Talk about the Devil making trouble for those with idle hands! What a stupid controversy. A man wrote a letter to his local paper wondering if the high school band should be playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," by the Charlie Daniels Band. His thought was that a song featuring the Devil might violate separation of church and state. And the band director decided that the band, which had been practicing the long hours that marching bands typically put into learning their routines, pulled the song just to be sure not to get the school into trouble. They had been practicing for a performance at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.
How many levelis is this a stupid controversy? The song is just a playful song that is no more a religious song than "Devil in a Blue Dress." The letter-writer claims that he loves the song and was just trying to start a discussion. Couldn't he have talked to his buddies and left it out of the newspaper? And when will people understand that all the Constitution forbids is the state establishing a religion or interfering in someone's own practice of religion. Playing a song at a public school does not indicate that the state has established a religion. What religion would that be? Fiddle-playing Devil worship?
The one good thing from this silly scandal is that John J. Miller at the Corner provided this link to a great version of the song by Blues Traveler. (Track 11) And check out the other songs from their concerts that Blues Traveler has posted for free downloads.