Tags: religious | carols | VA | hospital

Georgia High Schoolers Can't Sing Religious Carols at VA Hospital

Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 03:52 PM

By Greg Richter

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A group of Georgia high school students opted not to sing at an Augusta VA hospital after being told they could not include religious carols in their Christmas program.

Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center told The Augusta Chronicle that it is becoming stricter in enforcing its rule against religious Christmas carols in public patient areas because it doesn't want patients who aren't Christian to be offended.

"Military service veterans, male and female, represent people of all faiths," hospital spokesman Brian Rothwell said in a prepared statement. "It is out of respect for every faith that the Veterans Administration gives clear guidance on what 'spiritual care' is to be given and who is to give it."

Alleluia Community School students have caroled at the hospital for years, and have included songs that refer to the birth of Jesus, said Principal Dan Funsch.

"This is not a religious proselytizing, evangelistic issue, Funsch told The Chronicle. "The song 'Joy to the World' is as much a part of the holiday spirit as the Christmas tree."

The school planned to sing as it always has, Funsch said, until a high school senior was told by a hospital official that Christian songs would not be allowed. The school attempted to contact the hospital but received no reply.

So, when the group showed up to sing anyway, it was handed a list of 12 approved songs, all of which were secular in nature, such as "Jingle Bells" and "Frosty the Snowman."

Because of time constraints and not being familiar with some of the songs on the approved list, the students declined to sing, and cancelled the performance for this year, Funsch said.

The group was offered the option to sing in a chapel or day room, Rothwell told The Chronicle.

"From our point of view, the purpose of Christmas and its carols is to celebrate and honor the birth of Jesus, and if that goal is taken from us, it is an issue we do not want to be a part of," Funch said. "We do not think it is a good idea to systemically weed out religious Christmas songs from being sung in certain places."

The ban comes as many conservatives decry what they term the "war on Christmas." Fox News host Bill O'Reilly had an annual show-to-show debate with "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart on the issue this year.

CNN's Dana Bash brought up the subject with Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and wished him "Happy Holidays."

Related Stories:







© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Twitter to Track Which Apps Its Users Have

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 22:22 PM

If you use Twitter on your cellphone, the social media site will soon begin tracking which apps you use unless you activ . . .

Harry Reid: 'We Sure Do Like' Pope Francis

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 22:09 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Mormon, says he's an unabashed fan of Roman Catholic Pope Francis. . . .

GSK Ebola Vaccine Fast-tracked for Human Trials

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:37 PM

Preliminary results in human volunteers are promising from U.S. trials of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates. . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved