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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:39 AM
Original message
Is a public scthool choir singing Xmas carols in a public park a violation of church and state?...
I'm asking because this is what I saw last night. I enjoyed it but then I got to wondering.
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Beelzebud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. No.
I don't see how having kids sing christmas carols is establishing a state religion.

I say this as an atheist.
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. No
as long as any group can sing any song in the park.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Isn't the question about the public school choir?
I would say the public park isn't the real issue - as long as other groups are allowed to sing/perform there as well.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. I am not a lawyer just an average citizen.
I would think it would depend on weather there was a government entity sponsoring the event or in some manner allowing one group access that another doesn't have. If Christians can do this, will Muslims, Jews or maybe Pagans be allowed to do something similar?
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. If the songs are only Christian songs I would say yes.
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 10:50 AM by goddess40
but if they include other cultures they can market it as a learning experience.

Edit: it also depends on how the songs were taught to the students. If they are taught as the absolute truth and without a disclaimer that certain songs represent one religion and other have different beliefs then I would say they could have trouble if someone wants to pursue it.
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Ignis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. Good point.
There's a world of difference between singing "Generic Winter Holiday" songs that relate to snow, Santa, etc., and singing about how "Our Lord and Savior is Born."

Hopefully everyone can see the difference between the bultural and religious elements above.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
5. no of course not.


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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
7. no. and i love, all i want for christmas are my two front teeth. n/t
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
8. Is a public school choir singing hymns a violation of church and state?
The bible tells me no, but the ACLU may have a different take on it.

"Glory to the Newborn King" "Christ our savior is born"

"Jingle Bells"

very different. As a former teacher, we were really careful about our music selections.
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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. Of course not.
They can do whatever they want.
Being in the choir is not mandatory. Members could easily leave if they don't like singing the selections.

Also, singing a Christmas song doesn't mean you advocate Christianity.

Case in point : I despise all religion and would love to see it banished from the earth, yet I sing along with all the great Christmas songs on the radio - because they are really great songs!
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. You mean if they won't submit to singing Christian songs
then they must be deprived of taking Chorus? Is that what you mean? You think that is Constitutional...How about if I said to you that you must believe in Christ or leave the country? Isn't that pretty much the same thing? Living in the USA is a as much a privilege as taking Chorus...Don't like it get out....
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CT_Progressive Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Yes, they don't have to be in the chorus.
They have no "right" to be in the chorus. This is an optional thing. If this particular chorus is going to sing christmas songs at christmas time, well, you either stay and sing, or you quit.

You do not have the right to dictate what the chorus can or can't sing. The chorus is protected by the 1st Amendment to be able to sing whatever they want.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
10. My daughter's chorus and choir sing Christmas songs
They also sing songs from other cultures and religions. We have a pretty diverse town and the Chorus director is awesome.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating our cultures and traditions, the world would be pretty sterile without them.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
11. Not just no, but FUCK NO!
:argh:
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
12. Oh for fuck's sake
No. Xmas is just as much about culture as it is religion, despite what the fundy gasbags think.
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ramapo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. You said it
This is friggin' music for gosh darn sake. Sometimes the church/state argument is taken to an absurd degree.
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #14
22. Well, to be fair
I never really understood the religion/culture differentiation until I met an atheist from a Muslim country.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
13. As long as they're not proselytizing, no.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
15. Only if nonChristian children are forced against their wishes to participate.
Oy. No wonder they think there's a war on Christmas.

I'm gonna declare a War on Scrooges. And I'm not even officially Christian.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
16. No. And let's not feed the image of liberals as Grinches.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
17. What's your opinion? You are alloowed to think for yourself, you know. nt
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Hangingon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
18. No
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tuckessee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
19. Stop wondering & enjoy. n/t
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Racecar60 Donating Member (28 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
20. as much as I for the seperation,
NO. I doubt the they are being forced to be there and sing. I think the kids are just having a good time entertaining a crowd with good music.
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
21. Pat Robertson and his ilk would have you believe it's against the law....but it's NOT.
Kid's can bring Bibles...or Korans or other scripture to school too.

They can pray at their desks they can talk about their beliefs at school.

Amazing isn't it?
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gatorboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
23. Is this just before you threw a pitcher of ice water on them?
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 11:35 AM by gatorboy
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
24. No. Absolutely not a violation of church and state.
There has to be a common-sense line somewhere, and schoolkids singing in the park is definitely well beyond common-sense.

I have often said this before, but the Bushies always werap their lies around a grain of truth, to make them easy for their own gullible followers and "disintersted obeservers" to swallow.

Well, overzealous shit like this (which, if a Bushie was taking one of the "principles" to the Nth degree like this) is the grain of truth that the Bushies wrap their whole War on Christams around.

It gives them the plausible deniability they need to carry on and spray their squid's ink into the waters of our National Dialogue. Hell, our National Dialogue is more squid's ink that water, metaphorically speaking.

So let me say again, in my opinion the answer to this question is a resounding NO, public school kids singing ANY kind of holiday-appropriate religious songs in a public park is NOT a violation of the seperation of church and state.

I am heartened to see that so many DUers here agree with me, and I also find it ironic as well as a stark contrast of our side (which clearly isn't perfect or totally pure, either, far from it) vs. Loyal and Gullible Bushies that if public school Muslim kids had been singing Ramadan songs is a public park, the outrage would be extreme from the Bushie side (from a different angle of National Security or Liberal Baiting or some other nonsense, any other angle to keep them from examining their own hypocrisy regarding what they believe should be lowered barriers seperating Church and State...for THEIR religion and theirs only, of course, all other need not apply).

Please don't take this personally, I am not attacking you. I don't even know if you support something like banning these kids from singing in the park based on chruch/satte seperation, just that you are considering the position.
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
25. Why Did You Get To Wondering? Are You Truly That Petty?
I don't know. But I for one couldn't imagine hearing kids singing christmas carols in a park, and then letting my mind slip into a serious analytical inner inquiry as to whether or not it was a violation of church and state. Honestly, the thought of the concept comes off as quite petty and obsessive.
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
26. My kid's in the school choir. They sing Xmas carols at school and in public.
I'm fine with it--it's mostly secular stuff. If they were laying on nothin' but "Baby Jesus is our Savior" real thick, that'd be different.

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
27. No, speaking as a choral singer, if you banish all religious music from the
choral repertoire, you're not left with much.

When I lived in Portland, I sang in a group that was associated with Portland State University. We sang at the annual holiday party, and our program would be something like this: a Christian carol (like "Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming"), a Chankuah song ("Ma'ov Tsur"), a Kwanzaa song (a Sweet Honey in the Rock song about the seven principles), and a secular carol (one year we did a calypso arrangement of "Jingle Bells").

The group included a wide variety of people, including some whom I knew to be either Jewish or Muslim.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
28. Post. Run. Don't offer one's own opinion.
The mating behavior of the aquifer chicken?
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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. Sorry. Got busy. Actually thought this thread died....
I thought a lot about this. I read the posts. And I think this is obviously a case of a state funded academic institution teaching young people faith-based songs. Therefore it is illegal and violates the laws of separation of church and state. Now I know these songs are sung thousands of times in schools across the country this time of year and they bring lots of people together and yes, I enjoyed the singing and could not imagine the holiday without them... but do these religious songs a free pass in the name of tradition?
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Neurotica Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
30. I can understand why someone might wonder
A lot of people really don't know what's allowable and what is not. I work on these types of public policy issues and in some situations there is a very fine line.

And sometimes, school administrators are so sensitive to potential concerns that they decide to totally eliminate sacred music from their concerts. And sometimes in these situations, a community member might complain and get the ACLJ involved and then this becomes fodder for the supposed "war on Christmas." (In fact, one of our local right-wing bloggers is in the process of complaining about the lack of Christmas carols in her school -- I don't know if this is true or not -- and is threatening to call the ACLJ.) Then the media echo chamber picks up on some of these stories and blows them out of proportion.

When you combine all of elements, it's easy to see why someone might wonder.

Someone else posted a thread in GD about a church-state separation quiz. It's a great quiz although I don't remember it addressing this particular issue.

The Freedom Forum has published a book called "The First Amendment in Schools" (the author is Charles Haynes). I haven't seen this book but I have a pamphlet that they produced on the same topic -- a good guide.
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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. My mom teaches public school and is faced with complex ethical decisions
of this nature all the time.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
32. No. n/t
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
34. THREE AND A HALF HOURS and no response or opinion from the OP.
Curious.
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zorahopkins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
37. Absolutely
A public school choir singing hymns (that's what xmas carols are!) is definitely a violation of church and state.
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