Man shares Christmas message at city celebration despite ban on Bible reading

“It’s very simple, I mean it’s Christmas, it’s about the birth of Christ, it’s not about Christmas trees, it’s not about Santa Claus, it’s not about elves and reindeer.” — Samuel Duck


It has been a part of Maryville’s holiday traditions for nearly a quarter of a century, but Monday night the Bible was removed from their Christmas celebration. But, one local man took it upon himself to tell the story of the birth of Jesus.

WVLT: Maryville man shares a Bible story, after it was removed from an event

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — It has been a part of Maryville’s holiday traditions for nearly a quarter of a century, but Monday night the Bible was removed from their Christmas celebration.

One complaint changed the local ceremony, with the long-time argument of separating Church and State.
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And, it hit home when the City of Maryville received a call, complaining about their annual Yuletide Celebration, which used to include reading from the Bible.

Walker Johnson has been the Master of Ceremonies of the Maryville Yuletide Celebration for more than 20 years, but things changed this year.

He says, “It’s my first time in 22 years not to read the Christmas story.” Describing the previous years, he says, “Everybody is partying and having a good time, and when you start to read it, they get quiet, and any time you’ve got 6,7,800 people get quiet, you know you’re doing something right.”

Annually before the large tree in downtown Maryville was lit up, Walker shared the Bible story with the crowd.

But, Mayor Tom Taylor says, “Last Thursday we received a call from a lady asking if we were going to read the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke,” adding, “and she just simply asked if that were legal.” …


This from Man defies city of Maryville, reads Scripture at tree lighting

Photo: Samuel David Duck reads the Bible during Maryville’s Christmas tree-lighting celebration Monday night at the Greenbelt. The reading has been a tradition for decades, but this year was eliminated after a complaint to the city. Wilson

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Acknowledging it is “terrifying to stand and go against the courts,” Samuel David Duck, a Maryville resident and father of two, did what city officials had decided not to do.

He read an account of the birth of Jesus Christ from the Bible at the city’s tree-lighting celebration Monday night at the Greenbelt.

About 20 people gathered to hear the reading from the book of Matthew and applauded when Duck finished…


Principal: ‘So what we do is celebrate winter’



“Happy Winter” just doesn’t have the same ring as Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, but in one Connecticut elementary school, that’s about all you’ll see and hear this holiday season.

Erik Brown, principal of Walsh Elementary School in Waterbury, Conn., has reportedly banned all religious festivities and many decorations from the classroom since arriving at the school five years ago. Brown, who declined comment through a spokeswoman to on Friday, explained to The Republican-American newspaper that state law mandates that a public school cannot knowingly exclude children.

“This is not a church,” Brown told the paper. “It’s a school and it’s a public school. I have to do things that include every child. So what we do is celebrate winter.”

In a statement, Waterbury Public Schools Superintendent David Snead defended Brown, calling the issue of religious celebrations “especially difficult” in December and reminding all staff at the district’s schools that holidays festivities can proceed but without religious overtones…


City bans 1-hour live Nativity scene planned for Christmas Eve

Connecticut town’s officials have axed a church’s plans for a staged event on adjacent public property


It’s become apparent that most reporters in the U.S. assume that religious expression on public property is automatically violating Constitutional law regarding separation between church and state. Without hesitation, journalists misreport conflicts without understanding that the law is about freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

America’s founding fathers were concerned about the religious tyranny they encountered in Europe resurfacing in their new country. They did not want the establishment of religion by government. However they did not want to squelch the expression of faith.

Notice the inference in the second paragraph of the story below.

WBZ: Nativity Scene Rejected At Manchester Church

MANCHESTER, Conn. — It was Caroline Cheshire’s Christmas wish for her parish, a live nativity scene that would bring the Christmas story to life after services on Christmas Eve.

But she had no idea she was trampling on the separation between church and state with her idea.

She hoped locals in the town playing Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus, even a donkey she had already lined up, would make it a special evening for children at First Parish Church in Manchester.

“We didn’t mean to offend anyone. Families who come out of the church are the ones that choose to celebrate Christmas Eve in church,” Cheshire tells WBZ-TV.

Her idea was rejected by the board of selectmen in a matter of minutes, because the church sits on the town common…


How do you solve a problem like Newsweek?

Once thought of as a journalistically proper publication, Newsweek stooped to a new low this week by featuring a 4-month-old Runner’s World photo of Sarah Palin along with a nonsensical headline on its cover.

