Below is a “Letter to the Editor” that had been published on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 in both the Hammonton News and the Hammonton Gazette. The writing pertains to the changing of “Halloween Day” in Hammonton, New Jersey’s Sooy Elementary School to “Orange and Black Day.”
Now that Halloween has come and gone, I wish to describe what I believe is actually happening concerning Halloween on a national level that has had its repercussions right here in the Hammonton School System. Halloween has recently been changed from an annual school tradition to “Black and Orange Day.” Local school administrators have publicly stated that the conversion is due to “safety reasons.” How many incidents involving violence or student injury during past Halloween celebrations have happened in our public elementary schools? I’ll bet few if none! Certainly if safety is a major concern the elementary school kids could continue to enjoy their parade and celebration without wearing masks while parents could stay out of the school building and hear about the festivities over nightly supper. I suspect that other more sinister factors are at work here besides a “concern for safety.”
First of all Halloween has much of its origin attributed to the medieval idea of ghosts of saints (spirits) populating the earth just prior to All Saints Day and All Souls Day in early November. To be a saint one has to obviously be dead so naturally Halloween (as we know it with ghouls and goblins) is an extension of that ancient belief in ghosts. Please remember that “Halloween” means “Holy Eve.”
The essential problem of contemporary social revisionists (those in powerful positions attempting to rewrite American history and culture) is that (in their demented point of view) all references to Christian holidays in public schools must be eliminated to allow for “the Separation of Church and State.” Our Founding Fathers thought that the “Separation of Church and State” meant to not have a State Religion in America dominating political thought such as the Anglican Church was doing in England. The Pilgrims and the Puritans had migrated to America because they were being persecuted by the more elite and influential religious denominations in England. So to our Founding Fathers, the “Separation of Church and State” simply meant to not have a predominant religion influencing secular government decision-making. However modern revisionists have insidiously re-defined this revered historical notion of “Separation of Church and State” to meet their own fancy, specifically to mean no religion in public schools.
Let’s examine what has happened on the national scene that has been initiated and will be gradually completed by social revisionists. Christmas has been diminished to “the Holiday Season” in our public schools, Easter has become “Spring Break” and now Halloween has become “Black and Orange Day.” When Martin Luther King Day was established as a national holiday on the January school calendar Washington and Lincoln had to be diminished in stature to accommodate MLK. February used to exclusively belong to George and to Abe but now we celebrate “Presidents Day” (seemingly to honor all Presidents) and February has suddenly magically appeared as “Black History Month” in our public schools. The next holidays to be hit in this diabolical domino effect will be St. Patrick’s Day becoming “Green and White Day,” St. Valentine’s Day becoming “Red Day” and Thanksgiving becoming “Grateful Day” simply because all three of those remaining holidays have all-too-glaring Christian references and origins. Do you see a pattern here?
In addition to “history and cultural revision” the phenomenon known as political correctness also is responsible for this sudden change in the traditional Halloween venue to the “Fall Festival.” When I was teaching eighth grade English in the late 1990s I had been developing a creative writing activity while using excerpts from the movie “Beetlejuice” to show to several of my classes. A small faction of vociferous parents (for religious reasons) didn’t want their children exposed to “Ghosts” in a public school setting and vehemently protested my creative writing lesson to school administrators. Their children had to go to the library to work on an alternative writing assignment while the movie was being shown in my classroom and school administrators advised me to not in the future show a film that “certain elements of society find offensive.”
And so if you honestly believe this “standard company line” business of Halloween being altered to “Black and Orange Day” because of safety concerns then you don’t fully understand that the “standard corporate line” (Federal Department of Education and the State Department of Education) dictates “guidelines” to school administrators and that their decisions are also being influenced by powerful educational bureaucratic professors who are calling the shots in teachers’ colleges and universities. These radical educational and societal “revisionists” (who incidentally author and/or approve your child’s textbooks) are endeavoring to re-design U.S. history and re-define time-honored American traditions in order to reconstruct the past and the present for future generations to study. Their policies and agendas are advanced by their need for “political correctness” (don’t offend anyone in the minority community by your time-honored national cultural traditions) and by their need to abolish Christianity and all of its vestiges from American society starting with the public schools, where vital socialization of the next generation is being practiced.
