Very churchy school christmas program - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 67 Old 12-18-2004, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I was in K, we all wore antlers and little red glitter noses and sang Rudolph. When I was in 2nd grade we had a skit and recited "Twas the night before Christmas". When I was in 3rd grade we visited stationed soldiers and danced with them, we also sang "Jingle Bell Rock."

I expected something of the same when I went to my kindergardeners christmas program. However, the only non-biblical song out of the whole thing was a song about snowpants, sang by the kindergardeners. The program consisted of songs like "Bethleham", "Glory to the New Born King", and "Silent Night", with children dressed as wisemen, asking "Where is the star that will lead us to our savier?" There was basically a sermon lead by children. I was very surpised and uncomfortable. No where in the program was any mention of a reindeer or Santa Clause. It was basically a program that would have been held by a church, which I was not expecting. We are not Christian. We honor Christianity as something that other's believe. But Christmas to us is about being with loved ones, celebrating the change of winter, helping other's through charity, and the fun of make-believe. I was very offended.

We have decided that if we are still at this school next year, DS will not participate in the program. That makes me very sad. However, we feel that if we wanted to attend that sort of program, we would gladly go to a church.

Am I out of line by feeling this violates the seperate of church and school? I want to write to the director, but my DH feels that I would be ostricising our son, since we are new here. I just dont know what to think. Any opinions?
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#2 of 67 Old 12-18-2004, 11:36 PM
 
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Was this a PUBLIC school???!!! You didn't say, but you did use the word directer so maybe it wasn't. I taught in public schools for 8 years (6 in K) and not only would I not feel comfortable leading children in such religious songs, I wouldn't be allowed. We did often introduce the stories behind Christmas and Hanukah and any other traditions I could get my hands on (Posadas is one, though it is Christmas related obviously), but we didn't teach them as truths just explanations. It was a fine line we skated, but I think we did it well. I know other K teachers who wouldn't even bring up the holidays in school feeling it was inappropriate. I respected that though I didn't do it. But to have such a religious program is shocking to me unless this was a Christian school, which it doesn't sound like. Man, good luck. I would want to mention something to the director/principal as well. Maybe start by asking in a low-key way if winter programs are typically so biblically based. Then proceed from that info.
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#3 of 67 Old 12-18-2004, 11:44 PM
 
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Gah! You too? I went to my birth-son's school Christmas concert. (brief pause for mommy brag--he was in the all school Winter Honors Choir this year!) They did have more than 1 secular song, but well over half the songs were Christian Christmas carols. It doesn't bother me on a personal level as we ARE Christian, but I still felt it was very wrong for this to be taking place in a public school. It's just not fair at all to the other kids who may not share our beliefs. That's why we have that law regarding seperation of church and state and all.............

I sooooooooooo want to complain, but I run into 2 problems. 1.) he is "just" my birth son, my mom has legal custody, and she's totally fine with this and 2.) my mother is a teacher there! So the odds of me being taken seriously are slim to none. My mom was actually quite proud to inform me "we have more religion here than most churches!" Um, yeah, that's NOT a good thing.........
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#4 of 67 Old 12-18-2004, 11:48 PM
 
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Between the party you posted about yesterday, and this today, I'm under the impression that:

a. You live in a VERY Christian area, where people don't realize that there are religions other than Christianity.


or



b. You're coming up with Christmas = Christian situations and posting them here to see how we'd respond.




If that happened in a public school in the USA, I'd have a serious issue with it. I'd complain to the people in charge, up to the school board, and even alert the ACLU (I tend to go to extremes like that over certain things). If that kind of thing seemed common, I'd pull my son out and homeschool, or move to a less Christian area.
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#5 of 67 Old 12-18-2004, 11:49 PM
 
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I've noticed a definate Christian backlash against secularism in the last 38 years I've been around.

Yup. Things have changed.

Unfortunately.



It'll soon be getting to the "right" kind of christianity.

We might, just might, be getting back to burnings at the stake, too. (But, I know that it is a far cry from O, little town of bethlehem to that. )
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#6 of 67 Old 12-18-2004, 11:50 PM
 
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Yikes, that's not a good thing.

