Religious songs can be sung in winter concerts

Editor:

It is that time again for school music performances, now called a winter concert. Our young people have practiced and are ready to perform the music selections based on the season, with no traditional Christmas carols mentioning God, the rationale being we can’t perform any song that contains God because of the separation of Church and state, but is this correct?

The Establishment Clause does not prevent the singing of songs that have religious origins by public school choirs. Yes we can have songs that have a religious history this has been decided by the Courts.

In Florey v. Sioux Falls School District the Eighth Circuit held that the study and performance of religious songs, including Christmas Carols, are constitutional if their purpose is the advancement of the students knowledge of society’s culture and religious heritage as well as the provisions of an opportunity for students to perform a full range of music, poetry and drama, if they are presented in a prudent and objective manner as a cultural and religious heritage of the holiday.

It is also worth remembering that in Bauchman v. West High School, a student sued the school due to the religious content of the songs performed by the school choir. The Tenth Circuit dismissed the lawsuit, noting the “Constitutions does not require that the purpose of every government- sanctioned activity be unrelated to religion. A significant percentage of serious choral music is based on religious themes or text. Any choral curriculum designed to expose student to the full array of vocal music culture therefore can be expected to reflect a significant number of religious

songs.

Yes, friends, our schools can sing Silent Night. Wouldn’t it be nice to see it sung as originally written without musical accompaniment?

RONI JUARE, Rawlins

RONI JUARE, Rawlins

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