“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?” the headline alongside a gym-shorts wearing Palin reads. The sub-head, also with a negative spin, says, “She’s bad news for the GOP — and for everybody else, too.”

I have a question for Newsweek editors, “Who said Palin was a problem?” Maybe in your minds, but not in the thinking of a huge chunk of the population. “Bad news?” You’ve got to be out of your mind. She is the best news for conservative thought in a long time.

Journalistically speaking, where is your sense of balance, Newsweek?

You may be able to pass this kind of weak crap on your National Enquirer fan base, but not here… not to the Tea Party crowd, which you so easily dismiss. I see now why publications like yours are tagged by media analyst Bernie Goldberg as part of the “lamestream media.” You couldn’t prove your Kool-Aid drinking ways anymore than you did with this cover.

Palin’s response came in the form of this note on Facebook:

The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this “news” magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner’s World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness – a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention – even if out of context.

Sarah Palin

Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham told Yahoo! News that the photo choice was simply the “most interesting image available”:

“We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do. We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard.”

Illustrate the theme of the cover? What are you doing? Decorating a bedroom? You are certainly not being journalists.

How do you solve a problem like Newsweek?

Read something else.

— Alexander

Don’t Get It!

The Persecution of Sarah Palin

Kentucky Governor changes name of Capitol Christmas tree

‘Holiday tree’ terminology is “intended to be inclusive” says Gov. Steve Beshear spokeswoman
Kentucky Gov. Beshear

AP: Christmas jeer: Kentucky governor’s ‘holiday tree’ angers critics

FRANKFORT, Kentucky — Gov. Steve Beshear has angered some Christians with his yuletide terminology.

A giant evergreen that will brighten the Capitol lawn this winter won’t be called a Christmas tree. Instead, the Beshear administration has dubbed it a “holiday tree.”

The Rev. Jeff Fugate, pastor of Clays Mill Baptist Church in Lexington, said Christians find the change troubling.

“If you call it a holiday tree,” Fugate asked, “which holiday are you talking about? We don’t put up a holiday tree for Easter or New Year’s or Thanksgiving. We put a tree up for Christmas.”

Beshear administration spokeswoman Cindy Lanham said the tree will be in celebration of a variety of winter holidays, including Christmas and Hanukkah…


CBS News Editors Appear to Support Marijuana Legalization

What happened to editorial judgment? Guest columnists have been around forever, but does that mean an editor has to publish every piece of garbage submitted?

CBS News online headline: “Make Marijuana Legal”

What other conclusion can be drawn from one of today’s CBS News online headlines? What other connection can we make from the opinion piece that leads with: “Marijuana should never have been made illegal in the first place.”

Should we just give the news giant a pass for publishing a column that advocates weed so strongly?

Now, I know it’s politically correct to include pro-pothead opinion in normal discourse. To openly talk about the legalization of the hippie lettuce is cool…and everything. Heck, what’s wrong with a little medicinal spleef? Right?

However, I’m asking the same question Stephen Baldwin and Kevin McCullough asked on their radio show, “Why has the legalization of weed resurfaced to such a magnitude?”

Could it be….LIBERALS in power?

I don’t like to name-call, even if we are simply talking about the weed people, but let’s call our Mary Jane for what it really is…I mean, like they said in the nearly half-century old commerical, “Why do you think they call it dope?”

Now, you CBS editors who see nothing wrong with partaking in the bud, where are your journalistic skills and integrity? Lost in a haze of smoke and scattered potato chips?

You could have made it look as though you were simply throwing a bone to the weed people, instead you gave them a fatty headline…btw, did you see your URL tab tag? “Make Marijuana Legal – CBS News.”

Sorry, too late, you’ve already shown your true color…something along the line of Kona Gold.


ADD: Perhaps I should have toned down my sensationalism in writing this piece yesterday. I’ve noticed today that ran an anti-weed piece by Stephen Baldwin and Kevin McCullough.

Common Sense Says, “No Thanks!”

However, the headline is not as clear and action orientated. (You weed people will get the “Sense” part). Nevertheless, to the CBS News editors credit…they ran the counterpoint piece! My apologies.

Here, here…for “America doesn’t want its pot… American potheads do!

Trump Sidesteps Backlash of Biblical Proportions

After careful review, the pictures taken were “fine,” and that while some were indeed risque, many were in fact “quite lovely.” — Donald Trump, on keeping Carrie Prejean as the reigning Miss California.

Trump lets Miss California keep state crown

…Trump praised Prejean for her “honest answer” when she was asked a “very tough question,” noting that it was the same answer that President Obama has given…