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We three kings of Orient are no more thanks to three judges in Philadelphia. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a New Jersey school district's ban on Christmas carols.
"Certainly, those of us who were educated in the public schools remember holiday celebrations replete with Christmas carols, and possibly even Hanukkah songs, to which no objection had been raised," the court said in its ruling.
Santa Claus and Rudolph are more than welcome but the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes is not.
Click here for the Philadelphia Inquirer story.
The controversy surrounds a 2004 decision by the Maplewood-South Orange School District to ban religious-themed carols. It also banned the high school gospel choir from performing at a school assembly.
A school brass ensemble was not allowed to perform instrumental versions of religious holiday songs. And, according to court documents, printed school materials were not allowed to include holiday images like Christmas trees.
Michael Stratechuk filed suit arguing the ban violated his children's First Amendment rights.
But the appeals court sided with the school district, writing:
"Since then, the governing principles have been examined and defined with more particularity. Many decisions about how to best create an inclusive environment in public schools, such as those at issue here, are left to the sound discretion of the school authorities."
In other words, folks, the times they are a-changing.
Todd Starnes is a network news reporter and best-selling author. For more on his book, click here.