If you believe that the elimination of the Halloween heritage in the local public school has to do with safety, then you must be living in Oz instead of in Hammonton. Safety has little to do with the transition the town of Hammonton is witnessing in regard to Halloween. The entire issue is politically motivated on both the national and the local levels. The transition from Halloween to “Black and Orange Day” is really all about political correctness and about the ongoing secular war on Christianity, its teachings and its symbols.
Here is another “Letter to the Editor” that was published in both the Hammonton News and the Hammonton Gazette on December 8, 2005. The theme of the letter is the transformation of the saying “Merry Christmas” in local public schools to the more politically correct “Happy Holidays.”
How Does the Hammonton School System Stand on “Merry Christmas”?
Now that the Hammonton Sooy Elementary School’s primary grades have made a travesty out of changing the traditional Halloween parade and corresponding classroom decorations into Black and Orange Day and the celebration of Thanksgiving into “Turkey Day,” the next cultural barrier the school administration must face is the elimination of “Merry Christmas” anywhere in the school buildings. Instead “Happy Holidays,” “Winter Break” and “Holiday Trees” must replace the mentioning of the taboo word “Christmas.” And you probably thought that the nefarious old Grinch was only a fabrication of Dr. Suess’s fertile imagination.
Powerful secularists and history revisionists are again rewriting the past, trying to make us all pretend that the Christmas tradition was never honored or celebrated in our public schools. And your public school administrators are so influenced by these educational and cultural revisionists that the bureaucrats will wholeheartedly ignore the past and conveniently change the present (at your child’s expense) in order to accommodate their politically correct superiors in the State and Federal Departments of Education.
The United States of America, our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence were all founded on Christian values based on the principles that man is basically good and that man’s nature can be trusted with “unalienable rights.” A rather grotesque convolution has been occurring in America the last sixty years where secularists and revisionists are using the First Ten Amendments of the U.S. Constitution to undermine the teachings of the Old Testament Ten Commandments. Legality is currently at war with conventional morality and now Halloween and Christmas are at the core of the religion/law controversy.
And when the secularists and the revisionists are clever enough to figure out that the appellation Santa Claus is simply an Americanization of the European Saint Nicholas (Father Christmas), then old St. Nick will most definitely be under attack too during this time of year because of obvious political/religious implications. This rising anti-Christian sentiment in this great nation really “sleighs” me.
The biggest problem that the agenda-oriented secularists and revisionists face in regard to December 25th is that not only is Christmas a religious holiday but it is also a declared national legal holiday established by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870. Hebrews and Jehovah Witnesses should not be offended with the nomenclature “Merry Christmas” because they share this nation’s rich Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments’ heritage. In fact eighty-five percent of Americans call themselves Christians and if the majority opinion rules in this “democratic” country, then the popular December holiday should be recognized in public schools despite the objections of Muslims, Buddhists, atheists and other “offended” vocal minorities.
The secularists and revisionists argue that “Happy Holidays” is a more inclusive term than “Merry Christmas” is. Stores like Target, Wal*Mart, K-Mart and Toys “R” Us don’t want to discriminate against certain minority interest groups so they prefer to call the reason for the annual December shopping bonanza “Happy Holidays” while simultaneously banking on the theory that Christians will not be offended (by being snubbed) and will not boycott their stores. We live in an age where militant minorities get their gears greased while the silent majority often suffers the consequences. Hopefully all of this detrimental cultural dismantling insanity is about to change. But in the past great civilizations have collapsed and crumbled from internal moral decay (and not from external conquest) because over time those entities had lost their sense of purpose and original identity. This butchering of “Merry Christmas” is stark evidence of the same type of destructive phenomenon occurring in America right before our very eyes.
Secularism has now taken over as the dominant social/ethical philosophy in most of Europe and in Canada. Guess what country has been protecting and defending Europe and Canada for the last sixty years? If the secularists and revisionists have their way then the United States will eventually become militarily weak and morally bankrupt and will be compelled to join the ranks of France, Germany and Canada in “an equal new world UN order.” Just think about it. Where would the world be and what would this planet be like without the moral clarity of the United States of America leading the way?
