Like A Crown Of Thorns, It’s All Who You Know

Some staff attorney from the Alliance Defense Fund has raised the grim specter of religious oppression over at Townhall. In a nutshell, a federal lawsuit was filed last month by the mother of a 10-year-old boy who doesn’t celebrate Halloween for religious reasons but tried to take part in holiday activities by dressing up as Jesus Christ:

But the idea went over like a vampire at a blood bank. The boy’s principal decreed that his costume violated the school’s unwritten religion policy, and that he should exchange his outfit for something more seemly.

Like what?

Like, maybe a Roman emperor, a teacher said.

A vampire at a blood bank? That actually seems like a pretty perfect match, even better than that time I toured the Heineken brewery and took part in an hour-long free-beer drinking contest with some zany French-Canadians. That was fun. Instead, I’d maybe suggest a simile about a vampire at a tanning salon. That wouldn’t work out well at all.

But, as is so often the case in these innocent-Christians-persecuted-for-their-humble-beliefs imbroglios, a few details must necessarily be left out to teach the controversy:

The solicitor for the 7,500-student Montgomery County district says it did nothing wrong because the boy and his mother agreed after questions were raised by the school’s principal that he could participate instead by portraying himself as a contemporary of Jesus’, without the crown (of thorns) […]

Abington district solicitor Ken Roos said the student was not discriminated against by any school officials. Instead, he said, when Patricia Whitmire, the principal at Willow Hill, raised questions about the boy’s portraying himself as Jesus, he and his mother agreed that he would not wear the crown.

Roos said that all involved agreed that E.D.T. would present himself as someone from Jesus’ era, not as a Roman emperor. “Ms. Brewer was there – she went along with this,” Roos said. “The solution was what the folks at Willow Hill thought was OK with the mom. The principal was willing to go to central administration and clarify the question, but she never got the opportunity.”

Ah, so it’s all just a big misunderstanding, right, and maybe if everyone took a step back and looked again that mountain would appear, instead, to be just another mole hill? Maybe, maybe not:

Brewer, 42, who hosts “gospel talk” radio shows in Egg Harbor and Ocean City, N.J., said she was not looking for money damages from the district, but she wants to make sure Abington changes its ways.

She said she is an active member of a local Pentecostal church. She moved to Pennsylvania two years ago from Nevada and moved into Abington only a few months ago.

Let’s wrap this thing up with some additional spot-on analysis from ADF attorney Michael Johnson:

Naturally, the school didn’t have a problem with other costumes, some of which carried their own religious implications. The devils’ and witches’ outfits were okay. The kid dressed as “Death� was a hoot.

But Jesus? The school couldn’t take that risk.

To be fair, Abington has its reputation to think of. It’s the same district that made headlines half a century ago in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared school-sponsored devotional Bible reading in public schools to be unconstitutional.

Golly, what are the odds that this gospel radio host would end up embroiled in this lawsuit after moving just a short time ago into such a politically significant school district? Truly, the Lord works in mysterious ways. The Alliance Defense Fund? They’re actually super easy to figure out.


Comments: 59


Oh, those wacky Pentecostals! I always invite one to my piss-ups. They’re such a hoot, but you have to make sure they don’t bogart the keg, man.


What, you can’t wear a crown of thorns these days? Thanks a lot, school shooters.

Risking this becoming another beer thread, When I toured the Heineken brewery, it was all about German tourists who had to catch their bus at the end- meaning they parted with their free drink tickets. Boo-yeah.

Nim, ham hock of liberty

Why am I assuming that the school administrators didn’t want the costume causing “controversy” with other Xtian students and not the atheist wiccan baby-eating administrators?


Cheeziz K. Reist. I live in Philly and I haven’t heard about this stupid bullshit. Abington should tell this nut and her ADF or ADD or IDF or whatever-the-fuck buddies to go piss up a rope.


Cheeziz K. Reist. I live in Philly and I hadn’t heard about this stupid bullshit. Abington should tell this nut and her ADF or ADD or IDF or whatever-the-fuck buddies to go piss up a rope.


Look, she admitted that they didn’t celebrate Halloween.

But just this once…. It’s obvious that the conflict was designed to create a controversy

As always with these anti-democratic whack-a-loons, it’s all about gettting their version fo Jebus plastered all over the public schools.

Because if it’s not all about them and their Sky Fairy, they’re being oppressed.

my achin’ butt. can we send the people from the fat threads over to their homes?


That’s quite a racket they have going there. A culture war operative tries to push someone’s buttons, an innocent admin tries to defuse the situation, the operative feigns ignorance, then the mighty wulitzer (…Townhall at the mo) spins the story until it gets into the media.

