- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2015

Audience members at a Kentucky elementary school production of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” recited the monologue spoken by “Peanuts” character Linus after the biblical passage was censored from the play.

Johnson County Schools Superintendent Thomas Salyer sent a memo earlier this month directing schools to make sure they avoided endorsing any particular religion in their holiday performances this year.

W.R. Castle Elementary School Principal Jeff Cochran subsequently censored Linus’s lines on the true meaning of Christmas, leading to protests outside the school district offices in Paintsville for several days, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

In Thursday’s performance, no student in the play performed the scene in which Linus recites from the Gospel of Luke: “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manger. And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.’”

But people in the audience recited the lines, Mr. Cochran told the Herald-Leader. A video showed several parents joining in.

After that, “there were a few more lines in the play, and that was the end of it,” Mr. Cochran said, adding that he was disappointed in the audience’s response. “I wish that they had let the kids do the play.”

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze took credit for the protest.

“During his radio program Thursday morning, Glenn Beck suggested parents protest the school’s decision by reciting Luke 2:8-14 during the time the censored monologue is supposed to be delivered,” The Blaze reported.

“I would get together with parents and I would — if I knew this was coming — take the script of what Linus actually says and I would stand up as a block of parents and just stop the show and just all of us at that point, ‘Doesn’t anybody know what Christmas is all about?’ And all of the parents stand up and just start saying it, even as the play is going on,” Mr. Beck suggested.

A parent from the Kentucky school and a representative from Alliance Defending Freedom, which called for the school district to reverse the decision to cut Linus’ monologue, appeared on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Friday morning.

“The parents in the bleachers basically quoted the verse from the book of Luke, and it was just an amazing moment — it really was,” Joey Collins, parent of one Kentucky student, said, The Blaze reported. “Everybody was pretty much in tears and clapping. It was just a great time.”

A spokeswoman for the ACLU Kentucky said the Johnson County school officials made an appropriate decision in censoring the play, the Herald-Leader reported.

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