Christmas Celebrated In Schools Again: We call it Good News Friday because it’s a chance for David and Tim to share some good news from across the nation and around the world. We don”t often hear good news from the media but here on WallBuilders Live we are about to share with you just some of the good things happening right now!
Air Date:Â 12/21/2018
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we”re talking about today”s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.
You can find out more about our program at WallBuildersLive.com and more about the entire organization at WallBuilders.com. There are actually a few days left in the year, so we do encourage you to make a last minute end-of-the-year donation to WallBuilders Live. It helps us continue this great program and ministry, and getting that good news out to people all across the country, equipping and inspiring them, and giving them the tools that they need to help restore our Constitutional Republic.
David, Tim, I always look forward to Good News Fridays. It really is a great way to round out the year right before Christmas, just some things we can be thankful for. I know you both have a big stack of good news. Let’s see how much we can get to. Tim, I think you’re going first today.
How the Principal Stole Christmas
Alright, sounds good. This one is something that certainly, in our lifetime, we wouldn’t have guessed would have happened, and actually it’s good news only because it was all changed.
But there was a school up in Nebraska, and the principal, Jennifer Sinclair—it’s Manchester Elementary School—she sent out a memo to her staff in which she wanted to make sure teachers knew, “We don’t do Christmas at school. That’s a holiday we don’t celebrate. It’s not all inclusive for people—“
Except for the fact that it is a federal holiday on the calendar, and that we actually take that—
Yeah, don’t bother her with details. So, let me just read a little bit of the memo which the article is talking about, the good news is that a lot of this is changed now, and we’ll get to that in a second. In the article, it points out that teachers were told that generic winter themes such as sledding, scarves, and the Frozen character Olaf were acceptable; however, Santas, Christmas trees, reindeer, green and red colors, and even candy canes were not acceptable. Now, let me—they actually printed a list of the items the principal sent to the staff to make sure they knew what was not acceptable to be displayed in the classroom, and it does say Santa or Christmas items which includes clip art on a worksheet.
No Santas, No Trees, No Red or Green Clothes
Now, I would understand this if these were religious objections, you can’t display a nativity scene and the likes, but tell me how Santa and reindeer come to somehow being a violation of somebody else’s religious beliefs?
There’s not a good explanation for that!
It gets even better, because she says no Christmas trees in the classroom, no Elf on the shelf because that’s Christmas related, no singing Christmas carols, no playing Christmas music. I feel like the Grinch is helping write this for her. Sending a scholastic book that is Christmas, or is a Christmas book, or is Christmas related is not allowed.
No way. But she does say Scholastic Books, so she admits it’s an academic book but if it addresses Christmas—
Making a Christmas ornament as a gift—and she makes a note, because this assumes the family has a Christmas tree, which assumes they celebrate Christmas. “I challenge the thought of, “Well, they can just hang it somewhere else.””
Candy canes are banned. Now, why? She gives a couple of reasons why candy canes are banned. But why would you guess Candy Canes are banned?
Well, if I remember Kelly Shackelford”s case, the Plano school district banned it because they said, “It’s in the shape of a crook of a shepherd, and a shepherd is the Jesus story.” Although I know a lot of shepherds who aren’t Christian, and who had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus.
The List Goes On
Ok, it”s the red is the blood and the white is the Spirit. She also says it’s also an upside down J, which stands for Jesus.
Oh, come on! She actually had it in there?
Ok, this is your tax dollars going to good use here. All those taxes you pay in Nebraska? Now”s when you get your money’s worth.
So this is Good News Friday, right? We know it’s going to turn around, but let me just read the rest, it”s ridiculous.
So, no red or green items allowed in the classroom.
Oh my gosh.
Right? I don’t even know how we handle that.
What do you do if you’ve got red hair?
You”re kicked out.
So, no reindeer and no Christmas videos, movies, or characters from Christmas movies. But what is acceptable? So, the principal said gifts to students will be allowed. Snow men, snow women, and snow people, will be allowed. Snowflakes will be allowed. Gingerbread people are allowed, holidays around the world—which holidays around the world, that includes Christmas right? Maybe not.
That”s an American holiday, federal holiday. We don’t do what Federal law requires here. This is schools, remember.
The Principal is now On Administrative Leave
And nobody else in the world celebrates Christmas, so that’s fine. Sledding is allowed, hot chocolate, polar bears, penguins, scarves, boots, earmuffs and hats, yetis—like the monster Yeti, and Olaf the Snowman, from the movie Frozen, those were allowed.
Now, when reporters went out and people from the school found out about it, they contacted the school district to find out what in the world is going on.
Well, the school district spokesperson, Kara Purcell, said that Jennifer Sinclair is a new principal. She didn’t consult with administration about school policy. So she doesn’t know and she didn’t handle this correctly. But they’re going to take care of it.
