Outside of the Box: Charlie Brown Offensive? Good Grief!

By Camille Nesler

Recently, a church in Little Rock has had to reschedule its production
of the children's Christmas play, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown” due
to a bunch of controversy over some elementary school teachers' offer
to take kids to see the play on a school day.
Apparently, some atheists in the community believe the teachers at
this school have stepped over the line separating church and state.
According to a news report, the controversy started when a parent
expressed her concern to the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers, stating
that her daughter might be “ridiculed” if she opted not to attend the
In the famous words of Charlie Brown, “GOOD GRIEF!” Things like this
often make me stop and wonder what happened to some people when God
was passing out brains. I guess they thought he said “rain!” and so
they ran inside. Oh wait a second! They don’t BELIEVE in him…so he
didn’t GIVE them any brains…right?
What really makes me chuckle is when I hear a whole lot of people on
this issue, hollering “separation of church and state! It’s in our
Well guess what? It’s NOT in our Constitution. Guess those people
don’t read either. If you don’t believe me, go back to your history
books. If you’re reading the Constitution, the First Amendment simply
says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the
freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to
peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of
Our founding fathers were simply declaring their independence from the
King of England, who was also the supreme Governor of the Church of
England. The Church of England was, and still is, the official state
religion, and the King himself was the head of that church. Our
founding fathers wanted to make sure that OUR government would not
ever establish a state church, and that people would be free to
worship however they choose.
Want to know where the phrase “separation of church and state” came
from? It was in a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802, to the
Baptist Association of Danbury, CT, in response to their complaint
that the state’s law was oppressive to their religion.
If that phrase was really in the Constitution, then it would not say,
“In God we Trust” on our money. The President of the United States
would not be sworn in on the Holy Bible. People testifying in a court
of law would not be asked to place their hand on the Bible. Think
about it. The only time a “separation” occurs is when some crazy
fanatic decides to twist the Constitution around to get rid of
religion. Take Madalyn Murray O’Hair for example. She’s the one
responsible for the lawsuit that got the Bible banned from being read
in schools. She found it “offensive” to atheists. Wow. If this woman
really believed there was no God, then in her mind, the Bible could
only be a work of fiction, right? Why work so hard to get a work of
fiction banned from the schools? What if I said I found Tom Sawyer
offensive? Or Grapes of Wrath? Could I get them banned? How completely
stupid that our country has become SO worried about offending people,
that school kids can’t go see a play simply because it’s held in a
And as for this “Free Thinkers” group, I’d sure like to know why they
think it’s ok for THEM to “think free” but apparently, it’s not OK
for any Christian to think free. Isn’t that the picture you get from
them and most atheists? After all, it’s not OK to say “Merry
Christmas” anymore, we now have to say “”happy holidays” for fear of
offending someone. It’s not OK to take kids to a play that’s put on
inside a church because some parent may be offended and some child may
be picked on for not going. In fact, some groups are even complaining
about nativity scenes being “offensive” to groups of non-believers.
Apparently, the only group out there that it’s “OK” to offend, are the
Christians. So I guess the students at this particular elementary
school won’t be seeing a play this year.
Sorry, Charlie Brown.