Contact: Mat Staver - 407-875-2100


School Changes "Silent Night" to "Cold in the Night"
and Secularizes the Lyrics

Dodgeville, WI - Ridgeway Elementary School's "winter program" has changed the name of "Silent Night" to "Cold in the Night." Sung to the tune of "Silent Night," the lyrics have been secularized as follows: "Cold in the night, no one in sight, winter winds whirl and bite, how I wish I were happy and warm, safe with my family out of the storm." Liberty Counsel represents a concerned parent whose child attends Ridgeway.

At the same time the school has changed the religious songs to secular, the "winter program" has included decorating classrooms with Santa Clause, Kwanza, Menorahs, and Labafana (a Christmas witch!). Liberty Counsel has issued a demand letter to the school stating that the school's actions violate the Constitution. The letter demands an immediate change in the program. Liberty Counsel is prepared to file suit if the district does not immediately remedy the situation.

Liberty Counsel's Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign will first seek to educate about the law regarding the celebration of Christmas. If education does not resolve the matter, Liberty Counsel will litigate.

Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, commented: "For those who deny that there is a war on Christmas, the Wisconsin school district is exhibit A. The law is clear - Christmas is constitutional. When a public school intentionally mocks Christian Christmas songs by secularizing their content, they cross the line from a neutral position, which the Constitution requires, to a hostile position, which the Constitution forbids. Changing 'Silent Night' to 'Cold in the Night' - come on, let's stop this madness! Does the school not realize that Christmas is a national holiday?"

Dr. 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 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.

Thousands of public school teachers and administrators with Christian Education Association International and Fellowship of Christian Teachers are distributing Liberty Counsel's legal memo in their schools and communities.