Liberty Alerts, Liberty Counsel
Nashville, TN – Today Liberty Counsel sent a memo to school superintendents in Tennessee, setting the record straight on a prior letter sent from the state’s ACLU. The ACLU suggests that any Christmas concert, decoration, or party is a religious activity prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU letter leaves the wrong impression with school administrators and omits key solutions to common concerns about public school Christmas activities.
Liberty Counsel’s memo points out that public schools can display religious holiday symbols, so long as the religious symbols are accompanied by secular symbols. A Nativity is permissible, so long as it is accompanied by other symbols of the holiday, such as Santa Claus or the Christmas tree. The constitutional principle regarding holiday music, art, drama, or literature in public school is simple – mix the secular and the sacred. “Silent Night” is permissible in a musical presentation, so long as secular songs are also included, like “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Rasmussen released a poll yesterday stating that 92 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. It is just common sense that educators teaching about our culture, history, and traditions would focus more on a holiday that 9 out of 10 students celebrate. The ACLU erroneously tries to make the case that schools should only allow secular Christmas themes, such as Santa Claus, and cannot feature anything about the historical origin of Christmas. The ACLU is wrong. Justice Robert Jackson, writing a concurring opinion for the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote that “[m]usic without sacred music, architecture minus the Cathedral, or painting without the Scriptural themes would be eccentric and incomplete, even from a secular view.”
Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Celebrating Christmas is constitutional. The Supreme Court has never sought to cleanse the public schools or the public square of Christmas. It makes no sense to pretend like our state and national holiday known as ‘Christmas’ does not exist.”
Used with permission.