Christmas Foes Walk Minefield

, Susan A. Fani, Leave a comment

Catholic League president Bill Donohue talks about the way Christmas foes navigate the holiday:

This is a tricky season for those who delight in warring on Christmas. Consider what is happening in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Erik Brown is the principal of Walsh Elementary in the Waterbury School District. His staff is under strict orders not to employ secular, as well as religious, Christmas symbols when they enjoy their “winter celebration” on December 21. Yet Christmas carols will be sung at the event, as well as Hanukkah songs. And students will be given gifts.

Is there a law against the display of secular holiday symbols in Connecticut schools? No. So why the ban? Brown says, “It is state law that a public school can’t knowingly exclude children.” He is, of course, wrong: there is no such law. If there were, then his school would be open on April 2, 2010. But there is no school that day, and that is because the Waterbury School District Calendar marks April 2nd as “Good Friday.”

Why are Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs allowed to be sung on “winter celebration” day? Don’t they exclude Buddhists? And if those songs are okay, why are teachers forbidden from displaying Frosty the Snowman, never mind Baby Jesus? Moreover, why is it okay to sing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” but it is not okay to display a poster of Santa?

Come to think of it, why are they having a “winter celebration” at all? To be exact, there is no “summer celebration” scheduled for Monday, June 21, 2010. So why the discrimination? Aren’t there students who would like to sing “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” and receive another round of gifts? How can they be legally excluded under Connecticut law?

Susan A. Fani is the Director of Communications for the Catholic League. This press release was originally issued on December 3, 2009.