I remember having "winter" programs at school that more or less encompassed the more cultural (i.e., not religious) aspects of the various goings on in and around the end of the year. I don't remember ever singing a single song or doing any skit that expressed any of the religious stuff.

Has no place in a public school, if you ask me. Nor in any school that isn't expressly a Christian education environment.
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#7 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UUCCMom
Was this a PUBLIC school???!!! You didn't say, but you did use the word directer so maybe it wasn't. I taught in public schools for 8 years (6 in K) and not only would I not feel comfortable leading children in such religious songs, I wouldn't be allowed. We did often introduce the stories behind Christmas and Hanukah and any other traditions I could get my hands on (Posadas is one, though it is Christmas related obviously), but we didn't teach them as truths just explanations. It was a fine line we skated, but I think we did it well. I know other K teachers who wouldn't even bring up the holidays in school feeling it was inappropriate. I respected that though I didn't do it. But to have such a religious program is shocking to me unless this was a Christian school, which it doesn't sound like. Man, good luck. I would want to mention something to the director/principal as well. Maybe start by asking in a low-key way if winter programs are typically so biblically based. Then proceed from that info.
Yes, this is my son's public school. There are actually no private schools in this area.
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#8 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 12:26 AM
 
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That totally unacceptable, and I would be on the warpath. There must be other parents at your school who feel the same way. I disagree w/ your dh about your ds being ostracized, and even so I think it is more important to teach him - thru your actions - how to take on institutions and fight when something is wrong.
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#9 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi
Between the party you posted about yesterday, and this today, I'm under the impression that:

a. You live in a VERY Christian area, where people don't realize that there are religions other than Christianity.


or



b. You're coming up with Christmas = Christian situations and posting them here to see how we'd respond.




If that happened in a public school in the USA, I'd have a serious issue with it. I'd complain to the people in charge, up to the school board, and even alert the ACLU (I tend to go to extremes like that over certain things). If that kind of thing seemed common, I'd pull my son out and homeschool, or move to a less Christian area.
I do have an explanation for the moms group I posted about earlier, although I am still bothered by it. The moms group is actually a Christian group. Although it doesn't seem very Christianity, it is the only Moms group in the county, within a couple hours actually. I do wish I had gotten a heads up that there would be a sermon at the party... all I had been told was that we were having a cookie swap and a pizza party.

And no, LOL, I am not coming up with these situations to see how you all will react. trust me, if I want to see a reaction, I will post something much more contraversial. <sp?> I am very shocked by this... there is no excuse or reason as this is a public school. By director, I meant director of the program.
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#10 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UUCCMom
Was this a PUBLIC school???!!! You didn't say, but you did use the word directer so maybe it wasn't. I taught in public schools for 8 years (6 in K) and not only would I not feel comfortable leading children in such religious songs, I wouldn't be allowed. We did often introduce the stories behind Christmas and Hanukah and any other traditions I could get my hands on (Posadas is one, though it is Christmas related obviously), but we didn't teach them as truths just explanations. It was a fine line we skated, but I think we did it well. I know other K teachers who wouldn't even bring up the holidays in school feeling it was inappropriate. I respected that though I didn't do it. But to have such a religious program is shocking to me unless this was a Christian school, which it doesn't sound like. Man, good luck. I would want to mention something to the director/principal as well. Maybe start by asking in a low-key way if winter programs are typically so biblically based. Then proceed from that info.
Hanukah wasn't even mentioned! I'm not very familiar with that celebration, but isn't it going on at the same time as Christmas? Something about the 10 days of hanukah comes to mind... I know that I am a minority, but aren't there almost or as many people that celebrate Hanukah as Christmas?
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#11 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 01:28 AM
 
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I'm sorry you have to deal with all that. I'd lose my mind, living in a place like that!

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#12 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 01:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MPJJJ
Hanukah wasn't even mentioned! I'm not very familiar with that celebration, but isn't it going on at the same time as Christmas? Something about the 10 days of hanukah comes to mind... I know that I am a minority, but aren't there almost or as many people that celebrate Hanukah as Christmas?
ok, every way that i try to say this it comes off really harsh. but, was this a serious post?
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#13 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 02:37 AM
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Umm, ok, not to sound mean or pick a fight, everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, so here is mine........ .... CHRISTmas...........?????? And there are complaints about it being too church oriented? I don"t get it? CHRISTmas was not created for Santa, or Rudolph, or the grinch. I totally respect the choice to worship who we want. But it's kind of like saying that church is to Jesus-y! Christmas was not originated from Santa and all the other stuff that goes along with it. Others have just made it into their "own" thing, and that is fine, but why force others to NOT celebrate WHY it was TRUELY created? Once again CHRISTmas....


