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Teacher defends "Santa" remarks (Full, unedited statement)
Lebanon Daily News ^ | 12/23/05 | Theresa R. Farrisi

Posted on 12/26/2005 8:11:14 AM PST by Conservatrix

To the Editor:

"Last week I substituted at a local elementary school in Lebanon County. The lesson plan required me to read the 1882 poem “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore to two classes of students. While I can appreciate the poem for its literary value, the subject matter is offensive to me, and the reading of this poem to the children imposed values upon me which are against my deeply held religious beliefs. I could not in good conscience present the notion of Santa Claus as a truth to the children, and stated so.

No public school teacher should be required to teach a belief, or custom, or religion that he or she believes to be false, or be required to pass those purported falsehoods onto impressionable children, without the right to state a disclaimer. Furthermore, freedom of speech and religion, no matter how unpopular the speech or against cultural norms the religion, are protected rights under the Constitution of the United States. A secular public school should not be propagating any kind of religion. The belief in Santa Claus as a divine, magical, omniscient, powerful, giving, loving father-figure, to which children are taught to make supplications and requests, is a religion indeed-- a distorted substitute for the Judeo-Christian God; a false form of Christianity; a zealously-protected American idol.

In presenting the poem, I gave the children quick historical background about the Santa Claus myth-- its evolution from the historic Nickolaus, Bishop of Myrna in Asia Minor, who died in 343 A.D., to its amalgamation with ancient Western pagan traditions of German, Scandinavian and Dutch origins, to the current manifestation in the secular Christmas culture of today. (Dutch children, for example, would put their wooden shoes out at night for “Sante Klaus” to fill with candies.)

The current Santa Claus figure was popularized in the late 19th Century by artist Thomas Nast of Harper’s Weekly Magazine, who depicted “Saint Nick,” not as an elf, but a rotund, pipe-smoking man in a red and white suit. This is the deity to which countless public school children today are taught to make supplications, and about whom they sing their many songs at annual public school Christmas programs.

If people are upset about the revelation to children that Santa Claus is a myth-- which all children who are taught this lie find or figure out eventually-- perhaps it is because Santa is that zealously-guarded idol of their own modern religion. Therefore, as a religion, let Santa be kept out of the public school classroom (no more “Dear Santa” letters to line those school hallways)--or perhaps, in the interest of “diversity,” make his mythical, oversized personage share equal representation in literature, and song, and Christmas programs, with the other Person of the season: the Lord Jesus Christ, God made flesh, God with us."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: absolutelywackaloon; allaboutme; badsanta; bahhumbug; bundleofjoy; campuscommies; campusradicals; christianity; coalinyoursock; crankymeanie; devilwearsredtoo; elohim; elvesinhell; feminazis; getalife; harridan; hormoneswouldhelp; leadpipes; mentalmidget; miserablewretch; needsagoodscrooge; nogiftsforyou; nutcaketeacher; nutjob; oldnickstnick; piousposer; pontificatrix; publicschools; religion; santa; santamyth; santasatan; satanclaus; scroogette; shrew; sourpuss; teacher; teacherfromhell; toobadkids; waronchristmas; waronpaganism; wheresmymartyrdom; xanthippe; xmastaliban
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To: hershey

"she could have finessed the question, and frankly, there's a little Santa Claus in all of us and not just at Christmas. That spirit of caring and giving and generosity toward others. Katrina and the tsunami come to mind.

That, my friend, is the spirit THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, not Santa Claus. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." YOu cannot bleive in other gods if you love Jesus Christ .


81 posted on 12/26/2005 8:52:12 AM PST by Conservatrix ("He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.")
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To: MineralMan
How many six year olds do you suppose still believe that Santa Claus is a real figure? I gave that nonsense up at age 4, for pete's sake.
Wow, ain't you da' man. And now you're an atheist. Go figure.
82 posted on 12/26/2005 8:52:44 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Conservatrix

Your analogy is not correct. There is a lot of difference between poetry and life/death situations. You are mixing apples and oranges saying they are the same. Wrongo here!! Now the perfect analogy would be asking if you would teach that James Whitcomb Riley's poem, "Little Orphan Annie" was written to scare children into behaving correctly, or to tell a childhood fantasy about gobblins and ghosts? Both poems, "Night Before Christmas" and "Little Orphan Annie" were written to enhance childrens' fantasies, no more and no less. To make it anything else is not to be tolerated nor accepted by the general public. Hence, your rebuke is not correct.


83 posted on 12/26/2005 8:53:16 AM PST by geezerwheezer (get up boys, we're burnin' daylight!!!)
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To: Conservatrix
No public school teacher should be required to teach a belief, or custom, or religion that he or she believes to be false, or be required to pass those purported falsehoods onto impressionable children,

Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that she has told these youngsters that the US invaded Iraq to get their oil?

84 posted on 12/26/2005 8:53:18 AM PST by RGSpincich
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To: demkicker

"People who get their knickers in a wad over Santa seriously need to get a life, and most certainly shouldn't preach to fellow Christians. MYOB"

Quote the contrary, it is the mainstream popular culture who is in a wad oiver someone who disagrees with the mainstream.


85 posted on 12/26/2005 8:53:35 AM PST by Conservatrix ("He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.")
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To: RGSpincich

"Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that she has told these youngsters that the US invaded Iraq to get their oil?"

No, she did not. She voted for George Bush and is a conservative republican Christian.


