Nativity Plays scrapped due to JWs

by Clam 17 Replies latest jw experiences

  • greendawn

    So why don't the non JW kids carry on with the nativity play while the JW kids keep out of it? And what on earth could possibly harm them if they watch a biblically based play? It shows how alienated they are from the rest of the world.

  • blondie

    The non JW kids don't carry on because the school administration has made the decision, most likely not because JWs have complained. I was a JW kid for 13 years in many school systems and neither I nor my mother ever asked that any holiday/birthday functions be cancelled because of me. We only asked that I be exempted from attending. I have never heard of any elders going to the school administration or other government entity to demand the end of holiday events in the school setting. Even with the flag salute, JW children only asked to be exempted from participating not that the flag saluted be ended. I have noticed that when a situation rises about the flag salute being eliminated at schools, it has been non-JWs bringing a lawsuit or complaint. In my area, the Freedom From Religion group is very active in this area. But not the JWs.


  • heathen

    I kinda feel for the other side . I get so sick and tired of people trying to cram their christmas tradition down my throat . As was said earlier , find somewhere else to produce the theme . No body stops people from worshipping in buildings that are put up for that reason .

  • Clam

    Dansk - I dont know how many JW kids are in this school. I'll try and find out.

    Blondie - I dont know who made this decision but I also think its less likely to be the JWs.

    I think they should try and integrate the JW kids. For instance they could play Inn owners literally and figuratively rejecting the mother and baby Jesus.

    I initially found it surprising that there are enough JW kids to warrant such action. Maybe they should start their own schools? Or do they already have them elsewhere?

  • carla

    The American Center for Law and Justice handles many of the Christmas or other religious issues in schools. Another example is if a child could sing a religious song at a talent show, the ACLJ handled that and the child was allowed to. They have had many, many Christmas issues in public schools, some of you will not like their very Christian conservative views though.

  • NeonMadman
    No body stops people from worshipping in buildings that are put up for that reason .

    True enough, though I'd have to say that restricting religious expression to private gatherings in designated buildings doesn't sound much like the "freedom of religion" that I grew up believing in. The whole point of freedom of religion is that we are allowed to express our faith openly, in public, not hidden behind closed doors. People have been able to worship privately, behind closed doors, even under the most restrictive regimes in human history - after all, if nobody knows you are doing it, then whatever laws against it exist are irrelevant, right?

    The idea that a Christmas play in a public school is somehow labeled "offensive" - when statistically, 85% of the students there are likely to consider themselves Christian - seems absurd to me. Nobody is requiring the other students to participate if they don't want to (or, if they are being required to, I would consider that to be wrong). But the activities of the great majority to express their faith should not be restricted by a small minority who would take offense - there is, after all, no constitutional right not to be offended. In fact, if I had to guess, I'd bet that of the 15% non-Christians, hardly any would actually be "offended" at having a Christmas play being put on at their school, particularly if they were free to ignore it - it's just a tiny but very vocal anti-Christian minority who are making all the noise about this, with the assistance of extremist groups like the ACLU.

    Also - how far does the right not to be offended go? Why are school children still allowed to salute the flag, when this might "offend" a JW kid who believes that pledging is idolatry? Should school sports and school dances be eliminated so that the JW student who shuns "worldly" association is not offended when friends ask why they do not participate? Should a school be allowed to have a chess club, since a JW student might believe that chess is a war game to be avoided (in harmony with the article in Awake! of March 22, 1973), and might therefore be "offended" knowing that such an evil practice is carried on in his school?

    If we determine that everyone has a right not to be offended, then there are no longer any other rights, because anyone can be offended by anything someone else does at any time. If the right not to be offended is absolute, then no action is protected. It's sort of like being a JW, when the elders would counsel you not to do something that was clearly a matter of conscience - but they would advise against doing it anyway, so that no one would be "stumbled". But anyone could be stumbled over anything (not that anyone really was, very often - more often they were stumbled by controlling elders than by anything another JW did), so there was nothing one could do that was completely above criticism, except for approved "theocratic" activity.

    The bottom line is that there is no right not to be offended. If a school has 4 kids who are Zoroastrians out of a student body of 2000, and those 4 kids want to start a Zoroastrian club and put on a Zoroastrian play, then I say let them go for it, as long as the non-Zoroastrian kids are not compelled to participate or attend. And the same thing applies to the 85% who are Christians. The irony of it is that, in today's society, the Zoroastrian kids would probably get away with it, whereas the Christian kids are likely to be shut down to avoid "offending" anyone.

  • TallTexan
    This fits a modern British trend of political correctness where any risk of offence to minorities is identified and acted upon.

    Hmmm...seems to be going around. Here in the U.S. we can't do ANYTHING that may offend ANY small group ANYWHERE.

    Creating an environment where no one has any freedom to do what they want because it will offend someone else - sound familiar?

  • blondie

    Growing up I was not always the only person going to the library or off to another room during holiday activities. I was joined over the years by 2 Orthodox Jewish girls, 2 girls from a non-denominational Christian church who did not celebrate Christmas the way the school did, and 2 boys from a family where the parents were atheists. So if the school is bending over to be PC and there were no JWs in the school, chances are that the same dilemma will occur. But it is the school administration making the decision that these events "offend" JWs and so they events must be altered or canceled.

    I have never known any individual JWs to insist that these events be canceled (or elder bodies, COs, DOs, or the WTS headquarters to support that). Ask that children be excused, yes, but not insist that others not participate. Can you imagine if in the beginning of the flag salute issue if JWs had insisted that no one salute the flag? None of the laws protecting their rights to individually choose not to salute would exist.

    I'm not going to say that there couldn't be some wildcard JW out there that might have tried this, but I can't see the elder body or the WT organization supporting it.

    Even when I was an active JW, I felt that many schools and organizations were going overboard limiting people from celebrating because one person "might" be offended. Why, because while I did not see that card played outside the organization, I did see it played many times withing the WTS. "No, sister, you can't do that although it is allowed scripturally, someone in the congregation might be stumbled."


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