Letters: Offended by lyrics changes

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Unless I missed something, isn't Christmas a religious observance, as are Hanukkah and Ramadan? To secularize carols so that they don't upset non-Christians is an insult to Christmas and to the Christian faith ["School's carol redo raises ire," News, Dec. 19].

I am appalled reading this article about retooling "Silent Night." Christmas, lately, has become a season of consumerism and greed, thanks in part to secularization of this holiday in this country. We have lost the true meaning of Christmas.

While we're at it, why don't we change the "Pledge of Allegiance" so that it doesn't offend non-Americans?

John Hannon, East Patchogue

I was a vocal music teacher for 28 years in the Half Hollow Hills school district. Every winter at our holiday concert, we sang one nonreligious Christmas song, one Hebrew song and a spiritual.

We have to be sensitive to our audiences. It is not difficult to sing holiday music without offending anyone.

Irma Gurman, Smithtown

As a Catholic, I am disgusted. It seems that to avoid offending people of other faiths, the Kings Park school district decided to leave out lyrics about Jesus in "Silent Night," including the words "holy infant," "Christ the savior" and "Jesus, lord, at thy birth." This is extremely offensive to Christians.

Why is it OK to offend Christians by leaving out the most important lyrics of this song?

Maureen Knapp, Bayport

The Kings Park school district's attempt was well-intentioned, but had the predictable outcome of offending Christians. Both sides are showing a fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of tolerance. The song "Silent Night" is a beautiful work of art; as such, it can be appreciated even by people like me who do not actually believe in its message.

Rather than confusing the children and the audience, the school chorus should present the real song with a brief but forthright acknowledgment of its meaning in the Christian tradition.

Lori Cresci, Huntington

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