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  #21  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:31 AM
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Interesting that this group of "free thinkers" would strive to censor what others wish to think about.

The separation of church and state is the most misquoted statement used by these groups. It was never meant to keep the church from being a part of what went on in government or their communities. It was used exclusively to keep the government out of the church's business.

The United States constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Seems to me this group is trying to prevent others from expressing what they believe in.

If parents and kids want to enjoy seeing Charlie Brown live on stage, no matter where it is presented, why is that a problem? What are they afraid will happen? Just maybe everyone else will learn to think for themselves instead of being forced to think like everyone else.

Who are they kidding when they claim to be free thinkers yet demand others think just like them?
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  #22  
Old 02-12-2013, 02:45 PM
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OK, now don't throw tomatoes (or snowballs) at me, but I have to ask.....
Did any of you click the link and read the story about the atheists?
I did and I didn't see anything about taking the special off the air or not allowing others to watch, etc. There were some parents who were against their public school's field trip of going to a church and watching a live production of the show. They weren't out protesting and picketing, they had a lawyer represent their concerns with the school. I didn't see anything about lawsuits, they just didn't think it was right for a public school to go to a church and see a play with religious content during school hours.

I know there are lots of angry, wacky atheists out there that seem to be out to rid the world of Christmas outside of individual's own homes, but I didn't get a sense of that mentality from this story.

I'm, personally, not a religious person. I wouldn't have an issue with my child attending this play at a church, but I could see it being an issue with some.
There are probably some christians that would have a problem with their public school if they were to take a class to a mosque to watch some innocent children's play that had some islamic teachings in it. And I understand that too.
I think in this day & age public schools need to stay as neutral as possible, but that is tough to do in our mixed society today. I think it's fine to continue to have a 'Christmas' break or a 'Christmas' program at schools in December; but again, I can also see it through other's eyes if they happen to follow a different religion or none.

I hope I didn't make anyone mad. That definitely is not my intention. It just seemed that there was beginning to be a gang mentality of "how dare those atheists try to take away my yearly Charlie Brown Special." It really didn't come across that way to me.

Thanks for listening.....

YS
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  #23  
Old 02-12-2013, 11:50 PM
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Ok, YellowSnow...some good points there.

But there are other angles here to consider.

First, it is not against anything in the Constitution to prevent the mix of religious institutions and schools. In fact, it happens all the time without consequence. When I was in school we performed the Hallelujah Chorus. Prayers are said at graduations. Visiting churches as part of academic studies is NOT new nor condemned.

What is new is militant groups threatening lawsuits. What happens is that with the backing of the FFRF, of which this group in Arkansas is an off-shoot, they hire publicity hound lawyers to threaten lawsuits. It isn't the event that gets things cancelled it is the threat of costly defense of the events. The result is exactly the opposite of what the Society of Free Thinkers say they espouse -- that the beliefs of one is imposed on the others.

What gets lost in all this is that the school was not pursuing controversy in their field trip. They weren't pursuing religious study, which is their right and obligation to do under curriculum standards. They were pursuing the arts, which they are also required to do. Like all things associated with education, there are standards and review processes in place to see that what is used conforms with the stated curriculum. These things they passed.

This is event wasn't stopped because it was "right" to do so. It was stopped because it suddenly became a financial liability to the school district. And this because of a minority opinion.

Lost in the many facts of the episode was the glamor, once again, and the hype, of the Church vs. State argument. Oddly, it was the separation clause that was exactly exercised by imposing the will of "no-faith" on those of differing views.

I personally believe in keeping religious interpretation OUT of the schools. But you cannot escape the study of religion in history. It is vital. Students should be studying the origin of the Bible (even if most Christians knew the true origin of the Bible they would be shocked). Students should know about the Quran and other ancient scripture and the impact of belief systems on all societies. They study Greek mythology, paganism, ancient Native American beliefs and others. There's nothing wrong with that and everything appropriate to it.

In fact, I HOPE many schools over the course of this most current event took in the lessons of both religion and democracy. That is, after all, the purpose of education.

But keeping the school away from an artistic production held at a church (and one parents were allowed to opt out of, another fact conveniently not reported) was totally the wrong thing to do.

School children visits mosques and synagogues everyday. Do you hear complaints?
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  #24  
Old 02-13-2013, 07:45 AM
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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for responding. I don't disagree with anything you said. I, too, believe schools should educate students about all religions equally, so students will grow to understand the world they are coming up in. Let's face it, when we were kids things were different. We didn't grow up in the internet age or in a true global economy. We were sort of closed off and it was OK to have a Christian leaning on everything (at least in my area) because everyone believed similarly. The biggest belief differences were between, for example, a Baptist and a Lutheran.

