Archive for December 11th, 2008

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 11, 2008

A New Hanover County, North Carolina school temporarily dropped Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from its kindergarten program because of a complaint from a mother that the song has religious overtones.  The overtones–the song has the word “Christmas” in it.  The complaining mother is Jewish.   Dennis Prager and Michael Medved, both practicing Jews, have discussed this news story at length.  One of them (and I can’t remember who) said that he would bet a large amount of money that the woman is not an observant Jew and that people of are confident believers never feel threatened by the religious practices of others.

The local school board decided that “Rudolph” is a secular song and it is back in the program.  They also decided that religious songs will be allowed in the future as long as other religions are represented.  One report said that many parents shouted out with glee when they heard the song was back in the program.

And a little irony:  I just learned that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written by a Jew. Johnny Marks also wrote quite a few other Christmas songs, including I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

The central issue is an important one.  Why should anyone be offended with the public religious observance of another?  It is as if they are saying “Since I don’t observe this holiday, neither can you.”