Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Religion • Jerry Newcombe Sings ‘Away WITH The Manger?’

No, he has not joined the Communist Party.  Popular Radio Host and syndicated columnist, Jerry Newcombe, points out that this is the goal of atheists and liberals. And they will succeed UNLESS Christians stand up to this assault on our religion by defending and protecting our faith and culture. Mr. Newcombe comes forth:

Away With the Manger?
By Jerry Newcombe
12/22/11

There’s a controversy brewing in Broward County, Florida, where I live.

You may recall, this is the same county that caused our state to be called “Flori-duh” in the 2000 Gore vs. Bush election, when “dimpled chads” and “hanging chads” suddenly became household words.

The controversy now revolves around one father, Jorge Egues, a parent of four children who attend a local public grade school.

A few years ago, in December, he noticed how the school decorations had secular symbols of the holiday and even a Menorah, but no manger scene. He commended the principal for the Menorah, but she claimed to not realize it was a religious symbol.

He also offered to provide a manger scene for the school at his expense. She said, No, thank you. No religious symbols were to be allowed.

Jump ahead to November 2011, when Jorge had a discussion with his now-10-year old son.

Jorge says, “I was discussing the importance of education with him and stated that knowledge without the principles taught by God is incomplete in developing a person’s character.

His response was,“Well Dad you can’t talk about God in the Public Schools; that would be illegal.” 

I explained to him that the First Amendment of the Constitution supports our rights of religious expression. Then he met with the principal in the same month, and she said that such a message as his son had picked up was not intended.. He quotes her as saying, “Where would he get that idea? We don’t say that here.”

Jorge also pointed out that when Hispanics say Merry Christmas, they refer directly to the nativity—-Happy Nativity (Feliz Navidad).

When he respectfully re-asked the principal about the possibility of a manger scene to fit with the other multi-cultural symbols of the holiday, she again declined and added that someone from the School Advisory Council would get back to him.

No one did. He later learned that their next meeting would be after Christmas anyway; so by then it would be a moot point, at least for this year. So he contacted the Thomas More Law Center, a religious legal rights group, if they could help.

So they wrote a very polite letter to the principal, which commended the display of the Menorah and added, “the addition of a Nativity scene, which represents the historic basis for Christmas, a national holiday, would enhance this important cultural and historical education of the holiday season.”

The school responded by removing all symbols of the winter season. Gone were the Menorah, the tiny Christmas tree, the snowflakes, whatever.

A week later, they re-allowed decorations, but no Menorah. Nothing religious.

In this kind of environment, it’s easy to see how a ten year old could conclude that God is indeed illegal in the public schools.

Around this time, I had Jorge on my radio show to discuss all this and also invited the principal to get her side, but she “gracefully declined.”

To Jorge Egues, who is of Cuban descent, this battle over the acknowledgement of God in the public realm is personal. Cubans have suffered the price of extreme anti-God measures.

Jorge’s own parents left Cuba shortly before Castro and his forces turned the Caribbean island into a godless wasteland. But other family members stayed.

In forcing Communism on Cuba, Castro was of course forcing atheism on the population, even if that meant sometimes resorting to violence.

This doesn’t mean I’m calling those who would squelch God in the public arena (certainly not in America) Communists. Thankfully, the war against God in America has never been violent.

But certainly the secular forces that banish God from any public institution are out of step with Supreme Court decisions, which allow for manger scenes in public if surrounded by other symbols of the holiday. They also allow for Christmas carols at a school celebration, if secular songs are included.

The anti-God in the public arena crusade is even more out of step with the founders of America and their stated intentions.

Our Declaration of Independence (our national birth certificate) says our rights come from God. George Washington said religion and morality are indispensable supports to our political prosperity.

The founders who gave us the first amendment (which is sometimes abused today to banish God from public places)—-the very same men—-also passed the Northwest Ordinance, which provides a template for new states that join the Union to follow.

In Article III of that key document, they said “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

The purpose of schools according to the founders? To teach religion (in a nation at the time that was more than 98% professing Christian), morality, and knowledge.

Besides all this, education for the masses was a Christian invention. Certainly that was true in America.

The first act for public education came from the Puritans in Boston in the 1640s. It was called the Old Deluder Satan Act. The act says because that “Old Deluder Satan” keeps people in darkness by keeping them from the Word of God, they need to be able to read the Bible for themselves. Therefore, they need to be able to read—-period. Therefore, schools shall be established.

Now, we’re at a place where the Bible and its message, including the birth of Christ, are subject to censorship.

Maybe, it takes the son of immigrants from a godless country (which once was Christian) to wake us up from our apathy.

So, I’ll pass on the Merry Unmentionable, and say, Merry Christmas to all!

                                        ###
Jerry Newcombe is the senior producer and host of Truth That Transforms with D. James Kennedy (formerly The Coral Ridge Hour). He has also written or co-written 21 books, including The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation and Answers from the Founding Fathers. Jerry co-wrote (with Dr. Peter Lillback) the bestselling, George Washington’s Sacred Fire. He hosts the website http://www.jerrynewcombe.com.

 

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