A Paragould school is facing a lot of controversy over a rather abstract nativity scene depicted on a bulletin board.
The bulletin board shows the image of Mary and Joseph kneeling beside a manger with Jesus in it; underneath is a caption that reads “Happy Birthday Jesus!” Altogether, I would say the scene looks a lot like something out of the Precious Moments gallery (you can see a picture of it on this news story).
Here’s the thing: The school has been threatened with lawsuits over this one image, but no one is threatening lawsuits over the other Christmas decorations the school has on display. If the school were simply putting up a Christmas tree or pictures of gifts, I doubt the ACLU or Americans United for Separation of Church and State would be so worked up.
Do you remember your teachers hanging posters in the classroom when you were a student? Do a little digging online, and you’ll find instances these days of teachers hanging posters of John Lennon, with the phrase “Imagine” or “Imagine there’s no Heaven” written below it; there are teachers who show Carl Sagan’s Cosmos video series in their classrooms, in which Sagan boldly claims that “the cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be;” how much room do statements like these leave for God in our universe? And what about Halloween decorations depicting witches and ghosts? Why haven’t those images been attacked? They are, after all, depicting something supernatural, even if a lot of folks consider it fictitious.
If schools across America are displaying and using material that overtly spits in the face of religion, where is the outcry from the ACLU? Why are they picking on one person’s Nativity scene put up to celebrate Christmas?
Frankly, this is a waste of time. Schools are already strapped for cash. They shouldn’t have to worry about spending a lot of time and money fighting a lawsuit challenging their right to celebrate a federal holiday. The sad thing is all the atheists have to do is make it so difficult for schools to put Christ in Christmas that they simply won’t bother to do it in the future. That’s the real danger: Not that the right to display a Nativity scene at school will be struck down by the courts, but that exercising that right will become so burdensome that people simply will not exercise it all.