Tea Partier Wants to Mandate Carols

by Dan Quinn

Much of the attention on the angry Tea Party mobs over the summer and fall has been focused on their blind opposition to health insurance reform and government generally. But religious-right activists and their goals haven’t been completely absent from Tea Party ranks. In fact, their presence is one way you know that the call for limited government is little more than a political slogan — the Tea Partiers want to limit government, except when they don’t. An example:

The Tea Party movement is supposed to be all about keeping the government out of your business. But if some California members get their way, the state will force public schoolchildren to sing Christmas carols.

The effort is called the “Freedom to Present Christmas Music in Public School Classrooms or Assemblies” initiative. California’s public schools already may allow Christmas carols so long as they aren’t for devotional purposes, and parents could opt their children out of caroling under the new proposal, if they so choose. But parents, guardians and others could go to court to enforce Christmas caroling in a public school.

The intiative’s leader — Tea Partier Merry Hyatt — explains that her previous school district was too secular: “We were having Christmas without Jesus.” So now she wants government to make sure children sing Christmas carols. But don’t ask if she wants government to make sure those same children have access to health care that their families can afford. You already know the answer to that.

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