Meanwhile in Hawaii, a militant atheist was expressing Grinch-like glee after he successfully blocked the local high school from holding a Christmas benefit expected to raise $30,000.
High schoolers blocked from raising $30,000
“Moanalua High School students in the award-winning orchestra have proudly raised $200,000 over the last 6 years through their annual holiday concert,” reported the Hawaii Reporter.
“These students, who have performed at Carnegie Hall in New York three times, don’t keep the money to buy new instruments, travel abroad or help their school. Instead, they send $30,000 they raise every year overseas to a well-known charity, Mercy Ships, which is currently housing American doctors in Africa on a medical mission. These doctors help the poorest of residents – some who have never seen a doctor – with urgent medical and dental needs.
“It is the students’ gift to the world during the holidays and their chance to make difference for others in need.”
However, the concert has been cancelled and atheist Mitch Kahle, founder of Hawaii Residents for Separation of Church and State, is proudly taking credit.
“The seventh annual fundraiser was set for this weekend, and students have been practicing for months to ensure their performance was perfect,” said the Reporter. However Kahle, “who has shown up to protest city hall Christmas tree lighting ceremonies as well as city council hearings and legislative events where there is prayer, has turned up as their Christmas Grinch and put a stop to the kids’ best-laid plans just hours before the show.”
Honolulu talk show host Michael W. Perry lamented what he called “an unfortunate situation in which one person writing one letter to the Department of Education has disrupted a $30,000 fundraiser going on for 6 years now, and for what reason? He claims the Constitution says there can be no involvement with school and church and there is no such statement in the Constitution.”
Donalyn Dela Cruz, director of Communications for the education department, confirmed the decision to cancel the concert was made after they received Kahle’s letter and consulted the state attorney general’s office.
Kahle has protested the police department using the words “so help me God” in their oath of office, according to the Reporter,” and got the Honolulu Police Department to remove the words from the oath in September 2002. On his web site, Kahle proclaims proudly under a cartoon poking fun at the police, that ‘God Gets the Boot!’”
“I guess it is not a career enhancing move to have your government agency sued, because you stood up to this guy, but someone needs to,” said KSSK’s Perry. “The DOE is in ‘duck and cover mode’ because of one guy and one letter. There are all kinds of organizations that would be happy to take him on and win. But he wins because they quickly capitulate. It is infuriating, this one little gnat keeps buzzing around.
That one person who just uses threats can get his way and stop something that will really help people in need.”
Kids singing … a threat to atheists?
Nevertheless, the predictably liberal Huffington Post took delight in comedian Jon Stewart’s annual lampooning of any idea that there might be any war on Christmas.
“Stewart’s mockery of it stays fresh year after year,” gushed the Post. “On Monday night’s ‘The Daily Show,’ Stewart tore apart” Fox News’ ”yearly obsession with defending the holiday.” In that segment, Stewart claimed the Fox staff doesn’t “seem as enthusiastic” about reporting on attacks on Christmas as in years past.