By Christy Barritt
Wisconsin School Silences Christmas
Several schools in the Wausau School District of Wisconsin cancelled their “holiday” concerts after the district issued guidelines that severely limited the number of sacred holiday songs they were allowed to perform.
According to one choral director, who spoke with the Wausau Daily Herald, he said he was given three choices. He could either do one sacred song for every five secular numbers, he could eliminate all Christmas music, or he could postpone his December concerts.
The district said they didn’t want to be “challenged as constitutionally promoting the religious celebration of Christmas through state-sponsored Christmas caroling.”
Outraged parents in the predominantly Christian area showed up at school board meetings to express their feelings on the matter. At press time, no changes to the school district’s directives had been made, however.
Washington Judge Reprimanded over Same-Sex Weddings
A Washington State judge has been officially reprimanded after refusing to officiate same-sex weddings because of “philosophical and religious reasons.”
When Washington voters approved a measure last year authorizing same-sex marriage in the state, Judge Gary Tabor immediately expressed discomfort with the idea of officiating for a ceremony between two homosexuals and said he believed he had the right to choose to officiate only those marriages he was comfortable supporting. After word of this leaked, a media frenzy erupted, leading the judge to announce that he wouldn’t officiate any weddings.
In May, the Judicial Conduct Commission filed a complaint against Tabor, arguing that by refusing to perform gay weddings, he violated the state’s anti-discrimination law and showed partiality.
As part of his reprimand, Tabor had to sign an admonishment and acknowledge that publically expressing his view could create the impression of being discriminatory.
British Authorities Say Sex Selective Abortions OK
The Director of Public Prosecutions informed doctors in the U.K. that sex-selective abortions, in certain circumstances, are legal.
This change came about when two doctors were secretly recorded by a news organization as they agreed to perform two illegal abortions, both based on the sex of the unborn baby.
The Crown Prosecution Service was told not to prosecute the doctors and that these abortions were lawful in certain circumstances.
Britain’s Abortion Act of 1967 only allows abortion under the circumstance of “injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family.” All other cases remained a criminal offense.
But a new report by the CPS said, “The pregnant woman’s views about the effect of the sex of the fetus on her situation and on her existing children should nevertheless be carefully considered. In some circumstances doctors may come to the conclusion that the effects are so severe as to provide legal and ethical justification for a termination.”
School Pays $95K in Lawsuit over Jesus Picture
An Ohio school district is paying $95,000 in combined court costs and other “damages” after the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and five anonymous complainants sued them for keeping an image of Jesus Christ on school property.
A middle school in the Jackson City School district displayed an image of Jesus alongside images of other famous historical figures. The image was given to the school by a student club in 1947 and displayed on school property from then until February 2013. That’s when the school was sued, under the claim that the painting amounted to an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity.
Even though the school took the picture down in order to prevent legal fees from adding up, the groups didn’t drop their lawsuit, going as far as to say the picture could potentially be seen by anyone who entered the art closet at the school, where the picture had been stored away.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.