Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Freedom of Religion Watch Update


Christmas carols banned, but Hanukkah songs OK District axes 'dogmatic religious statements,' yet suggesting Jewish themes more cultural

Glendale, WIS - Religious-liberty attorneys have contacted a Wisconsin school district that consistently forbids Christian Christmas carols from being sung in music programs but finds nothing wrong with Hanukkah songs. According to law firm Liberty Counsel, the Glendale-River Hills School District of Glendale, Wis., has a written policy saying songs with "dogmatic religious statements" are strictly forbidden.

HOLIDAY BLUES Student protests university's 'Holiday tree'Name changed because 'Christmas … creates a problem of exclusion'

Auburn University, GA - A leader at Auburn University is calling on her student government to reclaim a recently dubbed "Holiday tree" as a Christmas tree. The Alabama school's Student Government Association has lit a Christmas tree at the beginning of December for the past 25 years, but this year, a press release announced the lighting of a "Holiday tree" last Thursday.

Christmas in America becomes battlegroundAs holiday traditions draw national controversy, believers, pagans grapple over Jesus' inclusion

Every December, a call goes out from the nation's pulpits to "put Christ back into Christmas," but growing numbers of Americans – including fundamentalist Christians – are claiming Jesus Christ had nothing to do with the holiday, and news items from across the country this week indicate that the U.S. has become the new battleground for Christmas.

Complaint fells school's "giving tree"

Bellevue, WA - Medina Elementary School officials took down a Christmas-themed ``giving tree'' Monday after a parent complained about its religious connotations. Chris Metzger, office manager at Medina, said the spiral, lighted Christmas tree with a star on top was up for about a week before it was removed. The tree had mittens on it with a different gift idea attached to each. The idea was for students to take a mitten, get the gift listed, wrap it up and return it to school along with the mitten. Organized by students in the Community Kids program, presents from the giving tree are going to be given to students at Lake Hills Elementary School, Metzger said. After the tree was taken down, the mittens were taped to a counter in the main office so the gift-giving could continue.

Victory for the Nativity Display; Management Company Backs Down

ANN ARBOR, MI. – After being threatened with fines from their management company if they did not remove a nativity scene from their front lawn, the Samona family of Novi, Michigan, has been informed that the demand to remove the nativity has been withdrawn. Baby Jesus will sleep in peace in the front yard of a Novi family after all. In the face of a deluge of support for the Samona family on Web sites and reaction from people throughout Metro Detroit, the United States and abroad, the homeowners association that sought to ban the nativity scene backed off.

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Cross-posted: Bosun also at MSN

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