“Christians not allowed to love GOD at school”
“Angelic child punished for praising JESUS at school”
“Public school contiues to crucify JESUS”
“School persecutes child dressed as JESUS because he refused to participate in Satanic ritual”

Don’t let anyone tell you the Dominionists are harmless.


if you want the impact of Christianists in your lives to be minimized I highly recommend living in an area with a sizable and highly educated Jewish population. You should try it some time. It works for me. Having just recently begun attending school board meetings it is hard for me to imagine the christianists ever gaining a foothold here.


Is it just me, or does the whole “allowing her son to dress up as friggin’ Jesus for Halloween, which the family doesn’t celebrate for religious reasons” strike anyone else as…well, weird. I mean, really weird. Yeah, sure, adults dress up as the Swingin’ Nazz for Halloween all the time, but it’s always a joke. It’s supposed to be inappropriate and it’s supposed to piss off a certain segment of the population while making the rest of us giggle and/or roll our eyes.

But a kid? She let that boy leave the house – with a crown of thorns, for cryin’ out loud – and doesn’t say, “Say, there, Little Johnny. Maybe dressing up as Our Lord And Savior is a bit much, especially considering we don’t celebrate Halloween.” Speaking of that, why was it neccessary to dress the kid up at all, if he didn’t celebrate? Isn’t that part of not celebrating something, you don’t get the get the cake? I know that’s a harsh thing to lay on a kid, but I ain’t the one telling him he can’t have Halloween.

Sending a kid dressed as Jesus to grammar school. Man, I grew up across the holler from my grammar school principal, and I can just see that poor bastard completely losing his shit if someone tried this nonsense. I wonder what the community’s response to this yahoolery is? And I’m the one “mocking Christianity” by not believing in it.


a different brad

Y’know, rich bastards who go to dominatrices don’t then turn around and sue their mistresses for whipping em.
Also, isn’t it kind of blasphemous to dress your kid up like Jesus?


Diggin’ the MLB ref, Travis. I was just listening to them. Good old Andy Wood…

Pentecostals are nuts. I feel awfully sorry for her son. Maybe he’ll wake up to the brainwashing some day and realize he’s been a victim of child abuse.


And I believe…It looks like…YES! The ACLU has thrown out the red flag, challenging the results of the play. Let’s listen to the Referee. [Microphone click/hum] “The ACLU is challenging the boy dressing up as jesus on the basis of nobody really knows what jesus looked like”

Now the Referee has walked over to the replay station, and he has ducked under the hood. And here he comes with the result. [Microphone click/hum] “After further review of the Shroud of Turin, there is NO WAY IN FUCKING HELL that a white american kid from Pennsyvania could ever look like a Semitic Arab from Palestine. The ruling on the field is overturned, the kid can dress up as “Jesus” anydamntime he wants. God will be charged with a timeout. Please reset the clock to 30 Billion years before armageddon.”


Principal Blackman

Also, isn’t it kind of blasphemous to dress your kid up like Jesus?

I would think so. Somebody alert Michael Medved!


If it’s good enough for Zoidberg, it’s good enough for some kid.


Also, isn’t it kind of blasphemous to dress your kid up like Jesus?

Yeah, besides, Jesus isn’t very scary. I hear his dad can be, though.

Maybe she should have dressed her kid up like a secular humanist. Eeek!


He should have dressed like Sweet Zombie Jesus ™. Then there would have been no complaints.


The only problem with drinking beer at the Heineken brewery is that they’d probably serve you Heineken…

(OK, I’ll get back in my closet)


This kid really should have just been allowed his little costume. Seriously, an unwritten policy? Are unwritten policies even legal? This is just some kid who wanted to dress up as Jesus to feel part of something he wasn’t usually allowed to be part of. That’s not really in the spirit of religious tollerance. It’s not exactly evidence of a wave of anti-christian bigotry, but it hardly right either. Seriously, you can buy fake crowns of thorns. Jesus is hardly an original costume. I’ve seen it used several times (mostly in an ironic way, but not always). If the school wanted to ban something like this is should make a formal, written policy that could have been challenged long before this. Trying to make up the rules as you go along just teaches children to expect a lack of justice in the world.


mikey, if you look at the link, I believe the Pentacostal family in question is African-American. Just sayin’


I don’t get it, what’s wrong with Heineken? I like Heineken. You actually feel like you’re drinking something when you drink it.


Like, maybe a Roman emperor, a teacher said.

Instead of Jesus? Hoo, that is one saucy teach.