Well, actually, they put principal Sinclaire on administrative leave.
And said she’s having to resolve some personal issues before she is allowed to come back.
Now, I don’t know if the personal issue is her bitterness against Christmas. However, the good news is the kids up in Nebraska at Manchester Elementary School are now allowed to wear red and green, have a Christmas tree, and have Christmas, or candy canes, or whatever else.
So the good news is at least somebody in the school district had some common sense. That is the positive news. It’s so crazy we have to battle these things in our lifetime, we never would have thought schools are banning red and green, or that candy canes are upside down Js for Jesus.
Where does it End?
Aren’t M&Ms upside down Ws for wise men? You can”t have M&Ms in school either, right? Where do you stop? This is ridiculous. The good news is that all changed. We’ll just pray for Principal Jennifer Sinclair to have a God encountered change of heart this Christmas season, and come back embracing Christmas, and hopefully Jesus too.
If I was one of those parents that wants to make sure I’m following the rules and obeying whatever the school”s putting out. I’ve got this list in front of me, and I’m about to send my kid to school, it could take 30 minutes to make sure that my kid is acceptable at school that day. Got to make sure they don’t have red or green on anywhere. Got to make sure they don’t have a candy cane stuck on their person, or in their pocket, or whatever. It’s quite hilarious, and utterly ridiculous.
But good news is that’s no longer happening in Nebraska.
Quick break. We’ll be right back. More good news for you this Friday before Christmas. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
This Precarious Moment Book
This is David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now.
Issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.
These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.
Kudos for the School District for Stepping in!
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, and merry Christmas. It”s the last Good News Friday before Christmas. By the way, you don’t want to miss the program on Christmas Day.
We’re going to be bringing you some special messages, even some of those from history. You”ve got to tune in on Tuesday to find out. But have a great weekend before Christmas, and we’re going to lead you into that weekend with some good news!
Some Good News Friday all day today. David Barton has our next piece of good news, David?
Thinking back over that piece that Tim just had, there was a piece of good news in there that kind of stood out to me at the break. Nothing in that report indicated that parents had an uprising against the school, and nobody was calling angry. It looked like the school itself took the preemptive steps and got involved really early on. They took a forceful step and put the principal on administrative leave.
So if that happened without the public having to raise their voice on that, that’s pretty significant. Another one that kind of goes with that, is that it was interesting to me that the principal was throwing Santa Claus and Jesus in the same kind of thing. Yet in the average American culture, Santa Claus is seen as the image of secular Christmas and Jesus the image of religious Christmas.
Jesus VS Santa Clause
So, advertisers will go to Santa Claus rather than Jesus because that makes it a real inclusive kind of holiday in their thinking. It’s interesting that Rasmussen actually did a poll just recently, just came out, and it’s kind of simple. It was Jesus versus Santa.
When it comes to Jesus or Santa—
And not that Jesus was taking on Santa, or Santa was taking on Jesus. It wasn’t like a fight Jesus versus Santa, although that would be a weird fight.
It”s not a close ringed fight. So it’s not like Jesus or Santa throwdowns we see in the WWE headlines, or whatever they call it. So it wasn’t one of those fights.
But it was to see what people thought, if Christmas should be more about Jesus or more about Santa.
Now you’ve got 72 percent of the nation that self identifies as Christian, but we know a whole lot of those folks are not biblical in any way, shape, fashion, or form.
So it was striking to me that, whereas a whole lot of those are very secular in their thinking, those who thought that Christmas should be about Jesus more than Santa was 67 percent to 14 percent.
So by a margin of 5 to 1, the American public chose Jesus over Santa as what they felt like should be the representation for the Christmas season. That’s a pretty significant shift in the direction of five to one in favor of Jesus over Santa Claus. You wouldn’t get that from advertising, and seeing the way that advertisers and merchandisers and others handle the season.
6 to 1 for Jesus
So then, taking it from that tone, if you go specifically back into public schools and you look at public schools when the question was asked should Christmas be celebrated in public schools. Seventy four percent said yes, only 14 percent said no. So they were nearly at a margin of almost 6 to 1 saying Christmas should be celebrated in public schools. And when you get only 14 percent opposing, that’s really low.
I go back to the axiom and politics from back in the 60s, that 20 percent of the people oppose everything all the time. Well, expect 20 percent to say no. Only 14 percent said no, which that’s really low. So there’s two polls that are out just in the last week that really are very favorable toward the American public. They want to see Christmas have a religious thematic person at the center, Jesus Christ, and they think that it should be celebrated in public schools, which is really good.
