Last Christmas season in Utah, a school choir group was rehearsing for their upcoming Christmas program. A lady walked in and asked if she could listen. The director said sure. They started to practice "For Unto Us a Child Is Born" from the Messiah.
The lady stood up and said, "You can't sing that." The director said, "What do you mean?" She said it was against the law in Utah to have deity mentioned in school. She said she would return with a policeman if he continued. The director found out that she was right and he had to cancel the program.Michael Ballam, professor of music at Utah State, has had three of his friends who were school choral directors resign because all choral music is religious music. The constitutional issue that covers prayer at commencement also covers deity being mentioned in opera, musicals, literature, drama, paintings, etc. in public institutions.
If anyone in this state wants to stop your school from learning about the Sistine Chapel, anything by Bach - who dedicated all his music "to the glory of God" - most classical music, Les Miserables, Carousel, La Boheme, in short, most works of art, they have the legal right to do so.
This is not the case in other states. My schoolteacher friends in California find it amusing that we cannot pray at commencement; they do.
The state committee that was to decide if the people of Utah get to vote on this issue in the upcoming election came to the conclusion at the end of August that it would be rushing things for the people of Utah and we should have to wait until November of '94 to vote.
When Michael Ballam expressed his concern to Gov. Bangerter, the governor was understanding but said he felt he could not do anything about it because so few Utahns had expressed concern or interest in the subject.
If you want the works of art that mention deity to be censored out of public education, then don't do anything; you will get your wish. If you would like the people of Utah to be able to vote on what they want before November of 1994, then exercise your freedom, put aside three minutes today and write a short note or postcard to Gov. Bangerter.