Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

BORDENTOWN, N.J. (RNS) A conservative legal group says school officials have misread previous court decisions on whether to allow religious songs at school concerts.

10 Comments

  1. If enough Bordetown voters are upset, they can initiate a recall of the board, install a new one, and replace the superintendent. To banish religious songs entirely is to deny the fundamentally religious orientation of Christmas.
    Also, with minimal planning, students and/or adults could interrupt a program at an appropriate time to lead the rest of the crowd in a hymn or two. There’s absolutely nothing that school authorities could do about it, and no civil authorities would touch it.

    • @Duane:

      1. These are “winter concerts” in a secular, tax-payer-funded, public school district. The “fundamentally religious orientation of Christmas” is irrelevant.

      2. In order to present Christian music but still comply with the court’s requirements, each school could be required to balance out any Christian music with other music drawing from every other faith group represented in that school. That might lead to some very, very long concerts, but it would solve the problem. It’s just easier to ban all religious music and avoid the hassle, which is what the superintendent did (or tried to do).

      3. In your comment, you suggest that Christian parents use “flash-mob” tactics to force their religious beliefs upon the non-Christian children and parents of the school district. In what universe would that be acceptable behavior?

      Public schools *must* be places where all stakeholders (aka tax-payers) and their children are included and represented equally — no exclusion, no favoritism, no bias. If you want a Christian concert, then you are free to send your child to a private religious school (on your dime, of course). Or, here’s an idea: Go to church.

    • “To banish religious songs entirely is to deny the fundamentally religious orientation of Christmas.”

      And in doing so not endorse Christianity through use of public funds or officials.

      “Also, with minimal planning, students and/or adults could interrupt a program at an appropriate time to lead the rest of the crowd in a hymn or two.”

      I am sure it is much more appropriate to do such things in a church. Where the people in the building are all of the same faith and do not get the impression of being excluded by their public officials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.