Recently, W. R. Castle Elementary School in Johnson County, Kentucky made the decision to cut biblical references in their recent production of Charlie Brown Christmas. This latest edition of political correctness gone haywire has brought great concern among many inside and outside of the Christian community. The biblical reference in the play is brought by the Peanuts® character Linus as he answers Charlie Brown’s question concerning the meaning of Christmas. Linus answers by reading a portion of the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2.
Defending the school’s position, the Superintendent Thomas Salyer stated,
“‘In accordance with federal laws, our programs will follow appropriate regulations. The U.S. Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit are very clear that public school staff may not endorse any religion when acting in their official capacities and during school activities. However, our district is fully committed to promote the spirit of giving and concern for our fellow citizens that help define the Christmas holiday,’ Thomas Salyer said” (Weber 2015, Christian Post).
Johnson County Superintendent Terry Mattingly, for Get Religion, says, “If you can’t put the Christmas story in a Christmas play, what do these educators propose to put in its place? Why do this play at all?” (Mattingly 2015, Get Religion).
My question is this; how is allowing a literary piece to express itself an endorsement of a particular religion? Where does this lead? Are we going to begin stifling the viewpoints of William Shakespeare, John Donne, and even George Washington, the first President of the United States? To that extreme, would we handcuff even the scientific greats such as Sir Isaac Newton and Copernicus due to their Christian beliefs?
Johnson County, Kentucky allowed an ever growing sense of political correctness to override what should have been a great Christmas moment for one reason…
However, Christians, especially defenders of the faith, should not allow themselves to be handcuffed by political correctness for at least three reasons.
Political correctness handcuffs a person’s focus on truth.
If a person allows political correctness to be the byword of their speech, then the person is not going to stand for truth. Truth is replaced by complacency. Jesus told the woman at the well that the “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). How is a person to worship the Father in truth if he or she is constantly concerned about hurting someone’s feelings—the mantra of political correctness? If a person is stifled by truth, what does this say about justice?
Political correctness handcuffs a person’s focus on justice.
Political correctness hinders the ability for justice. PC advocates will take extreme measures not to offend, even blatant offenders! For a person who has become a serial killer, the murderer will not be blamed. Rather, the killer’s childhood, social status, or the like will be noted as the reasons that the person mercilessly executed his or her victims. Yeah, the killer may have had a horrible upbringing, but that does not necessitate the slaughter of an innocent person! This all boils to one horrible result of extreme PC.
One becomes unable to decipher right from wrong!
It all becomes a matter of personal preference. Society cannot stand on such a shaky foundation. But, there is yet another problem with PC as it relates to the evangelical Christian.
Political correctness handcuffs a person’s focus on love.
The amazing irony behind political correctness is that it fails to demonstrate the very thing that many PC advocates seek…love. Jesus says that “this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19). PC relishes in the darkness of sin, which is the antithesis of love.
Suppose a person is driving towards the precipice of a cliff. You have the opportunity to tell them to stop. But you do not. Is that loving?
Of course not!
To demonstrate love, one must be willing to expose problems. Let’s give another example. Suppose a person is dying from a horrible disease, yet you have the cure. The person is sick, but they do not realize that their symptoms indicate a more serious disease. In order to provide the cure, you must have consent. Do you notify the person of their disease, knowing that it will bring great grief, in order to provide the means for the cure? Or do you simply let the person die?
If Christianity is true, then the world is sick. The cure is given in Jesus. Will Christians do the loving thing and tell others about Jesus? Obviously, the Christian would not be an advocate of extreme political correctness.
I realize that we must use tact when providing the message of Christ. We do not desire to “shove the message down anyone’s throat.” Yet, at the same time, Christians cannot allow the fear that promotes extreme political correctness to handcuff their efforts. I feel that Christianity is true. Because of that, I am obligated to tell others about the life-changing, mind-transforming, soul-saving message found in Jesus of Nazareth.
Are you handcuffed by political correctness or transformed by the providence of Christ?
© December 22, 2015. Brian Chilton.
Mattingly, Terry. “Dear Lexington editors: If Linus doesn’t say you know what, then what does he say.” GetReligion.org (12/16/2015). Accessed December 21, 2015. http://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2015/12/16/dear-lexington-editors-if-linus-doesnt-say-you-know-what-then-what-does-he-say.
Weber, Katherine. “No Christ in Christmas Play, Ky. School Says; ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ to Miss Pivotal Scene.” ChristianPost.com (12/17/2015). Accessed December 21, 2015. http://www.christianpost.com/news/ky-school-charlie-brown-christmas-152801/#L7tOL77FiGCvZv6W.99.
 Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture comes from the English Standard Version (Wheaton: Crossway, 2001).