The grinch was a bitter, grumpy hermit who tried to steal Christmas from the kids in a famous children’s story of the 1950s. Unfortunately, the grinch has reemerged to try to take Christmas away from schoolchildren.
The grinch is so nasty today that his actions could be prosecuted under our hate-crime laws. The law defines hate crimes as those characterized by hate, or even bias, committed on the basis of a person’s protected characteristics of religion and (you know the other protected categories).
All over the country, grinches masquerading as school superintendents have been banning the traditional singing of Christmas carols and nativity displays, and insisting that the word “winter” be substituted every time the word Christmas is used (i.e., “winter vacation”).
The grinch ignores the fact that federal law makes Christmas Day a national holiday. There are no laws or even court decisions that prohibit school children from singing Christmas carols.
The school superintendent at Bordentown Regional School District in New Jersey ordered that “religious music should not be part of the elementary programs.” So songs about Frosty, Rudolph, and mommy making out with Santa Claus can be sung at the school’s “winter” concert, but not songs about the Infant Jesus or even Silent Night.
Grinches at Osgood Intermediate School in Kings Park, NY took a different tactic, censoring words out of “Silent Night” before fifth graders were allow to sing. Edited out were “holy infant,” “Christ the Savior is born,” and “’round yon virgin, mother and child.” The school’s principal has since apologized for this travesty.
The grinch has even imposed his anti-Christian extremism on U.S. judges. A federal judge in San Diego just ordered the famous 43-foot-tall Mount Soledad Cross to be dug up and removed from a veterans memorial where it has been honored since 1913.
Although the cross is certainly a Christian symbol, the memorial is surrounded by symbols of other faiths, such as 18 Stars of David. The cross is also surrounded by 3,000 granite plaques honoring individual heroes from all our wars.
In 2004, Congress passed a law dedicating this cross as a national memorial honoring veterans of the United States Armed Forces “who sacrificed their lives in the defense of the United States.” In 2006 the federal government took title to the property.
Government support of the cross diminished after Obama became President. Barack Obama has given repeated examples of his aggressive campaign to make us a scrupulously secular nation, such as omitting the words “under God” from his recitation last month of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address for a PBS documentary.
The military is getting the message that it must be in harmony with the secularist bias of the commander-in-chief. The grinch, under the name Military Religious Freedom Foundation, showed up at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina to complain about a nativity display set up by a group of volunteers in the base chapel.
The Air Force took the nativity scene down within 2 hours and 15 minutes of being contacted. Who knew that the Air Force would so promptly obey orders from protestors?
Extraordinarily fast action also resulted when the U.S. Navy announced this week that it will remove two nativity displays from dining halls at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base because 18 servicemembers sent an email to alert the grinch at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The commanding officer said “no one’s ever complained to me about it. We’ve been doing it for 19 years,” but he promptly removed the nativity displays and moved them to the chapel.
Two Baptist chaplains said they were forced out of a Veterans Affairs chaplain training program after they refused orders to stop praying in the name of Jesus and quoting the Bible. They were subjected to ridicule and harassment that led to one of the chaplains leaving the program and other being ejected. They are now suing.
The one-year training program is required for anyone wanting to work as a VA hospital chaplain. The San Diego trainer is openly hostile to Christianity; the lawsuit accuses her of instructing chaplains that they may not pray in the name of Jesus or quote from the Bible.
It tells you all you need to know about the trainer’s bias when the lawsuit reports that she told the class she believes God could be either man or woman.
Ho! Ho! Ho! The grinch is getting nowhere in Texas. The Texas Legislature nearly unanimously passed the “Merry Christmas Law” requiring schools to allow traditional Christmas festivities, including songs, trees, nativity scenes, the colors red and green, and the now-controversial words “Merry Christmas.”
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. She is the co-author, with George Neumayr, of the New York Times Best-Seller titled “No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.”