Operation Christmas Child causes furor
Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 7:02 pm
By: Submitted by Hamilton Strategies
Charlotte, N.C. – A North Carolina school has apologized after a tutor complained about a religious message found inside an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
Glenwood Elementary School in Marion, N.C. , sponsored a community service project for its children through Operation Christmas Child, a program of Samaritan’s Purse, run by Franklin Graham.
Each year, millions of gifts packed in shoeboxes make their way around the world to underprivileged children in 100 countries. In 2011, about 60,000 churches and 60,000 community groups will fill upwards of 8 million shoeboxes.
Distributed with the shoeboxes is a fill-in-the-blanks note to be completed and sent to the overseas child. One line reads, “I love Jesus because ______.”
A part-time tutor at the school complained about the coloring page, arguing that it may have violated the students’ First Amendment rights. The superintendent apologized to the district’s parents through a flurry of messages, phone calls and teacher meetings.
“We may have teachers and tutors that are agnostic,” said superintendent Ira Trollinger, who is a Christian. “And that is certainly up to them. And we don’t mean to offend anyone. We want to give kids the opportunity to share and to feel good about what they are doing for other people who may need it more than they do.”
Dr. Alex McFarland, world-renowned Christian apologist, culture and religion expert, author and speaker, says the school situation is an unfortunate one, as children will most likely be deprived of this message of Jesus’ love because of the complaint of one part-time tutor.
“Operation Christmas Child is such a simple way we can show our love to children around the world,” said McFarland, who is a North Carolina resident.
“Plus, it’s a wonderful way to teach kids about giving in a tangible way. This tutor didn’t defend their rights, but instead, took away a precious lesson and put a black mark on a generous, loving project, which by the way, is run by a Christian organization, Samaritan’s Purse.”