Bozell Column: An Angry Anti-Christmas at School
The metaphor “The War on Christmas” can be mocked – as if Santa and his reindeer are dodging anti-aircraft fire. But many of our public schools have church-and-state sensitivity police with an alarming degree of Santaphobia. Anyone who's attended a school's “winter concert” in December with no traditional Christmas music – not even “Frosty the Snowman” – knows the drill. The vast Christian majority (that funds the public schools) is told that school is no place to celebrate one's religion, even in its most watered-down and secularized forms.
There are real-life stories of Scrooge-like school administrators, like the one at the appropriately named Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia. A group of ten boys calling themselves the Christmas Sweater Club were given detention and at least two hours of cleaning for tossing free two-inch candy canes at students as they entered before classes started. They were “creating a disturbance.” One of their mothers, Kathleen Flannery, told WUSA-TV that an administrator called her and explained "not everyone wants Christmas cheer. That suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps."
Of course, that level of sensitivity is not applied when it comes to slamming Christianity during the Christmas season. On December 16, The Washington Post paid tribute to another suburban school in northern Virginia, Langley High School, for warming hearts during the season with “The Laramie Project.” This play is a political assault, using transcripts of real-life interviews by gay activists out to blame America's religious people for the beating death of homosexual college student Matthew Shepard in 1998.
The Post championed how in the play, “there is a Baptist minister who says he hopes Shepard was thinking of his lifestyle as he was tied to the fence...There is a young woman who grew up in the Muslim faith in Laramie and thinks the town and nation need to accept what the case has laid bare. ‘We are like this,’ she says.”
This account actually underplayed what the character “lays bare” – a guilt trip. In the script, she says “there are people trying to distance themselves from this crime. And we need to own this crime. Everyone needs to own it. We are like this. We ARE like this. WE are LIKE this.” (Emphasis by the playwright, Moises Kaufman.)
That attack keeps coming. A Catholic priest insists the killers "must be our teachers. What did we as a society do to teach you that?" A character also reads an e-mail from a college student: “You and the straight people of Laramie and Wyoming are guilty of the beating of Matthew Shepard just as the Germans who looked the other way are guilty of the deaths of the Jews, the gypsies, and the homosexuals. You have taught your straight children to hate their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters – until and unless you acknowledge that Matt Shepard's beating is not just a random occurrence, not just the work of a couple of random crazies, you have Matthew's blood on your hands.”
This is vicious anti-Christian propaganda, plain and simple. Any teaching that homosexuality is a sin is an invitation to murder? These mudslinging culture warriors are celebrated as compassionate by administrators, while just down the road, the Christmas Sweater Club is given detention for spreading Christmas cheer.
The Langley High students putting on this play are candid. They are trying to walk people away from the Bible. "I hope that this changes some people's perspectives on gay rights and maybe opens their minds a little bit," proclaimed Lauren Stewart, 17, the student-director. "I think the way to progress on issues is to talk about them." Another student added, "If one person comes into the theater and is on the fence about...any discrimination and leaves questioning their beliefs, I think we've done this play justice."
Making people “have conversations” is presented as glorious. But it wouldn't be a constructive conversation if students were trying to convert people to Christianity – only when you try to convert people away from it.
A little research shows plenty of “socially conscious” public high schools have staged this propaganda bombing, aiming to crush biblical “discrimination.” But it takes a really special school administrator to let it be scheduled in the last two weeks before Christmas. It's amazing that at Battlefield High School, the accusation was that Christmas cheer invited suicides, but plays about murderous “hate crimes” that America has collectively committed by our “fear and ignorance of the Other” somehow should make our spirits bright.