Citizens, school administrators and boards of education should not be intimidated by these zealous secularists out to create “a global community” and Americans should not allow our revered traditions such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween to be gradually and systematically disposed of because of opposition from highly audible and supposedly grievously offended minority factions, the on-a-mission ACLU and fanatically determined secularists and revisionists.
I urge all parents of students in the Hammonton School System to contact your school administrators and school board members to find out the local school system’s philosophy in regard to the expressions “Merry Christmas” and “A Christmas Tree” on classroom and hall bulletin boards. Don’t let them tap-dance and waltz around the issue! Phony euphemisms (attempting to rewrite history and culture) like “Happy Holidays,” “Holiday Tree,” “Winter Break,” “Turkey Day” and “Black and Orange Day” do not reflect the true values formerly deeply embedded in our still-enviable American culture.
Forget about politically correct expediency! It’s time for the silent majority to step up to the plate and go to bat for what’s morally right. Christmas should remain an essential part of our American civilization to be recognized in local public schools, and this cherished practice should be emphatically and redundantly reinforced to “don’t rock the boat” school authorities.
And finally, here’s a third “Letter to the Editor” on the subject of “Holiday doubletalk” that appeared in the February 1, 2006 editions of the Hammonton News and the Hammonton Gazette.
Administrative Doubletalk is Really Bureaucratic Trouble-talk
School administrative doubletalk concerning the renaming of Christian holidays is really trouble-talk that the public should not dismiss as typical mere administrivia. A bad habit of casually renaming a Christmas Tree a “Holiday Tree” might seem like a picayune matter but when the discerning observer connects all the dots of many other similar phenomena going on in our public schools in particular and in American society in general, a distinct pattern of insidious secular malfeasance is being conducted and perpetuated to callously expunge all semblances of Christian holidays from public school children’s academic experiences.
The public schools, which should be transmitting our great American culture to the younger generation, are actually renaming, erasing and (in many cases) eliminating vital aspects of our heritage (and our traditions) simply to comply with the demands of radical squeaky-gears secularists. Let’s examine the school calendar to get a better perspective of what’s really going on.
In the month of October, Columbus Day has traditionally been celebrated but don’t be surprised if in the future some secular factions are going to figure out that the Italian explorer came to America in 1492 with the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria to enforce the three G’s: gold glory and gospel. The religious words “Santa Maria” and “gospel” might just get the secularists going and have school administrators inventing things like “Three Ships Day” and “Columbus, Ohio Day.” And oh yes, let’s not forget that also in October Halloween has now been re-invented and renamed as “Black and Orange Day.”
And please remember that Veterans Day in November and Memorial Day in May have been set aside to honor America’s war soldiers, both living and dead. Secularists are basically elitists who despise the notion of war. They’ naively think that war is childish and akin to schoolyard bullying (when crazy dictators and fascist maniacs like Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda are around jeopardizing the world), and these on-a-mission secularists don’t like the idea that crosses are in military cemeteries, either on tombstones or serving as grave markers. If the secularists and the ACLU have their way these revered military holidays might in the future be imaginatively renamed Veterinarian’s Day and Cemetery Flower Day.
To those all-too-numerous misguided secularist peaceniks I have two basic questions to ask: What would the world be like without the United States of America? What would the USA be like if it were a pacifist nation without any military to protect it?
And oh yes dear secularists, the Pilgrims came to America to gain religious freedom and upon arriving they thanked God for their new land. The ideas of religious freedom and Thanksgiving to God are offensive and repugnant to secularists, to the ACLU and to atheists, so that’s why in late November we now have “Turkey Day.”
And please don’t forget what’s happened to Christmas. We presently have the un-traditional Holiday Tree and also in elementary schools Santa Claus is becoming taboo too because the name means “St. Nicholas.” And the phrases “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” are quickly replacing the standard “Merry Christmas.” Well, this is a hard one for the secularists and for their all-too-accommodating puppet school administrators because the word “holidays” is derived from “holy days,” since most holidays originally were holy days, and quite confidentially the new terminology is also tough on the new iconoclasts because there’s a reason for the “Season’s Greetings,” and guess what folks, it’s not Kwanzaa.