I’ll bet she sleeps with her students. We should get GOP oppo research on this right away!

Herr Doktor Bimler

I toured the Carlsberg brewery once. At the end of the tour, time for the free samples, I found myself at a table where the three other people were all teetotalers. FSM knows why they were touring a brewery, but I wasn’t asking any questions, I was too busy doing my best to keep up with the samples. Meanwhile the brewery rep. is regularly reminding us that any bottles left unopened at the end of the session will simply be poured down the drain… apparently it takes no end of paperwork to waive the excise duty on the bottles when they are brought into the tasting room, and it’s too much trouble to repeat the process and bring them out again.

It was a tough job but somebody had to do it.

a different brad

Well, if this religious nut’s kid has the vaudeville honed timing and delivery of an alien crab, then I wouldn’t have a problem dressing him up like jesus.
Truth be told, it wouldn’t bother me at all. I’d be tempted to get ketchup packets to help make the crown look more authentic.
Which is why I’d make a poor school administrator. Better to leave it to the pros, like Principle Blackman.


He could have gone as GJ’s “Republican Jesus”

a different brad

Or Principal Blackman. Either/or.
Seeing? I regained my street cred as smart with a kierkegaard ref.

a different brad

*glares at bong & puts it away*
What the hell is this wordpress comment trackback crap trying to do, anyway?


mikey, if you look at the link, I believe the Pentacostal family in question is African-American. Just sayin’

Shoot. Ah well, you can’t expect me to actually READ this crap, can you? Anyway, the whole football challenge scenario, that was pretty funny. Wasn’t it? Ahhh, shit. [Picks up football and red challenge flag, hangs head, walks home thru the mud puddles]…



Hey, Steve – save the platitudes for someone that is actually paying attention. Most of the country ISN’T , they’re too worried about how BushCo. is leading them into another war… Jesus, indeed…


Trick or treat! Smell My feet! Give Me something good to eat!

Or I’ll TP your house!


I think the crown of thorns was the real problem, along with stigmata…that’s a lot of blood to clean up.

“Wet cleanup, isle 9”


That has got to be the most blasphemous idea I’ve seen disguised as piety in quite some time.

Principal Blackman

Better to leave it to the pros, like Principal Blackman.

“Students! Hearken unto my voice!”


The Zoidberg Jesus would be a great Halloween costume.


I wonder how different the Alliance Defense Fund response would have been if it had been an atheist kid who wasn’t allowed to dress like Jesus?

That poor kid, though, to be made such a pawn. I bet he has a hard time in school after this, and that he rebels pretty hard.


The kid should have been allowed to dress as Jesus…and then get in trouble with the other Christian kids at his school. Who do you think is going to be more pissed at “Jesus as Halloween costume”: atheist who think he’s just another 1st century Palestinian preacher, or the people who believe that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of the World?


As an atheist, I don’t object to the kid dressing up like his hero, Jeebus. But I do think he should be required to use that fake Dracula blood in place of real stigmata, since blood-borne diseases can be highly contagious and some of them are downright unpleasant to acquire.


That poor kid, though, to be made such a pawn. I bet he has a hard time in school after this, and that he rebels pretty hard

See, that’s the great thing about these over-controlling tight ass godbags. Their kids will, in large numbers, rebel in a serious way when they hit the secular world, and the parents will never, never, never ever connect this behavior to their overbearing form of smothering Christianity disguised as parenting.

The bad part is how badly the kid gets damaged along the way, and whether he or she is able to recover and become some form of normal.


If he gets to dress as Jebus this year, next year he has to go as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


Damn you, Karl Rove, get out of my head!


Travis, you buried the lede.

Townhall: Christians at public school upset at costume of Black Jesus

Seriously, you think the fundies are cool with a Jeebgro? If so, I applaud them.


So the “Your own personal Jesus” Halloween get together is out?


A real wingnut would have celebrated Hallowe’en looking like Mohammed. In a Muslim neighborhood.


A) Hallowe’en is a religious festival, the eve of All Saints’ Day. (Just to be irritating.)

B) A crown of thorns sounds perfect to me. Very Clive Barker. Next year the kid can go as St Sebastian.


If they weren’t my friends then why would they offer to wash my brain?


At least she didn’t dress him up as an aborted fetus, though it probably occurred to her.


Jizzus, was that a Mother Love Bone reference? Don’t burn your bridges, woman, cause some day yeah!


“A vampire at a blood bank? That actually seems like a pretty perfect match…”

Indeed. Most science fiction conventions I’ve attended have a blood donation station, and at many, the attendants are dressed as vampires, complete with fake teeth.


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