Well, we’re going to break I’d encourage our listeners that, if they missed last week, they should listen to last Wednesday’s program there in the archives section on our website at WallBuildersLive.com with Bill Feder, where we get the history of Christmas traditions and we find out St. Nick was very much bended knee towards the Savior. Definitely celebrating Christ, and you know so much of those traditions go back to the biblical story of Christ. But we just don’t get that part of the story today. So it’s really not Santa versus Jesus, it’s actually the original Santa was actually a big fan of Jesus.
Hey, let’s take a break. We’ll be right back. More good news for you here on the Friday before Christmas. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
We Want To Hear Your Vet Story
Hey friends! If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live. Â Once in awhile, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.
One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live, from folks that were in the Band of Brothers, to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived the Indianapolis to so many other great stories you heard on WallBuilders Live.
You have friends and family that also served. Â If you have World War II veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please e-mail us at Radio@WallBuilders.com. Â Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live!
A Christmas with the Bartons
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live! it’s the Friday before Christmas. We hope you’re looking forward to a great time with your friends and family. It’s Good News Friday here on WallBuilders Live. Tim’s got our next piece of good news. I have to ask you guys a question though: for your family celebration for Christmas, when everybody’s getting together and you got time with everybody, what do you guys do? Do you guys do puzzles? We do puzzles, and I know you’re a puzzle family too, but like what do you do for the time together as family.
Get guns, go outside, and shoot.
I was going to say, mostly it involves guns of some kind. We practice our long range shooting, or we practice knocking down or pinging steel targets.
So do you ride the four wheelers in the cold? Is that it?
Yeah. You can’t be cold when you’re on a four wheeler. What are you talking about, man?
That’s not accurate. You can be very cold, but you can still have fun in the cold on a four wheeler.
So we definitely try to get outside as much as possible because the sun goes down so quickly. Often we then will gather in the living room and we have a fireplace, so there’s a fire going, we’ll usually watch either some kind of sporting event or a Christmas movie.
Oftentimes board games are involved, so”¦
And we’ll have Christmas that night, we’ll open presents. And with that, always do the Christmas reading from Luke. We always read the Luke story.
Emphasis on the Bible, not Commercialization
Actually, I didn’t realize he was talking specifically of Christmas celebration or Christmas Day, because yeah, that would be a little bit different perhaps. Nonetheless, Luke Chapter 2 is something that we’ve done. Actually, because there are now some some grandkids in the equation, and depending on who all the family is there, we’ve started acting it out too as we’re reading it. So different uncles and people get recruited to be animals in the play, and you have to play multiple parts, sometimes there are not enough to be all the parts. But definitely we try to emphasize Luke Chapter 2. Remember what Christmas is all about, and not this over commercialization, but no, it’s really about Jesus and getting back to the reason for the season.
Very cool. Very cool. I sprang that one on y”all. What’s our next piece of good news?
Speaking of the reason for the season and Luke Chapter 2, something really cool happened. I have an article talking about it, and here’s the headline: Chris Pratt reads Luke’s Gospel at Disneyland’s candlelight ceremony, speaks of God’s love for His children.
When Disneyland opened back in 1955, they began an annual tradition, a candlelight ceremony. At this candlelight ceremony, there were many Christmas choruses sung, and many of those are very Christ centered, very religious oriented, and Luke Chapter 2 has been a part of this celebration for a long time. One of the things Disney has done, is they bring in lots of different choirs and different groups to come and be a part of it.
So they have local school choirs, or church choirs, or community choirs. They have some of their Disney cast who are there, and they’ll sing different parts.
Chris Pratt Reads the Christmas Story in Disneyland!
So it’s this massive choir going on, but the choir is singing strategic songs as they are doing the telling of the gospel from Luke. So there’s Away in a Manger, they sing Angels We Have Heard On High, and What Child is this, and Silent Night, and lots of things kind of interspersed throughout.
Well, this year the story was read by Chris Pratt, and for many listeners they probably are familiar. Chris Pratt has been pretty outspoken about his faith, especially the last couple of years. With his kind of notoriety, his come to fame on an even greater level with the Avengers, he was on the TV show, Parks and Rec, but Avengers really kind of made him a big, big star. And he’s been very open about his faith. He did Luke’s Gospel.
But then at the end, he actually—what they called going off script, and he just kind of shared from his heart and talked about the importance of faith in his life and the importance of God in his life as a father. It was just really cool. As we’ve talked often about how Hollywood has changed so much from what it was in previous decades and generations, where over the last several decades it’s been very secular and you don’t have as many patriotic people or as many faith people and it’s not as much family friendly as it used to be.
It”s Great to See a Celebrity Openly Embracing Jesus Christ in Public
It’s really refreshing to see people that—although Chris Pratt is not a perfect guy and I don’t think he would even argue that. We’re we’re not saying that. However, to see someone of his notoriety in Hollywood, of his fame in Hollywood, be openly accepting and embracing a faith in Christ and of the Christmas story and what it’s all about. Then to do that at Disney when it’s a televised event, and who knows how many millions of people are seeing this happen, and it”s just really cool that in the midst of all that is going on, that people are remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season.