Martin Luther King Day in January might seem pretty safe from school administrative tampering but wait a minute! MLK was a black Christian minister, the Reverend Martin Luther King. Heaven forbid! This no-no Christian title represents a big potential hitherto unforeseen problem for school bureaucrats because administrators encourage their teachers to discuss Dr. Martin Luther’s King’s biography each and every year just exclusively thinking that “The Reverend” was a black civil rights activist and not a man of God.
February is another headache for wishy-washy school administrators because even though Washington and Lincoln have been recently relegated in importance by having to share Presidents’ Day, Washington was a Mason who strongly believed in the motto “In God We Trust” that the secularists absolutely abhor appearing on our U.S. money and coins, and Lincoln was a religious man who loved the opening lines to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Mine eyes have seen the coming of the glory of the Lord.” Lincoln wasn’t referring there to Alfred Lord Tennyson or to Lord Byron, you know!
And don’t forget that Valentine’s Day in February has its origin with St. Valentine (scholars believe there were two St. Valentines), a martyr who gave his heart and his life for third century Christianity. Big trouble here school administrators with the appellation St. preceding the name Valentine! And naturally St. Patrick’s Day in March has to be renamed “Leprechauns Day,” “Irish Day” and “Clover Day,” even though Strawbridge and Clothier (“Clover Day Sales”) department stores are no longer viable and dominant business enterprises.
As we all now know, the Easter Holidays are now euphemistically referred to as “Spring Break” because of obvious religious overtones and don’t be surprised that in the future such seemingly innocent allusions as the New Orleans Saints, the California Angels, the Jersey Devils (ice hockey team) and the Hammonton Blue Devils’ names and mascots might be in jeopardy because of certain religious and quasi-religious associations made by politically correct numbskull radical secularists.
I’ve saved Labor Day for my last school holiday. It doesn’t have any outstanding Christian or religious association and it seems rather harmless, but it’s all remotely-but-essentially connected to the theme of this writing. Labor Day is an American capitalistic tradition but most secularists are also socialists that despise competition, that hate free enterprise and that detest capitalism, and when these militant-and-determined “socialistic-minded” college professors and powerful upper-echelon educational bureaucrats influence the judgment of local school administrators, a great disservice has been rendered to the citizens of Hammonton and to their school age children.
We all hear everyday on television news about the “Establishment Clause” in the United States Constitution but nowhere in that document are the words “Separation of Church and State” ever written. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights states, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The clause simply and explicitly means that there is to be no specific United States national religion but everyone can practice the religion of his or her choice.
The so-called “Establishment Clause” actually guarantees Americans freedom of religion (as opposed to the elimination of it) along with its references and symbols. But the ACLU and powerful secularist hypocrites and educational pseudo-intellectual elitists, (as erroneous as their thinking is), happen to believe otherwise. And out of fear of expensive ACLU lawsuits wimpy school administrators take the easy way out banking on the hope that the public will be apathetic to their cultural tinkering shenanigans and in the final analysis will not care about what harm to which they have been accomplices.
I hope that the public now understands the real dangers of administrative doubletalk being culturally destructive bureaucratic trouble-talk. Perhaps the apprehensive school executives should consult with the Hammonton High School wrestling coaches on how to grapple with their’ ongoing “holidays crisis.”
When the meanings of words are changed and redefined to conform’ with a radical political agenda, then the jargon originating out of school administrators’ mouths begins to sound like the doubletalk babbling originating out of the Biblical Tower of Babel. Now that we have connected some of the dots, everyone can plainly see where school administrators are (either deliberately or inadvertently) doing the opposite of what they were entrusted to do, transmitting the nation’s values and culture to the next generation. Administrative doubletalk in regard to Christian holidays is indeed trouble-talk that without a doubt is detrimental to both the present and the future stability of the United States of America.
Jay Dubya (author of 41 books)