FM 103.7 in Richmond, Virginia says they were only kidding. After receiving nationwide attention for getting very public flack over playing Christmas music in October the radio station un-flipped the format later in the afternoon and claimed it was all a joke and meant as a means of promoting a breast cancer awareness campaign it kicks off next week.
Via it’s Facebook page the station said, “You guys are the BEST!!! Thank you for letting us “PLAY” with you today! We hope you had a great time getting your fa la la and holly jolly jingles on. To everyone who knew we were having fun, you are smart (Christmas) cookies — and, well, there are a few of you that belong on Santa’s naughty list for those potty mouths!”
Reaction was predictably pretty wild to the news that canned pumpkin may be in short supply by Thanksgiving. Most local media in Illinois reported that thanks to heavy June rains the pumpkin crop took a pretty big hit. But major media in the UK picked up the story and have turned it into political fodder by blaming the whole thing on global warming. (I guess a 10% increase in rain is considered climate change).
What does this have to do with Christmas and defending it?
Well, nothing. But can you foresee a time when real Christmas trees will be in “short supply” because of climate change? Or, worse, that they cannot be had at all because of the global warming agenda? What about mistletoe? Do you think it could be banned or considered politically incorrect simply because it is used in abundance at one time of the year? Is it possible that Christmas could be affected by political agendas that really have nothing to do with celebrating Christmas?
Oh wait. We already have that.
Saying “Merry Christmas” is insensitive to Muslims. Calling a Christmas tree a holiday tree is more inclusive.
Putting a nativity scene in a school Christmas production is somehow “establishing a religion”.
Changing the words to “Silent Night” in public school choirs somehow protects society from a great evil.
And erecting a Christmas display on a courthouse lawn somehow justifies building monuments to Satan.
So yeah — blaming a pumpkin shortage on climate change is a thing.
It is just one more way an agenda is encroaching on what people enjoy.
The community uprising witnessed in Elkhart, Indiana last month has failed to stop a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the ACLU. The two organizations have pooled resources to fight public will and the expressed sentiments of a local school board defending the performance.
Their argument is that the Nativity portion of the performance is unconstitutional and “illegal”. Even though the event is entirely voluntary the fact that it is sponsored by the high school is reason enough for courts to declare the event improper.
”The Nativity scene and the story of the birth of Jesus are, of course, well-recognized symbols of the Christian faith,” the plaintiffs wrote in the complaint, filed Wednesday. “Their presence at the Christmas Spectacular is coercive, represents an endorsement of religion by the high school and the school corporation, has no secular purpose and has the principal purpose and effect of advancing religion.”
The scene traditionally fills the final 15 minutes of a long program that features music of both a sacred and secular nature.
Last month the local school board responded to the FFRF threat of a lawsuit by saying, in part, “As always, if a student or parent finds objectionable any portion of the Spectacular, or any school assignment for that matter, that student is free to opt out of the performance or assignment. Many students have chosen to do so in the past. The Nativity Scene participation is purely voluntary and is rehearsed only after school hours. It provides historical context to the entire holiday season and is a small portion of a two hour long performance. The Spectacular also traditionally includes secular, holiday musical favorites, such as Jingle Bells, Let It Snow and Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. For more than 30 years, the Spectacular has been an important part of the Concord High School holiday experience. It will continue to be so.”
Interestingly, this lawsuit comes on the heels of another one lost by the FFRF in Franklin County, Indiana arguing about the illegality of nativity scenes on public property.
Richmond, Virginia radio station 103.7 FM flipped the switch to Christmas music in early October — and is getting slammed for it.
What exactly is behind the decision to start with Christmas music while temperatures remain in the 70s around Central Virginia? 103.7 Play host Melissa Chase said they just felt Richmond needed a pick me up.
“This year people needed the holiday spirit a little earlier than usual,” Chase said. “There was stress over the parking with the UCI bike race and almost getting hit by a hurricane. RVA needed this.”
But according to the station’s Facebook page not all listeners were feeling the Christmas love.
“Really? Might as well just play it all year round. I just removed this station from my choice buttons. Just like retailers, it is horrible to push this on us,” 103.7 Play Facebook fan Carrie added.
“Seriously? We loved listening to you at work. Well not anymore. This is why people are sick of Christmas before it begins!” Facebook fan Heather warned.
“Geez, I can’t believe people are getting so upset over this,” Sherry interjected. “It’s really no different than walking into a store and seeing all Christmas decorations being put up. It gave my son and I good laugh this morning when we heard Christmas music playing.”
For 103.7 Play host Melissa Chase, it’s all about the Christmas spirit.
That might or might not be true. Some radio stations play Christmas music for a period of time before going through major format changes. The tactic has been used several times in recent years as a method of resetting listener stats and starting over with a station. It isn’t clear if this is the intent of 103.7 or not.