A holiday concert at the Fairview Area Schools in Michigan, scheduled for Tuesday night, won’t treat the birth of Jesus as a historical fact now that atheists have gotten involved.
According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the program included songs and spoken narrations that were better suited for a Christmas service at a local church. Here’s just a glimpse at parts of the program:
Mitch Kahle of the Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists also noted in an email to the District that this program wasn’t merely some oversight. It was part of a deliberate attempt to inject religion into the concert by music teacher Amy Cobb:
Ms. Cobb has reportedly told students in class that “Jesus is the reason we have Christmas.”… Ms. Cobb also reportedly told students in class that “Jesus is real.”
Since September, MACRA had sent multiple emails to the District noting their concerns (e.g. The Christmas story is a “religious fable, not a historical fact”), but the group didn’t get a response until this past Friday — after FFRF got involved. FFRF sent a more formal letter explaining the constitutional concerns of a holiday concert that is clearly promoting Christianity without mentioning the music teacher’s supposed remarks.
The district finally responded on Friday, saying that the program would be revised. There will no longer be any narration and the explicitly Christian songs will be part of a broader program that includes mostly secular carols. It’s the right move, but it shouldn’t have taken months of letters to make it happen.
There’s also no word yet on whether the teacher will be investigated or reprimanded.
(Image via Shutterstock)