Bah! Humbug! Universal theme, new twists
You know it’s Christmastime because somebody’s offended about something. Reading about the protestations of people who cringe at the thought of a creche or a Nativity scene perched on a government site is nothing new. Before the birth of the ACLU, and long before the founding of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in the 1970s, people rejected God and religious insinuations.
They damned the living, and actually thought they themselves had the power to do so.
Come the latter-day critics who want to yank books off school shelves because an author used the “N word” or the “Virgin Mary” is depicted alongside the son of “God” and three “Wise Men” on the very night Christ was born.
The “N word,” like other derogatory ethnic and religious characterizations, has a long and storied American history. Indeed, literature tells us that not only did Mark Twain employ the slur to tell the 19th century tale of Huck Finn, but also Harper Lee did so in her 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Those books should always be available to public schoolchildren, and so should “Twelve Years a Slave” and other similarly semi-autobiographical truth tellers.
That school officials in Accomack County, Maryland, even considered banning Huck and “Mockingbird” because of the slurs is ignorant, especially when you read why the board reversed the banning decision.
“These novels are treasures of American literature and inspirational, timeless stories of conscience and bravery,” said school board Chairman Ronnie Holden, NBC reported. “We agree that some of the language used is offensive and hurtful. Fortunately, Accomack County’s excellent teachers and media center specialists have a wonderful talent for conveying the bigger meanings and messages of literature.”
Scratch the entire first sentence. It’s irrelevant. So are the comments about talented teachers and media center specialists. If they were as talented as Chairman Holden wants us to believe, the children and their parents would have been prepared for the “offensive and hurtful” language that is so pervasive in those American treasures.
Something is always hurtful and offensive to someone somewhere.
Besides, youngsters in public school use that language and worse every day on social media. Have you parents and guardians even seen the mean and nasty things threaded in your children’s social media sites?
Kids don’t just bully one another, they use slurs when referring to each other. They describe kids according to their appearance and, like adults, often hide behind online anonymity.
Now, conservatives will tell you some of the twists and turns being made today are connected to prayer being nixed in America’s public schools. There probably is a connection, but one not written in stone. So let’s just agree that while the 1962 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against school prayer was a game-changer, what followed a decade later remains in play.
It is the misconception of religious liberty and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that still has folks up in arms. It was another Supreme Court ruling in 1963 that struck down schoolsponsored Bible reading in public schools. Lord help us since then.
The generations of youths who have attended prayerless schools are the very parents and youths who have been trying to wipe not just organized religion off the map but practically any semblance of spirituality not of their own liking and making.
They willingly accept and hail vampires and other undead creatures trying to rule the world. Yet they cannot conceive, no pun intended, of God bestowing blessings.
For example, consider the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol.” We’ve seen it on the big screen in black and white, on the TV screen in color and with Mr. Magoo and the Muppets as the headliners. Yet two parents complain about one line — four little words — and the folks who run Centerville Elementary School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, shiver like naked PC doves and cancel the annual Christmas staple.
Their excuses? No. 1, the words “God bless us, everyone” offended two parents, and No. 2, rehearsals were taking away from class time.
Well, God forbid that a snowstorm or act of Mother Nature cause a loss of class time. Oh, that’s right, there is no God. Can’t give Mother Nature credit.
So it’s OK to close schools to recognize the birth of Jesus, but it’s not OK to recognize the birth of Jesus inside the schoolhouse.
Are we all supposed to fall in line with such thinking, as if “Twilight” is the here and now? Shouldn’t we awaken them to the fact that the “Twilight” sagas are pure fiction?
Clearly, the light-switch needs flipping because, you know what, Dickens did not write a book titled Christmas Carol.” His surreal book has an entirely different meaning and article of speech.
So get over it, people.
All in the chorus now: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”