Ok, go ahead flame me.
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#14 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 02:40 AM
 
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Please refer to MPJJJ's other thread (about the Christmas party), Summiebee. We've been over this already.
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#15 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 02:49 AM
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I would say if you are going to a Christmas Party or Christmas Program to expect the Birth of Jesus to be mentioned, if it's a Snow party, WInter Celebration or whatever it probably will not and should not for those who do not celebrate His birth. Like I said we are all entitled to our own opinions and who we choose to worship and what religion we practice.
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#16 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:00 AM
 
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I agree with summiebee........I don't mean it in a way to force religion on anyone, but don't expect to reap the benefits of CHRISTMAS and not hear a little God talk.......its why the holiday was invented, and no matter how many people don't want to believe in it, it's still there.

I'm a Christian......a very liberal one, but still a Christian. I personally don't like how preachy some of the seasonal stuff can get, either. But I chose to participate in the holiday, and I think it would be unrealistic of me to not expect some talk of HOW the holiday came to be. When we celebrate MLK day, we talk about MLK. When we celebrate Thanksgiving, we talk about the Pilgrims. When we celebrate the 4th, we talk about our nations birth. When we celebrate Christmas, people are gonna talk about Jesus' birth. *shrug* If you don't want to celebrate Christmas, thats cool.......but understand that there is a reason it's celebrated and people shouldn't be expected to ignore it for the sake of being PC, you know?
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#17 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:01 AM
 
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Do you recognize the separation of church and state?

That is the specific issue here.

Public schools are supposed to recognize SOCAS.
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#18 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:08 AM
 
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Yes but this was at a PUBLIC school--where you are not supposed to be spouting religious ANYTHING. That is why many schools take the Rudolph/Santa stance with the holiday--it's not religious and therefore safe.

Like the other poster, I'd be on a warpath. That isn't cool, not one bit.

Jesse
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#19 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl
Yes but this was at a PUBLIC school--where you are not supposed to be spouting religious ANYTHING. That is why many schools take the Rudolph/Santa stance with the holiday--it's not religious and therefore safe.

Like the other poster, I'd be on a warpath. That isn't cool, not one bit.

Jesse

Public schools should not celebrate Christmas, they should have a winter fest, or whatever to avoid any confusion.

You'd die at my house wemnake a birthday cake for Jesus and read of his birth in the Bible etc.... Everyone has the right to believe in what they want and I respect that and the fact that church and state are different. I choose to send my children to a Private Christian school for that reason as well, so that we can celebrate CHristmas there as we like to. We DO have a visit from Santa as well and my children DO watch rudolph, we are not sticks in the mud or anything, and IMO GOd does not want us to totally rule out those other things as long as HE is first. This is MY family and I am sure you all are happy with your celebrations etc. I am just sharing ours.
Happy WInter....Or Happy snow I should say! We are expecting 9-12 inches in oarts of Ohio tonight!!!
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#20 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi
Do you recognize the separation of church and state?

That is the specific issue here.

Public schools are supposed to recognize SOCAS.
Well, then tell them not to have a Christmas show or Christmas break. But if you GO TO A CHRISTMAS SHOW, I'm sorry but *duh*. Wether its legal or not it still seems like common sense. Sure......go to the school and tell them to have the kids stop ALL holiday celebration. Fine. Rally round the "separation of church and state at all costs!" mantra. But after the fact? Really? You willingly go to a Christmas show and are surprised you heard God talk???

I mean no offence to the OP.......again, I don't mean to say it's right at all to impose religion. But maybe her objection should have been voiced when she heard about the show. Or maybe someone should have objected when they took December 25th off of school. I mean.......you can take "winter break" on January 25th just as well as December 25th.
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#21 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl
Yes but this was at a PUBLIC school--where you are not supposed to be spouting religious ANYTHING. That is why many schools take the Rudolph/Santa stance with the holiday--it's not religious and therefore safe.

