The other day a friend of mine fumed to me about an event at her child’s public school. The grade-school teacher had invited a special guest, who came to inform the kiddies about a special treat; she explained that candy canes are white with red stripes to symbolize the wounds of Christ.
Of course, this took place in Alaska… (rim shot).
That’s wrong in so many ways. The idea that an employee of a public school wouldn’t have gotten the message that it’s inappropriate — unconstitutionally inappropriate — to use the public schools to advance a religious agenda stuns me. All the more, however, that someone was passing along the bogus etiology of candy-striped sugar canes, a derivation that smelled suspicious the moment I heard it. Then, on top of all that, my friend was troubled about the idea of filling (secular) children’s imaginations with the notion of Jesus bleeding sacrificially for their sakes. The whole deal compounds civic malpractice with whoppers with questionable child-rearing.
Now, I have this all third hand (“A friend of mine really experienced this”), so since urban legends constitute one motif in this post, I should acknowledge that this story may (in theory; I’m not doubting you, Tealin) itself involve exaggerations or even falsehood. And I like legends; this one just strikes me as a pretty shoddy attempt to press-gang self-indulgence into the service of catechesis.