Dumps "Cold in the Night"
and Returns to "Silent Night"
WI - Ridgeway Elementary School has now dumped "Cold in
the Night" from its "winter program." After receiving
an avalanche of phone calls and emails, late yesterday afternoon,
Debra Messer, the District Administrator, confirmed that "Silent
Night will be sung. Cold in the Night will not be sung." Liberty
Counsel sent two letters to school officials on behalf of concerned
parents demanding that the school drop "Cold in the Night"
and include "Silent Night" in its original version.
school's "winter program" has included decorating
classrooms with Santa Claus, Kwanza, Menorahs, and La Befana (a Christmas
witch). During this program elementary students were going to sing
"Cold in the Night." Sung to the tune of "Silent
Night," the lyrics of "Cold in the Night" were entirely
have ruled that public schools may include religious songs as part
of a teaching or performance program. The Supreme Court once noted:
"Music without sacred music, architecture minus the Cathedral,
or painting without the Scriptural themes would be eccentric and incomplete,
even from a secular view." Religious songs along with other
secular holiday songs are permissible. The Dodgeville School District
has now stated that the program at Ridgeway will include traditional
Counsel's Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign seeks to educate
about the law regarding the celebration of Christmas. If education
does not resolve the matter, Liberty Counsel litigates. Last week
Liberty Counsel filed suit against two Florida towns after they denied
the private display of a nativity scene on public property. Neptune
Beach and Atlantic Beach settled the case prior to the emergency hearing.
The nativity scene went up December 12 and will remain through December
D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, commented:
"We are pleased that the children at Ridgeway Elementary School
will not be singing 'Cold in the Night.' This secularized
rendition mocks one of the world's best-known Christmas songs.
Christmas is a state and federal holiday. We don't change the
names of any other federal holiday, nor do we change the words to
songs commemorating these holidays. It is absurd to have children
sing 'Cold in the Night' in place of 'Silent Night.'"
Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Chancellor
of Liberty University, has endorsed Liberty Counsel's Friend
or Foe Christmas Campaign and is urging churches to run the Friend
or Foe ads in their local newspapers. The ad and the Friend or Foe
legal memo can be downloaded
free at LC.org. Churches may call 434-582-2432 to have the National
Liberty Journal's graphics department place the church's
name on the ad free of charge.
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Counsel, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a nonprofit litigation,
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