But, anyway.... the reason I felt compelled to post was because the thread was about the movie and the discussion seemed to be going towards atheists keeping networks from showing this annually or preventing folks from their tradition of watching it as Christmas approaches, and I just didn't see any of that in the linked article.

I hope I didn't side-track the film festival topic too much. In fact, I was hoping to get it back on track.

Sincerely,
YS
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:35 AM
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Oh, not at all! I thought your comments were entirely appropriate. And you're right...the effort wasn't about A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV.
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  #26  
Old 02-13-2013, 10:03 AM
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YS,

Christmas, religion and atheism are a mix that sometimes frazzles nerves and tempers. You're correct, nothing in the linked article mentions removing the TV special from the air. But I think the point of the link was to highlight the latest high-profile case of people who oppose the religious content in the movie.

From the article, Anne Orsi, a lawyer and member of the Arkansas Society of Free Thinkers:
“While everyone loves Charlie Brown, the religious content of the program is a problem, as is the trip to a church to see it,” she said.
The difficult part of this is, the religious content is embedded in the show, whether on TV or on stage...and also that's she's a lawyer. That's always an implied lawsuit that no one can afford.

I don't have any links (though many can be found here), but, especially near Christmas time, the news is replete with stories of atheist groups trying block the religious aspects of Christmas with ever-increasing ferocity.

Obviously, not all atheists are the militant-type who want to stop all public references to religion. In fact, I'm sure almost all atheists aren't any different than people of faith, having the same desires for themselves, their children, their country, etc.

But the vocal few, in cahoots with a PC-drowned court system, make it worrisome for those of us who feel our beliefs are being demonized (LOL!) and shouted down. I hope you don't have the impression that my disgust with the militant-types colors my opinion of all atheists.

I've probably rambled to the point of losing my point, sorry. I just didn't want you to think that you had to defend yourself from me. As far as I'm concerned, you're a fellow Christmas-nut and a friend.
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  #27  
Old 02-13-2013, 01:13 PM
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On an entirely different tack:

What is your opinion of the child voice actors? Do you like the rough edges, the occasional stumble the kids make in reading the script? Or do you cringe at some of the not-quite-pro readings? As nearly all of us have seen this special from childhood, do you think that clouds our ability to be objective?

My opinion is that the occasional rough edge lends a unique atmosphere to the special, one that harmonizes with the artwork. Schulz's drawings are not beautifully drawn artwork, but they are arguably the most beloved cartoon drawings in history. Likewise, the kids' voices are not perfect, professional readings, but kids doing their best to convey their characters. "Our Gang" (later known as the Little Rascals) had something of the same appeal---it was true to life, if not always perfect, and conveyed the feeling of watching real-life kids. Their personalities sold the movies, not their acting ability. Charlie Brown's appeal is also based on the characters' personalities.

Your thoughts?
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:12 PM
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To be honest, this came out when I was a kid and chances are I probably saw it air for the first time. Truth be told, I didn't even notice that kids were used or that there were rough edges until I read the history of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I consider it a part of the style or the brand of Charlie Brown animation. Can't think of it any other way.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MerryCarey View Post
My opinion is that the occasional rough edge lends a unique atmosphere to the special, one that harmonizes with the artwork. Schulz's drawings are not beautifully drawn artwork, but they are arguably the most beloved cartoon drawings in history. Likewise, the kids' voices are not perfect, professional readings, but kids doing their best to convey their characters. "Our Gang" (later known as the Little Rascals) had something of the same appeal---it was true to life, if not always perfect, and conveyed the feeling of watching real-life kids. Their personalities sold the movies, not their acting ability. Charlie Brown's appeal is also based on the characters' personalities.

Your thoughts?
Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
To be honest, this came out when I was a kid and chances are I probably saw it air for the first time. Truth be told, I didn't even notice that kids were used or that there were rough edges until I read the history of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I consider it a part of the style or the brand of Charlie Brown animation. Can't think of it any other way.
Agreed on both counts. When I was younger I didn't even notice the amateurish voices, but today it adds a realistic appeal.

Who did the sounds for Snoopy? As a kid, those few sounds he made always made me laugh out loud!
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:33 AM
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Ditto on the Snoopy sound effects. I thought for the longest time that our dog was defective because she didn't make any cool Snoopy sounds.
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