Daily Dispatches
A scene from
Associated Press/Warner Bros.
A scene from "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," by Dr. Seuss.

The public school Grinch


Some public school students are facing the wrath of this holiday season’s Grinch: the American Humanist Association (AHA). The AHA doesn’t want your kids giving Christmas presents to poor children through Christian charities or praying with a teacher before school. And they’ll sue your kids’ school to make sure they don’t.

Earlier this month, the organization sent letters threatening lawsuits to two public charter schools with students participating in Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse that sends shoe boxes filled with toys, hygiene products, and school supplies to needy children worldwide. AHA claimed the schools were violating the separation of church and state because a Bible tract is included in the gift. The two schools, located in South Carolina and Colorado, immediately pulled out of the program. However, more than 100 students, parents, and community members rallied in front of SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch, Colo., to hold the drive anyway. They collected hundreds of filled boxes as students waved unapologetic signs, such as, “Don’t take toys from kids,” and, “Humanists hate kids!”

On Nov. 20, AHA filed a complaint against a high school teacher in Missouri, claiming she made “multiple constitutional violations” because she prayed with students at voluntary prayer meeting held before school weekly in her classroom. In addition, the organization disapproved of the teacher’s personal reading material on her desk: “One book’s title, God’s Game Plan, faces outward for all of the students to see. The publisher, which is also displayed to the class, is ‘Fellowship of Christian Athletes.’ There is an image of the Christian cross on the book as well.”

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Parents, students, and school officials have flooded the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) with requests for legal advice on public schools’ involvement in Christmas activities, including singing religious songs at Christmas concerts. In response, ADF posted two memos on its website: “Constitutional Rights of Students, Teachers, and Public Schools to Seasonal Religious Expression” and “Christmas and Public Schools Myth/Fact Sheet.” ADF also sent a letter to 13,000 school districts across the nation, explaining the legal precedent for including religious expression at Christmas.

 “Schools shouldn’t have to think twice about whether they can celebrate Christmas,”said Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “School districts can and should allow religious Christmas carols to be part of their school productions, and they can lawfully help impoverished children through community service projects such as Operation Christmas Child.”

The American Humanist Association, founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., boasts 175 chapters across America with one goal: “We strive to bring about a progressive society where being good without a god is an accepted way to live life.” This worldview presumes man is inherently “good.” But according to the Bible in Romans 3:10, “There is no one righteous, not even one,” and in Luke 18:19, “No one is good – except God alone”.

So why are the humanists picking on Christmas? Perhaps it’s because Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, who came because we are not “good” at all, but rather in need of a savior.

Sarah Padbury
Sarah Padbury

Sarah is a writer, editor, and adoption advocate. She is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute's mid-career course. Sarah and her husband live with their six teenagers in Castle Rock, Colo.


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