There will be no joy for the faithful this Christmas, if a school in South Carolina has anything to say about it
According to a report by Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes, students at York Preparatory Academy were allegedly told they couldn’t perform instrumental versions of Christmas songs like “Joy to the World” because it might lead to lawsuits.
The school has a policy banning religious music at holiday performances – even if the music is instrumental, Starnes reported.
Rory Gray, an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal firm that specializes in religious liberty cases, said students in the band were given a choice of musical selections for the upcoming winter concert.
“The students chose two songs that included the melodies from Joy to the World and Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” Gray said.
Acting on a warning that the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups would be monitoring holiday concerts in South Carolina schools for possible constitutional violations, the band director allegedly excluded the songs.
“The Academy’s principal confirmed the receipt of the ACLU’s or similar group’s communication and suggested that in order for students to play traditional Christmas carols they would need to play songs from other religions as well,” Gray said.
Gray called that requirement “fundamentally misguided,” saying the schools policy “shows impermissible hostility toward religion.”
“Schools should not have to think twice about whether they can allow bands to play the music to time-honored Christmas carols like this,” Gray said.
Starnes concluded by noting that public schools in New Jersey and Wisconsin reversed similar bans this year after public outcry and the Alliance Defending Freedom sending letters to explain the legality of Christmas carols.
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