As though the anti-Trump rant of the left-leaning camp isn’t enough, the far-left agenda is now showing up in religious matters in the #MeToo age in bizarre ways. A Nebraska school’s instruction to bar Christian symbols from Christmas celebrations in the school and a professor’s impugning God’s conduct in impregnation of Virgin Mary seem emblematic of far-left virtue signalling.
Just before this past Christmas, Principal Jennifer Sinclair of Manchester Elementary School recently issued a directive to teachers not to use Christian symbols, includingthe Christmas tree, elf on the shelf, reindeer, Christmas movies, Christmas ornament, and candy cane, in the school. Sinclair sent teachers a memo before Christmas banning the use of these symbols and singing Christmas carols. Sinclair’s rationale was the school should be inclusive and not celebrate any particular religious festival. In other words, she wanted the school to be secular.
Sinclair wrote in her dystopian memo that if teachers have any doubt about an activity or decoration they had planned, they should ask themselves: “What is the clear instructional purpose of this?.... Does this item or activity promote a certain belief or religious?”
The school district, however, under pressure from a Christian group, Liberty Counsel’s lawyer, has distanced itself from the school’s stand on Christmas celebrations. The school district has said the Principal of Manchester Elementary contravened school board policy.
“Mat Staver, the founder of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel, told the Associated Press that the legal nonprofit did intend to file a federal lawsuit against the school district had the school district not responded to its demand letter by the deadline.
“In our 30 years in existence, this memo is the most egregious we’ve ever seen, just given its length and scope,” Staver was quoted as saying.
And a most curious "not acceptable" item: candy canes.
According to Sinclair, the shape of a candy cane and its color strongly represent Christianity and Catholicism.
"Historically, the shape is a 'J' for Jesus. The red is for the blood of Christ, and the white is a symbol of his resurrection. This will also include different colored candy canes," Sinclair wrote in her memo.
Kara Perchal, spokeswoman for the school district, said that Sinclair has not released any other comments and that she has been placed on administrative leave.
“Principal Sinclair was in her first year as an employee at Elkhorn Public Schools,” Perchal told CNN.
Sinclair has since been fired.
It took a lawyer’s intervention, interpreting the First Amendment and underscoring the federal and state governments’ recognition of Christmas as a holiday, to expose the folly of the school’s ban on Christmas symbols. Being inclusive doesn’t mean banning Christmas celebration in traditional style. Clearly, secularism here went too far. It smacks of virtue signalling.
Extreme virtue signalling, in another bizarre instance, takes a step into the twilight zone.It seems the far left has brought God into the purview of the #MeToo movement. Eric Sprankle, a psychology professor at Minnesota State, has accused God of sexual misconduct for impregnating Mary, mother of Jesus, without her “consent.”
According to the Daily Mail, Sprankle has critiqued the Biblical Christmas story, saying the Christian deity was “predatory.”
Sprankle’s comment has drawn scepticism and counter arguments. One Twitter user has said: “'Eric, the entire story involves Mary's consent, and would not have happened without it. The amazing part of the story is God's request for her consent (it was required!). Part of the reason Mary is venerated is that her willing 'yes' to God's request results in our salvation.”
The Daily Mail story says Sprankle is a Satan worshipper. He is an anti-Christian.
What’s the purpose of Prof. Sprankle? Create some social media buzz? Or is it a case of the anti-religious left ranting against God’s conduct?
In closing, clearly, Prof. Sprankle is in need of therapy. What is more frightening is how Minnesota State is still allowing Sprankle to indoctrinate its students.
Such indoctrination can become a vehicle of identity politics and virtue signalling in America’s schools and colleges.