In Tuscumbia, Alabama (population 8,734), the children in the local elementary school will be singing "Silent Night" as part of their Christmas program. That is too much for Lynn and his radical leftist gang. They are threatening the school district with a lawsuit in order to censor the song.
A local news station quoted Lynn as saying, "I hope that cooler heads prevail and people understand that this is a significant constitutional issue and they don't go along with the idea of continuing the plans to sing this hymn as part of what should be a secular public school event."
Obviously Lynn's head is so cool his brain is frozen. Let me get this straight: With over 312 million people in America, the fact that a tiny school in a tiny town will have a few children singing a traditional Christmas carol is, according to Lynn, "a significant constitutional issue"?
Really, Barry? I realize you need to stir things up to get your supporters behind you, but this is what you came up with?
Lynn fancies himself a Constitutional scholar. But if that were true he'd already be aware that the Supreme Court ASSUMES that public school children are singing religious Christmas carols -- they even use the word "hymns" to describe what goes on in school concerts.
In the 1984 Supreme Court case of Lynch v. Donnelly, involving the constitutionality of a city’s display of a Nativity scene, the Court ruled that the display was constitutional. In its ruling, the Court indicated that it assumed public schools were having students sing what it called "Christmas hymns and carols":
"To forbid the use of this one passive symbol -- the creche -- at the very time people are taking note of the season with Christmas hymns and carols in public schools and other public places, and while the Congress and legislatures open session with prayers by paid chaplains, would be a stilted overreaction contrary to our history and to our holdings." (465 US 686)
The local TV news station also reported that the folks at Americans United for Separation of Church and State told them that "this is the only public school they know of where a religious message is being relayed in an elementary school play. And they said that's why they've targeted this school. "
Barry and his cronies need to get out more. If this is the only school they know of that sings traditional Christmas carols, they truly are not in touch with the American people.
(Eric Buehrer is the president of Gateways to Better Education and an occasional blogger at the BreakPoint Blog.)