And again, here was an occasion where Luke Chapter 2, the Gospel of Luke, the story of Jesus was read. And this time Chris Pratt was the one that did that at Disneyland candlelight ceremony. So pretty cool stuff.
God is Using Him in a Really Cool Way
I think one thing that’s cool about his story over the last year is part of his shtick is
basically being goofy, right?
For a guy who did that on Parks and Rec, and even somewhat in the Avengers movies, and live in some of the things that he does, he’s actually exercising, I would even use the word wisdom in this strategy, with which he has shared his faith and shared the gospel, not only in this case at Disney, but with some of the award shows when he said things, and it’s just become cool to watch. I think God is using him in a neat way, in a culture that’s rejecting all things religious and doesn’t want to know anything about God. He’s been used in a really awesome way to remind us of that God consciousness that we need.
Quick break, we’ll be right back. More good news from David and Tim Barton when we return.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution but just felt like, man, the classes are boring or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago or I don’t know where to start? People want to know. But it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the Constitution either.
Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. It’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the Constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders” library where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.
We call it the QuickStart guide to the Constitution because in just a few hours through these videos you will learn the Citizen’s Guide to America’s Constitution. Â You’ll learn what you need to do to help save our Constitutional Republic. It’s fun! It’s entertaining! And it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive with David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at WallBuilders.com.
Jesus Came to Save us from our Sins
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. It’s Good News Friday on the Friday before Christmas. Looking forward to a wonderful Christmas next week, hope you are as well. We’ve got time for just a little bit more good news before we close out today. David Barton”s got our last piece of good news.
I’m going to go to something that has a peripheral connection to Christmas. It goes back to the Christmas story in Matthew 1 when the angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Call Him Jesus, and this is what are you gonna do.”
Talking about his wife Mary, the angel says she’ll bring forth a son and you will call Him Jesus, for he will save His people from their sins. Now, I would argue that in recent years, at least in my memory, I’m in a lot of churches—I’m around a lot of churches a lot of pastors—I just don’t hear people talk about the word sin with any regularity. We just don’t want to tell people that something is sad or we don’t want to judge them or condemn them so we don’t say it.
But Jesus came to save people from their sins. So if you look at sin, I would argue that abortion is a sin. It is the wrong thing, it violates what God wants for mankind. For humans, it is a sin, a fall short of what He wants.
Fifty Two Percent of American Agree Abortion is a Sin!
Well, I would say that I’m not sure many other people in America would agree that abortion is a sin.
I just wouldn’t think that, until I picked up this poll. It”s that 2018 state of theology as conducted by Ligonier Ministries for LifeWay Research. They found that, as of right now, 52 percent of Americans agreed that abortion is a sin.
More than half of Americans call abortion a sin? That’s just astounding to me. Then they went a little deeper and said, “Well, what did church people think about it?” And I did not expect good results here, because we do know that up to 200,000 abortions a year are performed on professing born again Christians.
What we find is, among churchgoers, 81 percent of churchgoers say that abortion is a sin. I just find it absolutely fascinating that we’re getting to a point in culture where we can start using that word again, and it’s not absolutely radioactive and, “You’re judging me.”
No. This is what Jesus came to save people from, their sins, and 52 percent of Americans in general, 81 percent of Christians, think that abortion is a sin. So to me, that’s really big numbers. That’s really good news. I think that’s a great change of tone direction in America.
Well, you nailed it too. That the purpose of the Gospel, and the laws to convict us of our sin to make us realize we need a Savior. If there is no sin, there’s no need for the Savior. So you’re right. It’s a good trend. Boy, we’ve been moving away from that one for too many years and losing the very purpose of the church as it is.
Of course, we’re going to celebrate life this weekend and next week celebrate Christmas and encourage folks to go to our website today at WallBuildersLive.com and listen to that program last week about some of the history of Christmas. I also encourage you to go there and make an end of year donation. It’s an opportunity for you to support what we do and not just a radio program. It actually makes it possible for us to take legislators and bring them together to exchange good ideas, take pastors to Washington D.C. and give them a good pastor’s briefing and history on the faith of our country and the role of pastors in the founding of our country in the great history of our nation. In so many different ways, we are equipping people inspiring them educating them to do their part as good citizens.
It’s a great opportunity here at the end of the year for you to be able to support that. We are a listener supported program and everything that we do is made possible because of your donations. So become a big supporter and come alongside us and be a part of what we’re doing. That way you know that you’re a part of the solution, helping to restore our Constitutional Republic. Merry Christmas and thanks for joining us. Be sure to listen next week. Christmas Eve and Christmas day we got some special programs for you. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.