Richard Mast is an attorney with Liberty Counsel.
The Elite Master Singers Choir in Wausau, Wisconsin, is coming under attack because they sing Christmas carols during their Christmas concert. Liberty Counsel was contacted earlier this year by choir Director Phil Buch when a directive came down for the Spring concert that noted how 2 songs out of 20 that were Christian had to be removed from the program in order to obtain balance.
Richard noted that courts have said that balance refers to secular and sacred music and as long as the music is part of a music program executed for legitimate educational purposes and not for the purpose of religious celebration, it doesn't matter if there's a mixture.
Liberty Counsel offered to assist the Wausau School District with the implementation and development of a policy that would take care of the concerns of the district. The offer was made due to the propagation of misinformation concerning what's constitutional and what isn't by activist organizations, some of which threaten school districts. Richard explained that this kind of activity can make school districts hyper-vigilant. The result is that school districts will sometimes overreact to activities that they think are violations of separation of church and state. Richard feels that is the situation in the Wausau case.
Mr. Buch has been given 3 choices: No carols, one sacred song to a ratio of 4 secular songs or do a non-Christmas type of program.. None of these options are required by the law and Mr. Buch has respectfully responded by indicating that these 3 options are unacceptable.
There will be a special meeting of the Wausau School Board to be held Thursday October 10th at 6:30pm at Wausau East High School, 2607 N. 18th St.
Wausau School District Main Number--715-261-0500
Wausau School Board Members:
Michelle Schaefer (President)—715-355-8899
Lance Trollop (Vice President)—715-848-0706 & 715-849-3200
Rob Shepherd—715-845-7969 & 715-845-5432
Patrick McKee—715-849-2003 & 715-841-7009
Kathi Whalen Geiger—715-218-3288