Christmas is a time of wonder, when the best and the worst of our sputtering culture is on display. For every magnificent four-part rendition of Stille Nacht, we seem destined to endure umpteen episodes of godless grinches screaming about tolerance and diversity in order to keep authentic Christmas symbols out of the public square during a holiday season that, for centuries, has been devoted to the public celebration of the birth of the Son of God.
Such was the case in Sarasota, Florida, just days before All Hallow’s Eve, when the University Town Center Mall got caught with its red-velvet trousers down. It was then that choral groups scheduled to perform at the UTC Mall during the Christmas Shopping Season (formerly known as “Advent”) received the glad tidings that there was to be “no recognizable Christian music” sung.
Be warned, carolers: The mall cops have declared Threat Level Midnight!
Now, right away, you might think, OK, this means Sarasotans will be given a large dose of Irving Berlin, Dasher and Dancer, and other songs celebrating snow and nuts. But if you are one of those barbaric bigots who gets hung up on the actual meaning of words, phrases, and clauses, you may have tripped over the word “recognizable.” Christian music’s A-OK so long as it’s . . . unrecognizable? Read on, Parson Brown.