Like the other poster, I'd be on a warpath. That isn't cool, not one bit.

Jesse
Really? And why aren't people on the warpath for telling people to shut up about the 4th of July? Or Columbus Day? Or MLK day? I mean.......this is really seeming like a wanting to discriminate AGAINST Christians thing rather than a true concern for the seperation of church and state.

WARPATH!!!????Seriously? I'm sorry, but witnessing REAL war right now and the lives that are being lost, the notion that a mom is willing to declare WAR over this issue offends and concerns me far more than an 8 year old singing "Away in a Manger".
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#22 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:30 AM
 
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Would you (the Christians) feel the same way if your kids came home from school teaching you all about Hanukkah and showing off the Minora that they made? Honest question, I'm sincerely curious.
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#23 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wende
Would you (the Christians) feel the same way if your kids came home from school teaching you all about Hanukkah and showing off the Minora that they made? Honest question, I'm sincerely curious.

Honestly? I think it would be REALLY frickin' cool if schools WERE able to teach about Judeism and Wicca and Hindu and Buhdism.......*I* wish I knew more about all that. I think it would be KEY to creating a more open and understand society. I would LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it if my kid came home on Monday and told me all about what the Minora means and showed me how to play Dreidle.


Equally honest, though.......I WOULDNT be happy if my kid came home talking about Satanism. So......maybe I a partial.

But......its not really the point. If I went to a Hanukkah show and then left all bent because they told me about the miracle of how the oil lasted 8 days??? Thats ridiculous. If I make a choice to participate, I need to make that choice in an educated and responsible way, and that may mean hearing something I don't particularly agree with......but I CHOSE to participate. It's not about people forcing anyting on anyone or any legal aspect.....for me, it's about personal accountability.
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#24 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:51 AM
 
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Being a former public school teacher ( I taught 2nd grade for 6 years before I had ds) I am really shocked! At Christmas time we really had to mind our Ps and Qs. What I liked to do was teach Winter Traditions and Holidays around the World. I would teach students about traditions ( which is a 2nd grade social studies concept in Ca.) that children all over the world participate in around winter time. They would learn where Christmas cards came from - England, where the Christmas tree orginated from - Germany, and stuff like that. I would also teach them what Hannukah and Kwanza was. I was careful to keep Jesus out of the lessons and teach the secular type of traditions. Children would also share what they did in their homes if the wanted. There was no way that singing Silent Night and any type of religious carol would be tolerated. I can't even imagine.

Oh, and its called Winter break, and they have winter programs for the music programs around here. Nothing is called Christmas around here in the public schools.

I am a Christian but I totally believe in the separation of church and state and if I were you I would talk to the Principal about this when you come back from WINTER break that you felt that the program was inappropriate for a public school adn that you hope that it won't be repeated.


I still can't believe that a public school would do this......

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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#25 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:51 AM
 
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Last year I went to my children's Christmas program at school. I was VERY upset to find that the 4,5th and 6th grade chior was singing hymns. I mean the principal triped all over herself to call it at "Winter Celebration" instead of a Christmas program, yet here are the kids singing hymns. My daughter was in the 5th grade.

I was FURIOUS!! The only reason I didn't go on the warpath with the school was because I was 9 months pregnant and trying to decide if I was over reacting as my dh said I was or had a legitamate reason to be pissed.

The schools have no business having children sing/act out Christian scenairo's. I personally don't believe in most of it and I don't think the school should be teaching it to our children. This is why there is a seperation of church and state. So ONE groups beliefs don't rule the nation. So that freedoom of religon or lack thereof can be practiced without fear. When schools start teaching religion to children, exspecially when those children don't practice that religion at home it makes the children question their parents.

Christianity has no business in a public school!! Rudolph and Santa are fine, but Jesus belongs at church.
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#26 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by summiebee
Umm, ok, not to sound mean or pick a fight, everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, so here is mine........ .... CHRISTmas...........?????? And there are complaints about it being too church oriented? I don"t get it? CHRISTmas was not created for Santa, or Rudolph, or the grinch. I totally respect the choice to worship who we want. But it's kind of like saying that church is to Jesus-y! Christmas was not originated from Santa and all the other stuff that goes along with it. Others have just made it into their "own" thing, and that is fine, but why force others to NOT celebrate WHY it was TRUELY created? Once again CHRISTmas....


