Walton Co. School Board Meets about Blithe Spirit!!

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Jdarg, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Have any of you read or seen Noel Coward's play Blithe Spirit?

    Did you find anything objectionable about the subject matter?

    How about using it for a high school drama production?

    Please answer only if you are truly familiar with the play, not just looking at Wikipedia, etc.

    I will tell you why I need the info in a bit.
     
  2. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    We actually used "Blithe Spirit" as a drama production when I was in high school. It was very well received, and no one seemed to object to the subject matter.
     
  3. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"


    Thank you Darlene.:wave:
     
  4. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Your welcome Jenay. :wave:
     
  5. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Bump- hoping somebody is on tonight that has some knowledge of this play.

    I am hoping to get my hands on a copy tomorrow since I have not read it.
     
  6. Minnie

    Minnie Beach Fanatic

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    When my daughter was in HS, her drama teacher wanted to do it but school admin vetoed due to the ghosts and s?ance but this was a private Christain school.

    I personally would see nothing wrong with it.
     
  7. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Thanks for your insight Minnie. I will give private schools a little more leeway in censorship issues.

    It appears many public high schools across the country have performed this play.

    Guess I better consult my Ouiji board.:D
     
  8. Minnie

    Minnie Beach Fanatic

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Actually at my daughter's school it depended on the headmaster. When she was a Freshman and Sophomore the headmaster was very strick and vetoed several productions. However he did not stay around long. We got a new HM and that year we had Midsummer's Night Dream as their production.

    But it truly depended on who was in charge. Of course some parents were even vocal about Shakesphere and when their daughters would come to visit, I had to make sure our Ouiji board was not in the game cabinet in view. ;-)
     
  9. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"



    :floor:
     
  10. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Today's Walton Sun has an article and an editorial about "Blithe Spirit" and South Walton High School. The play was "challenged" on religous grounds by a parent (or parents), but ultimately the play was approved for use by the drama department.

    Sadly, it is too late. Will told me that because there are complicated special effects, the drama department now does not have enough practice time to produce this play. They have selected another.

    At least we won the war, if not the battle. The fact that there was a battle at all is totally ridiculous. I guess one positive outcome is that it did get people talking about the importance of the separation of church and state.

    Thanks to Sean Boone for writing about this issue- 2 weeks in a row.:clap:I owe you a beer (or 5). This may not be the last we hear of this garbage, unfortunately.

    Kudos to Matthew Christ for writing a great op-ed piece. His title says it all- "A Witch Hunt Comes to South Walton High School Just in Time for Halloween." I'll buy you a root beer and give you a big hug for knowing how important this was and giving it your time.

    The articles are not online yet, so read them the old fashioned way (which is still the best way IMO...;-))
     
  11. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    As is the case with Seahawk football, there is always next year!;-)
     
  12. InletBchDweller

    InletBchDweller SoWal Insider

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    :clap:Glad this battle was won, ok now how about this one......

    I have a friend in a small school that wants to put on a play in December. The play is about the birth of Jesus Christ. Several people are not wanting this play to be performed b/c of the subject matter.... :confused:
     
  13. DuneAHH

    DuneAHH Beach Fanatic

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    So...Would they prefer Siddhartha?
     
  14. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    If it is a PUBLIC school, using public funds, then absolutely not. Separation of church and state, so no Jesus play. If it is a private school, then it is a matter that is decided by the school and parents. If it is a non-religous private school, then it could get sticky if there is not a rule set up in advance about what is appropriate.

    If parents feel that religous values should be taught at school, then their kids need to be in a religous school or home schooled.

    And why would parents want to spend time on a play about Jesus at school? What is Sunday school for? I want my kids learning English, math, scinece, history, humanities, music, etc. when they are at school.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2007
  15. InletBchDweller

    InletBchDweller SoWal Insider

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    I never said that the play would be pushing Christianity, just telling a story about a childs birth.

    Why would a public school allow a play with material that some would be seen as atheist or wikken values but not allow values that some would view as Christian??

    Where was the seperation of church and state written in the consitution anyway??? :dunno:
     
  16. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Alright IBD- you know I love you, but really.:bang:

    We all know that the story of Jesus' birth is NOT just any old birth story. I don't think that explanation will get past many people.:lol:

    And the play discusses a seance and some ghosts, but is hardly a tribute to Wiccans and Aetheists, but if that is a concern to people, then they shouldn't participate in Halloween, since witches and ghosts can be said to be associated with such dangerous people.:roll:

    I never said anything about the separation of church and state being in the constitution. Interestingly enough, the Constitution does not mention God at all. www.theocracywatch.org has great info on this topic, with many good sources.

