School bans girl from playing "Joy to the World"

Brooklyn Benzel

A school tried to prevent a 13-year-old girl from performing the popular Christmas carol, "Joy to the World" because it was “too religious”.

Brooklyn Benzel chose to play “Joy to the World” for a school assignment because it’s one of her favorite Christmas songs. When she turned in her information on the assignment, the school said it was unacceptable. Her mother, Julianne Benzel, thought there had been a mistake because "Joy to the World," which celebrates its 300th anniversary this year, is one of the most popular songs of the Christmas season. The school officials confirmed they were uncomfortable with the choice of music and suggested Brooklyn perform ‘Jingle Bells’ instead as “People of all (or no) religions can enjoy it as a song of the winter season.” Even after it was clarified that Brooklyn wasn't going to be singing, the school argued the song was considered 'religious' because it includes the words 'savior' and 'heaven' and was typically played at Christmas time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Moreover, the performance would not even take place at the school, it was to be performed at a retirement home for the enjoyment of elderly residents.

“We are tired and extremely weary of our Christian faith being attacked in this country,” Julianne said and threatened to take legal action. The school (South Sutter Charter School in California), changed their position and allowed Brooklyn to perform the carol as planned.

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Photo | Julianne Benzel

 

05 Dec 2019

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