet another dark veil is descending on America. In Little Rock, Arkansas, a group of citizens has decided that Charlie Brown and company is infringing on the separation of church and state. Atheists belonging to the group, Arkansas Society of Freethinkers has decided that allowing children to view the play "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is an assault on the United States Constitution.
The play is being performed at a Little Rock community church. A local school district is offering a field trip for students to attend the December 14th production. As is the case in most field trips, permission slips were sent home for the parents to approve or disapprove. While this seems like a very simple and straight-forward choice, it would appear that the "Freethinkers" are incapable of any kind of thought.
Instead of saying, "I would prefer my child not attend this program", the leadership of this group think that no child should be allowed to attend. In a classic case of the tail trying to wag the dog, a very vocal minority are trying to spoil the holiday season for the rest of America.
So many traditions are being eroded and others completely destroyed, simply to comply with the needs of a very small segment of the population. The United States Constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion. The intent of the Constitution is to preclude a State sponsored religion. Each and every American is guaranteed the right to live and worship as they please, without fear or interference from the government or any other entity. If you wish to worship a bush in your neighbor's yard as your savior, you have that right, if you wish to believe that there is no supreme being, that is also your right.
I think that we can all accept that there is no problem until one group or another decides that their "rights" supersede the rights of another group. Invariably, someone will try to twist this simple event around to mean that "Christians" are somehow trying to impose their will on others.....which is not the case at all. This is where your freedoms and rights come into play. If you do not like Christian celebrations, you have the freedom and the right to not believe in the message, the freedom and the right to look the other way and the freedom and the right to not participate on any level. What you do not have is the freedom and the right to tell other groups that their celebrations and beliefs somehow infringe on your right to have your own beliefs.
I don't know about the rest of you, but growing up, not only were we exposed to Christmas, we also learned about Hanukkah and other holiday celebrations. Not only did we discuss traditional Christian events, we discussed the events as they were viewed by others, including those people that chose not to celebrate any holiday on or near December 25th. By learning of the cultures and traditions of others, I would like to think my horizons were broadened, not poisoned as seems to be the thought process today.
I don't know a single Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian or other child that turned to stone from playing with a dradle or viewing a menorah. No Wiccan child has ever died as a result of seeing Santa Claus, no atheist has ever died from viewing a nativity scene nor has any American child of any race, creed or religion died or had their life severely impacted in a negative fashion simply by being exposed to a different set of religious values than those practiced in their home. I sure that some will take exception to that last statement, but I am speaking in the simplest of terms. Allowing a group of school kids to watch a play with a message of peace, love and understanding of all men is neither a nefarious plot to impose a religion, nor an attempt by the state to sponsor or endorse a religion.
It doesn't require a lot of thought to realize that by attempting to restrict the children's ability to see a simple holiday play, the "Freethinkers" are actually attempting to circumvent the Constitution and stretch the meaning to suit their own needs, while denying others that same opportunity. The answer is very simple, if you don't want your child to see what other cultures and religions embrace, simply don't let them attend the show. That is your right, but that is also where your right ends. These folks need to quit trying to play the Grinch, while hiding behind a false sense of Constitutional entitlement.
"Peace on earth, good will toward men." If that is a message that causes alarm among us, I am truly worried about the course our nation is following.