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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A stupid controversy

I totally agree with Betsy about what is chronicled in this article from yesterday's Washington Post. A high school band playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" is somehow a violation of the separation of Church and State. That principle has been stretched to the point of ridiculous already. This is just one more example. The secular crowd in this country need to get a life. They are the real Devils in this story.

After the devil went down to Georgia, it seems, he got censored in Prince William County.

In preparation for a guest appearance at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, the marching band at C.D. Hylton High School had a logical and seemingly innocuous idea: play a Georgia-themed song. They decided on "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," by the Charlie Daniels Band.

But early this month, a local newspaper, the Potomac News, published a letter by a Woodbridge resident who, after having seen the C.D. Hylton Bulldawg Marching Band perform the country-western hit at a football game, wondered how a song about the devil could be played at school events, because of the separation of church and state.

Fearing bad public reaction, Hylton's longtime band director, Dennis Brown, pulled the song from the playlist. "I was just being protective of my students. I didn't want any negative publicity for C.D. Hylton High School," he said.

But Brown's strategy backfired. The decision has created a furor, and even Charlie Daniels has weighed in.

"I am a Christian, and I don't write pro-devil songs. Most people seem to get it. It's a fun little song," Daniels said Friday in a telephone interview from Mokena, Ill., where he was scheduled to perform a concert. "I think it's a shame that the [marching band director] would yield to one piece of mail. If people find out that he can be manipulated that easily, he's going to have a hard way to go."

Christine Heeren, whose daughter Sandrine, 17, is the band's color guard captain, said many parents are frustrated that the song won't be performed but are unanimous in their respect for Brown as a thoughtful and popular band director.

"I am quite in a dilemma," she said. "The children were more disappointed because they spent a lot of hours in marching band camp. It takes a lot of patience and drilling."

Residents, alumni and parents have been fulminating in the Potomac News and on its Web site against censorship, the values of the media, the band director and, perhaps not surprisingly, the writer of the letter, Robert McLean. In the paper's online forum, people have written about a range of topics -- abortion, presidential politics, whether Daniels rocks or not-- that show how testy emotions have become.

To paraphrase from the song, fire has flown from their fingertips:

"God have mercy. How did we become a country full of weenies who give into the cranky nonsense of 1 voice?" one person tapped out on a computer. "I guess I need to go back to school. I thought the idea behind our country was that the majority ruled? You know, like the majority of people voted for the President's re-election and now the ruling party is knuckling under to every left wing nut out there? I give up!"

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