Well, what do you know? I have to cave in already on my determination to ignore the news. But I think you'll forgive me when you see why. It is Christmas-related, after all. Take a loot at this story from a newspaper called The Scotsman in the U.K.
Basically, a nine-year-old boy described as an atheist was excluded from the class Christmas party by the school because of his beliefs. The boy was heartbroken, and it's not hard to see why. The school made the case that since the boy didn't believe in Jesus -- the reason for the season -- there was no sense in him being part of the party.
First, this was cruelty to a child -- a child who I can't really blame for his supposed atheism because that's what his mother and father have been teaching him. A nine-year-old really hasn't thought it out all that well. If Christians were behind this exclusion, what kind of witness was that? Didn't our Lord tell us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us? Perhaps some love and kindness shown to this child might well be used by the Holy Spirit to work in his heart later.
Now, even though I am whacking the school, I need to whack the silliness of the parents also. Their statement that Christmas parties "aren't religious" is outrageous. Sure, office parties and school parties typically aren't prayer meetings, but at the same time, without Jesus there wouldn't be any Christmas. What's next? Atheists demanding to be part of church worship services because those aren't Christian in nature either?
Before someone tries to bring it up, this situation is not morally equivalent to the row over atheists joining the Boy Scouts. That organization's charter calls for members to believe in God. So don't go there.
In the end, what is the fruit of this story? Those who are supposed to be celebrating the love, joy and peace of Christmas end up looking like Ebenezer Scrooge, and a child, put in that position by unbelieving parents, ends up looking like a martyr.