Rudolph the Non-Religious Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, now officially certified as secular, is back in the kindergarten concert at Murraysville Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C. The song was pulled when a Jewish parent objected to the song’s “religious overtones,” specifically the reference to “Christmas.”

School board members, administrators and attorneys listened closely to the song’s lyrics and decided the song was secular.

Rudolph is about “a flying reindeer, not a religious symbol,” said the assistant superintendent.

Via Teacher Magazine’s Web Watch.

Rudolph was written by a Jewish songwriter, as are about half of the most popular Christmas songs.

According to Wikipedia, Rudolph’s brothers include Robbie, Rusty and Ralph, “an overweight, emotionally-damaged reindeer” with an infra-red nose good for defrosting Santa’s sleigh and warming up toast and waffles.

About Joanne


  1. Read “Elijah’s Angel” by Michael Rosen for a sensitive story of a child working through religious difference at Christmas time.

  2. Bill Leonard says:

    A complaint about “religious overtones” in a song about Rudolph?

    Ah, yes. Once again, a home truth is demonstrated: there are a lot of people out there who just don’t have enough to do.

    I’ve always thought it ironic that Gene Autry (for those not familiar with the dark ages prior to 1968, his was the original recording of the song) resisted recording “Rudolph”. He feared it would damage his singing cowboy movie career which, by 1949, was starting to fade. It was his best-selling record.


  3. But I’m sure there was a reference to Rudolph in Revelations!?

  4. Nope, Rudolph Diesel’s middle name is definitely Cristian.

  5. Whoops, I meant Christian. Jeez.

  6. But the baddies in the War on Christmas(tm) are the evil atheists! It is the atheists who want to ban Christmas. And yet in this story, it is a Jewish woman.. could it be that atheists are the easier target, and people would wince a bit before blaming The JOOS..

  7. Here, women from B’nai Brith work several stores in town wrapping Christmas presents for shoppers at $1 a present. Interesting that they don’t seem to be offended or poisoned by touching paper with Nativity scenes all over it.

  8. I just noticed that my atheist friends are sending me Christmas cards, while my Christian relatives are sending out Holiday cards.