    From Americans United for a Separation of Church and State:

    "It is true that the literal phrase 'separation of church and state' does not appear in the Constitution, but that does not mean the concept isn't there. The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." ​

    What does that mean? A little history is helpful: In an 1802 letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson, then president, declared that the American people through the First Amendment had erected a "wall of separation between church and state." (Colonial religious liberty pioneer Roger Williams used a similar phrase 150 years earlier.) ​

    Jefferson, however, was not the only leading figure of the post-revolutionary period to use the term separation. James Madison, considered to be the Father of the Constitution, said in an 1819 letter, "[T]he number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church and state." In an earlier, undated essay (probably early 1800s), Madison wrote, "Strongly guarded...is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States." ​

    As eminent church-state scholar Leo Pfeffer notes in his book, Church, State and Freedom, "It is true, of course, that the phrase 'separation of church and state' does not appear in the Constitution. But it was inevitable that some convenient term should come into existence to verbalize a principle so clearly and widely held by the American people....[T]he right to a fair trial is generally accepted to be a constitutional principle; yet the term 'fair trial' is not found in the Constitution. To bring the point even closer home, who would deny that 'religious liberty' is a constitutional principle? Yet that phrase too is not in the Constitution. The universal acceptance which all these terms, including 'separation of church and state,' have received in America would seem to confirm rather than disparage their reality as basic American democratic principles." ​

    Thus, it is entirely appropriate to speak of the "constitutional principle of church-state separation" since that phrase summarizes what the First Amendment's religion clauses do-they separate church and state. ​

    Religious Right activists have tried for decades to make light of Jefferson's "wall of separation" response to the Danbury Baptists, attempting to dismiss it as a hastily written note designed to win the favor of a political constituency. But a glance at the history surrounding the letter shows they are simply wrong. ​

    As church-state scholar Pfeffer points out, Jefferson clearly saw the letter as an opportunity to make a major pronouncement on church and state. Before sending the missive, Jefferson had it reviewed by Levi Lincoln, his attorney general. Jefferson told Lincoln he viewed the response as a way of "sowing useful truths and principles among the people, which might germinate and become rooted among their political tenets." ​

    At the time he wrote the letter, Jefferson was under fire from conservative religious elements who hated his strong stand for full religious liberty. Jefferson saw his response to the Danbury Baptists as an opportunity to clear up his views on church and state. Far from being a mere courtesy, the letter represented a summary of Jefferson's thinking on the purpose and effect of the First Amendment's religion clauses. ​

    Jefferson's Danbury letter has been cited favorably by the Supreme Court many times. In its 1879 Reynolds v. U.S. decision the high court said Jefferson's observations "may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment." In the court's 1947 Everson v. Board of Education decision, Justice Hugo Black wrote, "In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.'" It is only in recent times that separation has come under attack by judges in the federal court system who oppose separation of church and state."​

    I love this quote too--
    "Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?" Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner on the Ten Commandments ruling, June 27, 2005​


    I will say it again, because this high school play censorship issue has really hit a nerve with me. Public school is not the place for religous teaching. Of any kind. Period. It is public school, for the public, and the American public is made up of many different peoples. I know this pisses some Americans off, but not every public school family is white and Christian. ​


    Religous education needs to stay at church, religous school, and at home. ​

    Oh yeah- there is a group of kids at the high school doing the hold hands around the flag pole and pray thing before school. Which is fine with me- it's not part of the curriculum, it happens outside of school hours, and it is not in class. If Will would like to join them, that is his choice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2007
  17. InletBchDweller

    InletBchDweller SoWal Insider

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    I :wub: you too....I guess we will just agree to disagree.....I am going to bow out gracefully now and end this

    :trainwreck: of a conversation..... :blush:


    FYI, plu-ease dont get into a political debate with Mr. IBD. We may have to bring out some gloves...:D:wub:
     
  18. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    IBD-For those of us too dense to understand Constitutional subtleties, here is how I think about it. It is an absolute no-no to display a swaddled plastic baby Jesus at a public school. However, it is a cause to celebrate when the little plastic baby Jesus is displayed in a jar of urine created by an artist who is funded courtesy of the taxpayer at an art show at said school. Got it? Good.:wave:
     
  19. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"


    That one is getting tired, Skunky. :sleeping::yawn:
     
  20. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    Re: Have questions about "Blithe Spirit"

    Then put it in a manger and hide it from the ACLU:D
     

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