Religious battle rages over “Charlie Brown Christmas”
Bible quote by Linus was posted on door of nurse’s o∞ce
killeen, texas» In the classic holiday TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the main Peanuts character, saddened by the over-commercialization of Dec. 25, decides to direct a play.
But when his classmates push him to modernize the production and mock his sparse Christmas tree, Charlie Brown, exasperated, shouts: “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”
Linus, his thumb-sucking and blanket-toting best friend, speaks up.
“Sure, Charlie Brown,” he says. “I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”
Then the character recites a lengthy Bible passage, from the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, when angels descend upon the flock-tending shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord,” Linus says. “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
It is that quote, extracted from the special’s most overtly Christian scene, that has thrust a Texas middle school nurse’s aid, the school district she works for and the state attorney general into a very A Bible quote by Linus, right, from the Peanuts television special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has thrust a Texas middle school into a very public — and unseasonably bitter — debate over “religious liberty.” CBS public — and unseasonably bitter — debate over what “religious liberty” means inside the walls of the state’s public schools.
The battle began last week, when Dedra Shannon, a nurse’s aid at Patterson Middle School in Killeen, scrawled that Linus quote on a 6-foot tall poster, added a cutout of the character and the famously sparse Christmas tree, and taped it to the nurse’s office door.
On Dec. 7, the principal asked Shannon to remove the Linus quote or take down the poster altogether.
On Dec. 8, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that mandate was “an attack on religious liberty.”
In the days that followed, Shannon retained legal counsel from Texas Values, a nonprofit law firm that stands for “biblical, JudeoChristian values” and promotes “faith, family and freedom in Texas,” according to its website. Texas Values sent a letter to the board of the Killeen Independent School District school Monday, which the attorney general followed with his own letter Tuesday, the day the board planned to discuss the ordeal.
On Thursday a Texas judge ordered the district to restore the decoration with an added line calling it “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas message.”