Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Sketches: Just a Little Candy Cane...

Today's Sunday Sketch might make me lose a couple friends.. Yikes!  Over just a little candy cane!  Well hopefully it won't be that serious!

During the week I have been reading up a little on the history of the candy cane.  Despite all those cute little Christmas poems people give out about the "true" story of the candy cane.. versions that say  a candymaker from Indiana developed that candy cane as a Christian tool are more legend than fact.  The red stripes my help one remember Christ's blood, the shape may be like a shepherd's staff or "J" for Jesus, the white may be a reminder of Christ's purity, and the cane may be hard.. lik the rock that God's church is founded on.   No, originally candy canes were white, from France.. but yes, it is likely that they were given by a choirmaster to children as they prepared for a nativity play in order to help keep them quiet.  (Sorry, I dont think keeping kids quiet is part of God's divine plan by any means.)

What's interesting, besides the nature of urban legend, symbol, and fact,  is alllllllllll the trouble this little candy cane has gotten into.  In the last few years, a neighboring town  to mine has made national news over a nine year old boy who in 2004 brought candy canes to  holiday party at school with the Christian version of the symbol's nature attached.  He was stopped from doing so, as were several other students in upcoming days.  The school district later revised their strict policy against passing out any religious-themed material by stating that such material could only be passed out before and after school, at three annual parties, during recess and at designated tables in school. Middle and high school students also can hand out items in hallways and during lunch. Some parents said the policy diluted the free speech rights of their children.

In June of this year, the Supreme Court, (oh yeah, that's the big guys and gals) declined to hear an appeal  from parents who sought to stop the district from regulating when students can hand out religious materials.  As far as where this has gone since then.. it is still in the courts but way above my legal expertise to really understand what's going on.


Believe it or not, I do have a few thoughts. 

I am a deeply spiritual person, was raised in a strong Christian home, and am committed to supporting the faith experiences of other people.  I believe in relgious freedom which this country was founded on.  That  doesn't mean I agree with people swearing on the Bible in court, "In God We Trust" on our coins, and prayer time in schools.  Nor does it mean, that I think children or adults to need "pretend to be atheist" in school or anywhere else for that matter.

It's time for us all, on both sides of the issue, or in the middle, to find a way to express our beliefs and support the expression of others faith beliefs without it actually being, or being considered proselytizing.  But here's the rub.. that means.. freedom for everyone - Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Wiccan, Unitarian, Atheist, Agnostic, and, yes, Muslim.  (Forgive that I left lots of faiths off the list but you get what I mean.)

I spent many years as an early childhood teacher... working with the youngest of the young.  Parents do not need to fear even young children being exposed to faith systems that are not the heritage of the family.  All one needs to say is "This is what some people believe and practice.  This is what our family practices."  Besides,  when we become so aggressive and tight trying to protect our children from exposure to ideas different than our own, kids are smart and pay a lot more attention....


  1. your drawing is quite lovely.
    I find it good to consider that the same breath of life animates all life.

  2. That's a lovely sentiment! Thank you Tammie!

  3. That drawing is amazing! And I respect you exercising your right to freedom of speech.

  4. Wow! How I love candy canes! That sketch is unbelievably realistic. For a moment I thought it was a photograph (B&W)

    That is an interesting history behind candy cane!

  5. I thought for a moment this was a B and W photo - it is a wonderful drawing! Great discussion too!

    My daughter just pointed out that this is what Mona said - i had not read her comment when i wrote this so it must all be true!

  6. This is a very well done sketch! Wow, I just love the whole composition of it. Nice work! xxoo

  7. What a realistic drawing and the history was interesting..I did not know all of it! I'm with you on letting everyone choose their own beliefs and I see no harm in kids hearing what others believe.

  8. Amazing still life. You are definitely talented! The shading is amazing and like everyone else has said...REALISTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  9. wow. your sketch is incredible...very real...not can i have one...smiles.

  10. Amazing sketch, such depth, can almost taste them.

  11. Welcome to Sunday Sketches this week. Great post and what FAB candy canes. Look at the detail on those! Wow! :)

  12. This is a lovely sketch and as most said very realistic!!


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