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The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is sure to be spreading joy and cheer in this most wonderful time of the year. A three judge panel just ruled that Concord High School's Christmas Spectacular is not unconstitutional.
The high school's performance had gone on for over four decades before anyone objected. Surprisingly, when an organization that advocates for the separation of church and state objected, the school actually changed the play. However, the group did not believe the changes were adequate and filed a lawsuit and won. In response, the school changed the play even more, and then put the new version on, prompting a new lawsuit from the same group.
A Win for New Traditions
The courts found that the new version of the play, which has now been performed three times, did not violate the constitution. The prior version contained a live-action nativity scene, a Bible reading, and other rather religious parts. The new version of the play toned down the more religious parts, removed the Bible reading, and toned down the nativity to not use live student actors, but rather manikins. Additionally, the new version added more secular elements, as well as included a song about Hanukkah and another song about Kwanzaa.
As commentators note, the Seventh Circuit did not waste their opportunity to showcase their own spectacular vernacular. Notable quotes (some of which Concord High School will probably use for years to come in promotions) include:
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