86 posted on 12/26/2005 8:54:35 AM PST by Conservatrix ("He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.")
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To: Conservatrix
This borderline agnostic gets it as well. There is a certain class of extremely consvervative Protestants who not only don't like the Santa Claus myth but don't celebrate Christmas at all because they see it as a Pagan Holiday. They simply acknowledge the birth, death and Resurrection of Christ all year long.
87 posted on 12/26/2005 8:54:49 AM PST by Borges
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To: Conservatrix

"Children are being taught that Santa "sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, knows when you've been bad or good." Those are attributes of a divine being."

First of all, the children are NOT BEING TAUGHT that Santa...it's NOT in the curriculum! The above named attributes are the attributes of excellent parents.

What sophomoric (prescribed and stale) reasons you provide.



88 posted on 12/26/2005 8:55:19 AM PST by purpleland (Vigilance and Valor! Socialism is the Opiate of Academia)
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To: Conservatrix

If this sanctimonious, tight-*ss b*tch had to write a paragraph without using the words "I", "me", or "my", she would have nothing to say.

Guess what, sweetie, it ain't about YOU. You were asked to do a simple task in a first grade classroom, not sit there and pontificate on your beliefs.

This person is the kind who gives "Christians" a bad name.


89 posted on 12/26/2005 8:55:40 AM PST by GadareneDemoniac
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To: geezerwheezer

"Little Orphan Annie" was written to scare children into behaving correctly, or to tell a childhood fantasy about gobblins and ghosts? Both poems, "Night Before Christmas"


wrong argument. No children are being taught to ask Little Orphan Annie for Christmas presents. Santa is being taught as a God substitute.


90 posted on 12/26/2005 8:56:23 AM PST by Conservatrix ("He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.")
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To: Conservatrix

Look, if you or anyone else doesn't want your children to believe in Santa for a few short years of their childhood, that's fine. But don't go preaching to those of us who do, and don't you dare get out of your parental bounds and tell children, who are not yours, about personal Christmas traditions that none of your business.


91 posted on 12/26/2005 8:58:46 AM PST by demkicker
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To: GadareneDemoniac

"Guess what, sweetie, it ain't about YOU. You were asked to do a simple task in a first grade classroom, not sit there and pontificate on your beliefs. This person is the kind who gives "Christians" a bad name."

I think if a person has the courage to stand up to what they belive, that is admirable. The story is about being forced to teach something against one's religous beliefs in a secular school. Why would any Christian want to teach their children that some guy in a red suit who smokes a pipe is the one who anwers their prayers, gives them their presents on Christmas, and rewards their deeds because he sees them and hears them all the time?


92 posted on 12/26/2005 8:59:21 AM PST by Conservatrix ("He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.")
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To: MineralMan

My 5 year old and 10 year old still believe. I tell them that Santa and Jesus are friends.

We put out a piece of Jesus' birthday cake for santa instead of cookies. If a teacher EVER thought it their right to tell my kids that Santa doesn't exist, I would be so mad.

A few years ago, I was unemployed at Christmas time and told my kids that the only way we were going to have presents was if God and Santa got together and decided to provide it for them. We woke up to a black trash bag on my porch filled with presents, and no idea where it came from. We have also been blessed by the generosity of our fellow freepers.


93 posted on 12/26/2005 8:59:55 AM PST by trussell (Work for God...the retirement benefits are great!)
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To: Conservatrix

This substitute teacher is a good example of the undereducated product of our liberal colleges. These young women have earned teaching degrees so they can go into our public schools and tear down American traditions. When they are not eroding American traditions, they are giving our adolescent boys hands-on learning experiences in sexual education.


94 posted on 12/26/2005 9:00:00 AM PST by abclily
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To: demkicker

"don't you dare get out of your parental bounds and tell children, who are not yours, about personal Christmas traditions that none of your business."

Read the letters. Someone is being asked to promote YOUR belief, not the other way around.


95 posted on 12/26/2005 9:00:27 AM PST by Conservatrix ("He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.")
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To: Conservatrix; eyespysomething
Last week I substituted at a local elementary school in Lebanon County

The good news is that Theresa is a substitute. Kids never pay attention to the substitutes.

96 posted on 12/26/2005 9:01:01 AM PST by SittinYonder (That's how I saw it, and see it still.)
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To: Conservatrix
Santa is not invisible. I saw him at my kids Christmas party.

Here's a clue for you babe. Don't teach in public schools. You'll just get your panties in a bunch over stuff that makes you look like a nutjob.

Now, go find yourself a nice teaching post at a private religious school and you won't be exposed to the evil horror that is Santa Claus.

Geez....what a nutball.

L

97 posted on 12/26/2005 9:01:08 AM PST by Lurker (Let everything that's to be done be done by the herd.)
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To: Conservatrix
Image hosted by Photobucket.com every parent should demand their child be moved to another teacher and next years class should demand a different teacher as soon as they know their child is assigned to her room...
98 posted on 12/26/2005 9:01:10 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: trussell

I tell them that Santa and Jesus are friends.


IDOLATRY!
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Santa does not exist, and Jesus is your Lord, and you tell your chidlren a lie?
Get out your Bible and read it sometime.


99 posted on 12/26/2005 9:01:23 AM PST by Conservatrix ("He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.")
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To: abclily

Read further. The teacher in question is a Conservative Christian.


100 posted on 12/26/2005 9:02:11 AM PST by Borges
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