Charter School Deems “Joy To The World” Too Religious For Teen’s Recital


The Christmas season is upon us, and you know what that means: countless opportunities for secular watchdogs to be offended!

While we’re no stranger to the annual attempts at holiday homogenization and the eradication of Christian faith expression in public schools, even homeschooling options aren’t safe from the “inclusivity” police.

Last week, a California family received the shocking and offensive news that their daughter’s chosen piece for a Christmas piano recital had been deemed “too religious” by her charter school.

In a Facebook post on Sunday night, Julianne Benzel shared a screenshot of an email from South Sutter Charter School explaining that her daughter Brooklyn’s pick of “Joy To The World” would not be appropriate for the project. Instead, the email states, “Jingle Bells” is “more cultural,” and therefore the better choice.

What on earth?! What does “more cultural” even mean?

In a statement to Fox News, Benzel said it was “extremely alarming” that the unnamed school official actually took time to research the song in search of lyrics that could be somehow offensive.

The melody of the song, which is all Brooklyn would be playing, was not composed by Isaac Watts anyway, which the official apparently didn’t discover in their Google search. It was composed by a man named Lowell Mason, not George Frederic Handel as is commonly believed.

Of course, all of the song’s historical context, interesting as it may be, is completely immaterial to the issue because Brooklyn would not be singing the lyrics to the piece at all!

This is how offensive the Gospel is to these secular zealots. Anything that makes them even think about Jesus needs to be banished from the public realm!

Benzel pointed this out in another Facebook post, saying, “Here’s Brooklyn’s piano sample that we submitted. (She’s a beginner.) Tell me if this “offends anyone due to its religious implications” ?!?”

According to Fox, Benzel threatened legal action against South Sutter through the Pacific Justice Institute, which is already suing the school’s parent company for similar religious discrimination against a piano teacher.

Thankfully, the school reversed its asinine objection to the song.

In a statement to Fox News, IEM Schools’ director of communications Cynthia Rachel said it became aware of the situation Tuesday, reviewed it, and “determined it was an acceptable work sample.”

“At South Sutter Charter School our goal is to provide students as much flexibility as is allowable by law in all aspects of their education. We recognize and value our students’ First Amendment freedoms, and acknowledge that all public schools must be nonsectarian,” Rachel said. “South Sutter will continue to serve its students consistent with the law and its charter.”

“You would think homeschooling would be the safest arena for conservatives,” Benzel told Fox. “We are tired and extremely weary of our Christian faith being attacked in this country.”


It is also worthwhile to point out to our Californian readers that Benzel, an American history teacher, is running for Congress in the state’s 4th district on a platform of restoring America to the principles on which it was founded. Check her out!

While we can rejoice that the school’s decision was ultimately reversed, we must never allow ourselves to be lulled to sleep.

Homeschooling does not make us immune from attacks on our personal liberty and freedom of religion. Praise God for mama bears like Benzel who stand up for their right to train up their children for the Lord!


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