In another Grinch demonstration of squashing a school’s volunteer outing to see “Merry Christmas Charley Brown” at a local church, the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers didn’t want any free exchange of ideas for the students of Terry Elementary School.
Citing separation of church and state, the atheist ASF didn’t want a Christian influence to be displayed to the students of Terry Elementary. Although the trip was not mandatory to see the secular “Peanuts” production, apparently the atheists did not want the students even going to a church building.
The ASF responded after one parent voice objections to the school going to see the Charles Schultz inspired production at a local church. The ASF declared that students should not be exposed to a show with Christian themes as part of a school field trip.
Creator Charles Schultz does not use hard line Christian values in his creations and it is rather silly anyone would object to a “Peanuts” inspired Christmas play for the reasons brought up by the ASF.
According to Pamela Smith of the Little Rock School District, the teachers wanted to provide a cultural opportunity through a holiday production.
A spokesman for the ASF told a CBS affiliate KATV in Charlotte, “We’re not waging a war. We’re basically calling a foul against the separation of church and state”, said Leewood Thomas of ASF
Atheist groups are in the habit of harassing or filing lawsuits that object to nativity displays or the usage of Christmas in general. In order to avoid further problems, the pastor of Agape Church, Happy Caldwell, cancelled the scheduled showing for the school instead of subjecting the church and school to any further issues.
“It is not our desire to put hard working, sacrificial teachers and cast members in harms way”, remarked Pastor Caldwell.
Viewing theatrical productions that are secularly accepted, particularly “Peanuts”, is hardly a new happening, however one complaint that stops the entire group from enjoying “Merry Christmas Charley Brown” seems like overkill when attendance was optional.
Once again, it shows the atheists are not only interested in restricting choices for themselves, they want to restrict the choices of others. Nobody forced any of the students to attend the Christmas play.
Parents of the students already signed off for the students that wanted to go, however the atheists arrogantly usurp more authority than they need to in many complaints. The US Constitution allows freedom to do as one pleases as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others.
The paranoia displayed by those thinking even the word Christmas needs not be uttered or displayed are making ridiculous demands. Taking part of mandated prayer or religious observances is one thing, not allowing those choosing to go to a harmless “Merry Christmas Charley Brown” play are showing gross intolerance and bigotry.
A clearly unfair display of choice for me, but not for you.