Atheists Tell School to Stop Playing Hallelujah Chorus

By Todd Starnes Published on September 13, 2017

A gaggle of disgruntled atheists are doing a whole lot of hollering about the Hallelujah Chorus in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s local chapter is angry after a teacher at Linden Elementary School played a portion of the “Hallelujah Chorus” during morning announcements.

“While this music may be beautiful and even inspirational for Christians, it is not acceptable for broadcasting to the entire student body at Linden Elementary,” Aleta Ledendecker wrote in a letter to the school district that was obtained by the Oak Ridger.

The aggrieved atheist group said they were acting on behalf of two parents who had children enrolled in the school.

“In consideration of all the possible choices of music, this piece with its distinctly religious content can be interpreted as proselytizing,” Ledendecker wrote.

For the record, there have not been any reports of children spontaneously converting to the Christian faith as a result of George Handel’s beautiful song.

“This is the litmus test I use: if I were a Christian parent walking in the school, and I heard over the PA system during morning announcements music with the words ‘Praise Allah. Allah is king on high. Bow down to Allah,’ how would I feel as a Christian parent with that being broadcast to all the children in the schools,” Ledendecker told the Oak Ridger.

The school district told the Todd Starnes Show that a teacher had a good reason for playing a 20 second excerpt from Handel’s Messiah. “The passage was selected to correspond with the school’s overall music curriculum that, for that particular week, featured the musical works of George Handel,” the school spokesperson told me.

Long story, short — Handel is not going anywhere.

“The school system strongly disagreed with her position and, through our school board’s attorney, we responded promptly to the writer suggesting that she was in error,” the spokesperson told me.

“The criticisms articulated by Ms. Ledendecker appear to have been based upon insufficient information taken entirely out of context, incorrect assumptions about the school’s music curriculum and a fundamental misunderstanding of the First Amendment’s relationship with historically sacred classical music compositions being taught in a public school music curriculum,” the spokesperson added.

Yeah, that response is probably going to jingle the atheists’ bells. It’s about time a school district stood up to those godless bullies and politely told them to blow it out their piccolo.

As George Handel would say, Hallelujah!



Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again. Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.

Originally published on Reprinted with permission.

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  • meamsane

    Yeah, every time the “Finding Freedom Ridiculous Foundation” has a complaint about Christianity, there is always an “anonymous” parent or someone in the community that the FFRF is complaining on behalf of. Why didn’t the parent just go to the principle (or teacher) and find out what the story was? Instead they always try to make it a violation of the Constitution.

    • Rex Rhinesmith

      Thanks for the observation! Evidently “anonymous parents” comprise a sizable demographic. Perhaps many of them are really teachers, recent additions to staff, who are anxious to put their social justice training to work.

    • Christine Lehman


  • Laura Ann Register

    It is getting REALLY OLD with these Atheists and them wanting anything that has to do with God, being removed or done away with. The One thing that they need to acknowledge is that no matter how much they want to get rid of God, He is still a Merciful, Forgiving, Loving, Gracious God. When they get into a situation and there seems to be no hope in sight for them, they will, I guarantee it, call on Him for help and He will help them.Trying to get rid of God? Really, He’s not going anywhere. They wonder why all these bad things are going on in our schools and around this Nation, well people it’s because you are kicking Him out of every place and every school and Courthouse. As a Christian I can tell you One Certain thing, it’s our fault that all of these bad things are happening, it’s NOT GOD’S Fault! It’s our fault with Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma, and the fires up in the North West, the Earth quakes, the (trying) to start another “Civil War” The hard they try to kick God out of this Country, the Harder us Christians are going to pray to keep Him in.

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