A Virginia middle school has banned all Christmas songs that mention Jesus in them because “a few students were uncomfortable.”
Administrators of Robious Middle School in Chesterfield, Virginia, a south Richmond suburb, insisted that children “felt uncomfortable” with songs containing the Christian Messiah’s name, so the tunes were eliminated from the school’s Winter program.
One parent, David Allen, said he was surprised by the absurd banning.
“It just seems like… everywhere you look everyone’s afraid of stepping on someone’s toes or everything is being so sensitive,” Allen told NBC 12.
Allen also said that his kids have been participating in school Christmas programs for years but this is the first time such a ban was enacted.
“They were unable to [sing this song] because the word Jesus was in there and apparently someone assumed it was of a sacred nature,” Allen added.
Allen asked the school why the ban was enacted and provided with media with copies of the email exchanges.
One email from administrators told Allen, “We had a few students who weren’t comfortable singing a piece I have done many times in the past, but it is of a sacred nature and does mention Jesus.”
The emails continued with administrators insisting that they were trying to be “inclusive” and “tolerant” of other’s opinions.
But Allen felt that the explanations were disingenuous.
“I’m trying to rationalize how you can encourage diversity and yet be exclusionary in one specific area,” he said.
According to Fox News’ Todd Starnes, though, schools are allowed to sing songs that mention Jesus:
First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s top law firms handling religious liberty cases, said it is permissible under the U.S. Constitution for public school choirs to perform sacred music.
“Federal courts have upheld the constitutionality of public school holiday programs that include the use of religious music, art, or drama, so long as the material is presented in an objective manner ‘as a traditional part of the cultural and religious heritage of the particular holiday,’” First Liberty attorney Michael Berry wrote in a letter to the Chesterfield County School District.
But, in the end, isn’t Christmas about… you know… Jesus Christ? It’s sort of right in the name of the holiday!
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.