Like most Jews, Olympic skater Sasha Cohen is not
offended by Christmas carols. But that didn’t stop a government
employee from trying to protect her. While Cohen was skating at a rink
in Riverside, California, a high-school choir started singing “God
Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,” immediately sending Michelle Baldwin into
orbit. She summoned a cop and got him to institute a gag rule: he
ordered the choir to stop singing. Baldwin maintained that because
Cohen was Jewish, she would be upset by the carol. But she never
bothered to ask the skater if she objected. As it turns out, Cohen
couldn’t have cared less. As usual, those who say we must be careful
not to offend non-Christians at Christmastime are the ones who object
to Christmas—not those whom they falsely claim to represent.
Like Baldwin, Sandra Byrne, principal of an elementary
school in Delray Beach, Florida, has a need to show how inclusive she
is. That’s why she has no Christmas tree, nativity scene or menorah in
her office. Instead, her spot is adorned with teddy bears wearing
sweaters. Moreover, only “winter parties” and “winter celebrations”
are tolerated. “We’re very careful about this,” she says. No doubt she
Here’s another example of anti-Christmas fever. In a
Detroit suburban school district, they’ve instituted a quota system on
religious songs that can be sung at school concerts. That’s right,
only 30 percent of the songs at Howell Public Schools can be
religious. It’s not certain whether the choir director will be fined
or imprisoned if a multicultural monitor finds that 31 percent of the
songs are religious. We recommend incarceration.
After Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998, Castro
made a good-faith gesture by allowing Cubans to celebrate Christmas
again. Maybe we should hire Fidel to talk to these madmen.
William A. Donahue is the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.