Ok, go ahead flame me.

I think you're missing the point completely.

A lot of people who celebrate Christmas don't celebrate it as a religious holiday, but as a secular one.

I think it's OK to celebrate Christmas in public schools, as long as the focus is on the secular.

Also, keep in mind that Christmas isn't the only holiday this time of year. There's Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, New Year's...so why is it that PUBLIC schools are focusing only on Christmas as a religious holiday and ignoring the others? This is not even remotely like saying that church is too "Jesus-y". This is a public school, funded by tax money, and as such, the celebration should either be secular, or inclusive of all of the celebrations going on at this time of year.

I have no problem with public schools celebrating the Christian aspect of Christmas, as long as all of the other holiday celebrations and traditions are given equal time as well.

Christmas may not be about Santa and reindeer and gifts to you, but try to keep in mind that this time of year isn't about Christianity to everyone else. I would expect a religious-themed Christmas program in a private school, but even I don't remember the Christmas programs that I did in 12 years of Christian/Catholic schools being overtly religous. The religious side of the story was covered, but so was the secular.
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#27 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 03:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by anothermama
Honestly? I think it would be REALLY frickin' cool if schools WERE able to teach about Judeism and Wicca and Hindu and Buhdism.......*I* wish I knew more about all that. I think it would be KEY to creating a more open and understand society. I would LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it if my kid came home on Monday and told me all about what the Minora means and showed me how to play Dreidle
You know, like I said in my previous post, I always went to Christian/Catholic schools, and we actually did spend a lot of time studying other religions and religious customs, it was VERY cool. I have a feeling that I'd be hard pressed to find my DD a school like I went to though.
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#28 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 04:14 AM
 
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My dd's school taught her all about Christmas, Kwanzaa, and heck she even made a Hanukkah candle.. but do you think they even touched her religious tradition... NO... that pisses me off.. :

Christmas does not exclusively revolve around christians many ppl celebrate the non religious portion as well... heck lets not even get into that discussion.. this discussion is about seperation from church and state...

but what do you expect the constitution says one thing and they do the opposite... look at the money "In God We Trust"... Recite the pledge of allegiance.. hellloooo no seperation... thats the one thing i never got when i lived in az...

ETA: i actively try to teach dd about different religions... i think they are all beautiful in their own ways.. and will let her decide her path as she grows...

Seperated, Cape Dress Wearing, Covered, Conservative Mennonite Mama to big girl K.
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#29 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 04:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summiebee
Umm, ok, not to sound mean or pick a fight, everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, so here is mine........ .... CHRISTmas...........?????? And there are complaints about it being too church oriented? I don"t get it? CHRISTmas was not created for Santa, or Rudolph, or the grinch. I totally respect the choice to worship who we want. But it's kind of like saying that church is to Jesus-y! Christmas was not originated from Santa and all the other stuff that goes along with it. Others have just made it into their "own" thing, and that is fine, but why force others to NOT celebrate WHY it was TRUELY created? Once again CHRISTmas....


Ok, go ahead flame me.
Actually, from what I have been reading Christmas DID originate from all those other things. It was the Christians who took over another holiday, complete with decorated trees and all and turned it into "christs" birthday which we all know it is not. So it seems to me that Christians are the ones that have made the holiday into "thier own thing" simply to easier convert people into Christianity. Also, Christmas is just a name. My name is CHRISTina but that doesn't have anything to do with Christ. (actually it is because my birthday is on Dec. 24 but that is not the point.)

So a search for the origians of Christmas. I knew it was based on a pagon holiday, but I didn't realize how much of the holiday carried over.
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#30 of 67 Old 12-19-2004, 05:23 AM
 
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I agree alot with anothermama. Especially the part about teaching children ALL religions. We are right now doing that in our homeschool. It is fascinating to see how many similarities there are in every religion. I want my boys to be tolerant, and education breeds tolerance. I would love it if ps did that too. I am really sad at how hard it is to find any ifno for kids of Wicca though
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