What the Christian group didn't bother mentioning, however, was the context it was being used in.
Infact, they kinda lied about that, when they said that the school was involved in changing the lyrics. Not that there's anything wrong with lying, mind you... unless, of course, you're a member of a group whose belief system says otherwise. Oh... and did I mention that the've threatened to sue the school, too?
The song is being used as part of a decades-old Christmas play called "The Little Tree's Christmas Gift", specifically created to be easy for even pre-schoolers to perform, as it doesn't require the actors to even sing at all, but merely move on stage in costume while the story is told by a narrator, or, if they're old enough for it, to speak some simple lines. Think cute little four and five year olds in little tree costumes. Awww, how precious!
It's the story of three little Christmas trees that aren't selling on Christmas Eve, which would go a long way to explain why they are "cold in the night", waiting for people to buy them. The school didn't change the lyrics. The person who created the play created the lyrics. To tell a story, even!
It's probably worth mentioning that it's not just schools that are performing the play. It's churches too! The Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Midland, Michigan performed it as part of their Advent Celebration, and called it "very meaningful"... in a secular, sacriligious kind of way, apparently. The Oakwood Forest Christian Church in Kingsport, Tennessee performed it too! So did St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Abeline, Texas! So did St. Anthony Parish School in Des Moines, Iowa! So why isn't Falwell and co. suing them too?
Surprisingly enough, the play's lyrics have nothing to do with the school, the ACLU, Ellen DeGeneres, or Michael Moore... nor are they an endorsement of standing outside all night on Christmas Eve, godless and alone. So, why all the outrage this year? After all, we know what fervent protectors of their sacred Christmas music Christians have been over the years. And here I thought that only thugs, terrorists, and radicals threatened people for what they sang.
That said, if you're dumb enough to threaten to sue an elementary school in order to force them to change the lyrics in a children's play, demanding that it be rewritten so that Jewish, Hindi, and Islamic pre-schoolers can sing these lyrics...
Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, oh, how bright
Love is smiling from thy face,
Peals for us the hour of grace.
Christ our Saviour is born,
Christ our Saviour is born.
You know, the lyrics for the last verse of a song that you probably don't know by heart yourself, but somehow expect pre-schoolers to know...
Well, if you're really that dumb, then let me suggest to you that the idea of you standing outside all night on Christmas Eve really might not be a bad idea after all.
At least for all the rest of us.