By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFR) an atheist group dedicating to eliminating Christianity from the public square, demanded that an elementary school stop playing Handel’s Messiah Hallelujah chorus. The Messiah has been considered one of the greatest symphonies of all time since it’s smash debut in Dublin in 1742. However, the bullies at FFRF aren’t having it. They sent a letter to the administration of the Linden Elementary school in Oak Ridge Tennessee:
“While this music may be beautiful and even inspirational for Christians, it is not acceptable for broadcasting to the entire student body at Linden Elementary,” Aleta Ledendecker wrote in a letter to the school district that was obtained by the Oak Ridger.
The aggrieved atheist group said they were acting on behalf of two parents who had children enrolled in the school.
“In consideration of all the possible choices of music, this piece with its distinctly religious content can be interpreted as proselytizing,” Ledendecker wrote.
“This is the litmus test I use: if I were a Christian parent walking in the school, and I heard over the PA system during morning announcements music with the words ‘Praise Allah. Allah is king on high. Bow down to Allah,’ how would I feel as a Christian parent with that being broadcast to all the children in the schools,” Ledendecker told the Oak Ridger.
The school district told the Todd Starnes Show that a teacher had a good reason for playing a 20 second excerpt from Handel’s Messiah.
FFRF has a long history of interfering with the First Amendment. Ohio news channel WTOV is reported that students at a recent graduation refused an order to drop the Lord’s Prayer from their commencement ceremony.
Singing the Lord’s Prayer, or Our Father, has been a 70-year tradition at East Liverpool High School in East Liverpool, Ohio. This year the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, which advocates for separation of church and state, told East Liverpool administrators they needed to stop their choir from singing the Lord’s Prayer at graduation.
The school removed the song from last Sunday’s program. School board president Larry Walton told WTOV that it was a matter of economics. “We said ‘okay, we just won’t do it anymore.’ It was a decision made because we don’t have a lot of money and we’d rather hire teachers than pay lawyers.”
However, on the day of the commencement, students lead their own prayer. Valedictorian Jonathan Montgomery took the stage and led the entire class of graduates in reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
Walton made the mistake of many other school officials in thinking that it’s not worth the trouble to defend their faith. All that does is encourage more bullying from FFRF. The Linden School, by standing up to the bully, sent a message to students that character counts.