I guess first thing’s first. Over the years I have signed petitions to put Christ back in schools, to keep Christ in Christmas, etc. However, I never really felt the impact of his absence until last week. We were watching a Christmas movie and Ace announced that he had made a menorah in class that day. He went on to tell us all about Hannukah-oil was supposed to last only a day and it lasted 8; middle candle is called something–I don’t even remember; they cooked potato latkes in class. He also said that Jews believe in Jesus (he thought this because they read a story that stated the Jews believed in the true God). I told him they believe in Him as a person but not as the Son of God.
So I asked him what they did for Christmas. “Did you watch any Christmas movies? Learn anything about the Nativity?”
Well, needless to say I was pretty upset when all he could think of were gingerbread men and Christmas trees. Especially after he told me he watched a Kwanzaa movie and made crafts for that too.
I made sure he understood that we should never be ashamed to say we believe in Jesus and therefore don’t believe in certain things. I reminded him that Christ was not ashamed to be beaten, spat upon and crucified for us–out of His love for us–so we should never be ashamed to confess our faith in Him.
At this point, let me just say that I absolutely adore his teacher(s). She is a Christian woman and I really feel blessed to have him in her class. The next day I was scheduled to volunteer in his class so I figured I would talk with her then.
When I asked her about everything she told me that the state has laid quite a bit of red tape regarding the name of Jesus in schools. She did say they watched the Charlie Brown Christmas movie and she read them The Tale of Three Trees, etc. but other than that there wasn’t much more she could do.
I can’t tell you all the different emotions that I felt that day; sadness, disgust, sympathy…betrayal. I have been so naive with all of this. I just could not (still can’t) wrap my mind around the fact that even the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus, the Star of Bethlehem and the angels and shepherds and three wise men is not allowed to be told. Not even from a non-religious point of view? I can’t even begin to imagine the frustration a Christian teacher must feel when asked to basically conceal her faith and/or beliefs. This is just mind boggling to me…
I also explained that I don’t have a problem with my child learning about other cultures and what other people believe AS LONG AS the other children receive the same opportunity to learn what my child believes. I also told her that next year I would prefer him not to participate in the other “winter holiday” projects. She was very understanding and even urged me to contact the state, even though they’ve had a ton of opposition, it wouldn’t hurt to voice my opinion. I am certainly going to do just that. I had so much sadness in my heart that even typing this brings tears to my eyes. I simply can’t believe it has come to this.
Have any of you with children in public school gone through this? What do you do?