A public charter school was recently warned by an unidentified, anti-religion organization to not perform faith-based Christmas carols during their winter concert and threatened that they would pursue possible litigation if they did not comply.
The band director at York Preparatory Academy in Rock Hill, S.C., decided to exclude "Joy to the World" and "O Come All Ye Faithful," from their Dec. 19 performance after the school received the letter, even though the songs were going to be a part of the program before the communication was sent out by the organization.
In defense of concerned parents whose two children attend the school, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, sent York a letter urging them to immediately rescind the ban put in place by school officials. The ADF told The Christian Post that the school would not specify which organization sent them the letter and after several attempts, York did not return CP's phone call for comment. more >>
A second public school has ended ties with Franklin Graham's Operation Christmas Child after an atheist group threatened a lawsuit. However, angered by the developments, parents at the Colorado-area school have stated their commitment to continue raising funds for Operation Christmas Child independently of the school, and they also held a "Religious Rights Rally" outside of school on the public sidewalk on Wednesday afternoon.
SkyView Academy, a charter elementary school located in Douglas County, Colorado, announced last week that it will be ending its participation with Operation Christmas Child, a program of Franklin Graham's evangelical relief organization Samaritan's Purse that provides needy children around the world with Christmas presents during the holidays. Students at SkyView had been participating in the program for the past two years as part of their community service project, and their efforts included raising donations for the program and assembling shoe boxes to hold the gifts for each needy child.
Both Skyview Academy and East Point Academy in West Columbia, South Carolina recently received letters from the American Humanist Association threatening lawsuits if the schools continued to participate in the program. more >>
Author Kimberly Lock gives us five holiday tips on maintaining our sanity, peace, and avoiding a negative balance in our account in a list she calls "The 5 G's to Having a Good Holiday Season."
'Tis the Season to Remain Virtuous: The 5 G's to Having a Good Holiday Season more >>
A small town in upstate New York has rallied together to continue funding its local community's Christmas celebration, even though an atheist's complaint forced the local government to stop supporting the event.
The town of Spencerport, N.Y., a small village located just outside of Rochester, has been celebrating its annual "Christmas on the Canal" event for 17 years until this year, when Elaine Spaziano, the event's founder and organizer, announced that the tradition had to be canceled after an atheist complained about First Amendment rights and the separation of church and state to the local government.
The event features an array of holiday-themed activities, such as a tree lighting ceremony, carols, a nativity, a blessing by a local clergy member, and other festive events. The celebration was funded partially by Spencerport and the neighboring village of Ogden, and both villages were forced to pull their funds and support for the celebration this year after an atheist activist complained that the event used taxpayer dollars to support Christianity. The activist reportedly had a petition and threatened to take the cities to court if they continued donating to "Christmas on the Canal." more >>
Thirty-three million Americans are expected to ditch their turkey and mashed potatoes and swarm the mall on Thanksgiving Day this year. Eager to maximize a shorter shopping window this year, abbreviated by six days because Thanksgiving falls in the last week of November, retailers are starting their deals and opening their stores earlier than ever.
K-Mart and Old Navy are opening at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. respectively on the holiday. Walmart will be also be open the entire holiday and commences its "Black Friday" deals at 6 p.m, the hour that electronic retailer Best Buy unlocks its doors. Staples, Sears, Macy's, J.C. Penney and Kohl's will welcome the onslaught of bargain hunters at 8 p.m.
Jim Wallis, President of the Christian social justice group Sojourners, offered a frank assessment of the season's manic shopping tendencies. more >>
As the Christmas season approaches and a host of holiday-themed movies line up for release, "The Christmas Candle," based on the novel by Max Lucado, brings the Christmas miracle to the big screen through the story of an enchanting English village harboring a centuries-old legend, and a progressive pastor struggling with the nature of faith.
The movie, based on the 2006 novel of the same name, features a stellar cast with Hans Matheson (Clash of the Titans, Sherlock Holmes), Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Sylvester McCoy (The Hobbit), James Cosmo (Braveheart, The Chronicles of Narnia), as well as the on-screen debut of Susan Boyle.
The story takes place in a fictional village deep in the heart of the English countryside in 1890, which for centuries has witnessed a Christmas miracle with an angel who visits a candlemaker family every 25 years and touches a candle, which grants a single miracle on Christmas Eve. more >>