Christmas? Bah, humbug, declare school board Scrooges and Hawaiian Grinch  


Christmas may seem months away, however discount giants are already putting out wreaths and now we’re hearing the annual complaints of Yuletide political correctness. In Massachusetts a few weeks ago, the parents of the Norwood school district voted overwhelmingly – 3 to 1 – to change the name of “winter recess” to once again include “Christmas,” the Boston Globe reports. That didn’t faze those in power – who sniffed that they didn’t like voters’ “tone.”

Since the referendum was non-binding, the school board opted to ignore 76 percent of voters. It’s just that kind of arrogance that actor Kirk Cameron is taking to task this fall with a new movie “that aims to deflate arguments regularly made against Christmas, while simultaneously pushing back against atheist activists’ annual attacks on the holiday,” reports Billy Hallowell, writing for the Blaze.

“In ‘Saving Christmas,’ Cameron plans to tackle some of the most controversial and disputed issues surrounding the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday.

“And while he has no idea exactly how atheists will respond to the feature film, which is slated to open November 14 in theaters across America, he predicts they likely won’t be too elated with its storyline.

After all, modern day Scrooges have little sense of humor. A Los Angeles-area retirement center provoked uproar when employees tossed out a Christmas tree, menorahs and anything else festive, declaring them to be prohibited religious symbols.

The nursing home ban provoked a nationwide outcry on Twitter and Facebook as well as denunciations from politicians and civil rights activists. Two dozen 80-year-old residents gathered in the lobby of The Willows retirement center with a hand-lettered sign pleading “please save our tree.” In the glare of TV cameras, the octogenarians asked the nurses to quit behaving like the Grinch.

“We’re all angry. We want that tree,” Fern Scheel told the New York Daily News. She has lived at the complex for nearly two years. “Where’s our freedom? This is ridiculous.”

Jewish resident Frances Schaeffer said she couldn’t understand the nursing home’s attitude. “This tree is a symbol of reverence that we can all enjoy regardless of our religious beliefs,” she said.

Max Greenis who had lived at the complex for a year with his wife, Bonnie, told Beliefnet he was considering withholding his rent in protest.  “I’ve got grandkids and they come here and now they’ll ask, `Grandpa, where’s the Christmas tree?’ Then I’ll have to explain that someone said we couldn’t have one. What kind of message is that sending to the kids?”

Embarrassed, the owners of the retirement complex, the multi-state JB Partners Group Inc., issued a terse statement to the press that the tree’s removal was the result of “a miscommunication,” according to the Los Angeles Daily News newspaper. The tree was then restored.

About that same time, an elementary school banned children from the audience of its Christmas show — put on by children — and a Hawaiian atheist was gleeful that he had blocked public school children from raising $30,000 for a Christian charity.

In Yorkshire, England, parents were aghast when the local school banned children from the audience during its annual Christmas pageant, according to the Daily Mail. In a letter to parents, Eldwick Primary School’s head teacher Janice Kershaw decreed that children and babies “will not be allowed in the concert because any background noise could make it difficult to hear the performers.”

As a result, siblings were barred from watching each other perform traditional holiday music and skits. That infuriated mom Melanie Whitehead – who called it ridiculous that little sister Scarlett Whitehead and brother Samuel would not get to watch big brother Miles sing carols with his class. She branded the school “anti-children.”

“It all just doesn’t seem very Christmassy does it?” asked the mom. “Just seems a bit mean. People just want to enjoy Christmas. There is a line you draw and sometimes a teacher or a school thinks they are in charge completely. Children should be allowed in and if they make a noise, the parent can take them out or a teacher can then say take him out. You can’t just take the decision out of their hands, no kids in case they make any noise. Its makes no sense to me.”

Meanwhile in Hawaii, a militant atheist was expressing Grinch-like glee after he successfully blocked the local high school from holding a Christmas benefit expected to raise $30,000.

“Moanalua High School students in the award-winning orchestra have proudly raised $200,000 over the last 6 years through their annual holiday concert,” reported the Hawaii Reporter.

“These students, who have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York three times, don’t keep the money to buy new instruments, travel abroad or help their school. Instead, they send $30,000 they raise every year overseas to a well-known charity, Mercy Ships, which is currently housing American doctors in Africa on a medical mission. These doctors help the poorest of residents – some who have never seen a doctor – with urgent medical and dental needs.

“It is the students’ gift to the world during the holidays and their chance to make difference for others in need.”

However, the concert was cancelled and atheist Mitch Kahle, founder of Hawaii Residents for Separation of Church and State, proudly took credit.

“The seventh annual fundraiser was set for this weekend, and students have been practicing for months to ensure their performance was perfect,” said the Reporter. However Kahle, “who has shown up to protest city hall Christmas tree lighting ceremonies as well as city council hearings and legislative events where there is prayer, has turned up as their Christmas Grinch and put a stop to the kids’ best-laid plans just hours before the show.”