Until recently, the Charlie Daniels Band song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" was in the [C.D. Hylton High School] marching band's line up of Georgia-themed music. . . .
On Oct. 2, The Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger published a letter to the editor arguing that while no one objected to that song about the devil, there would be objections if the band were to play a song about God or other spiritual beings.
After that letter ran in the paper, [band director Dennis Brown] dropped the song from the marching band's program. . . .
In the letter, [Robert] McLean wrote, "A high school band director would be fired for playing 'Amazing Grace' but no one bats an eye for the playing of a song about the devil … [H]ow can one mention the devil, and not be able to mention a Christian God?"
Brown said that the letter was the first objection he had heard to the song. . . .
Brown made the decision to drop the song to prevent any negative attention the students or school might receive because of it, he said. . . .
McLean said he did not intend his letter to be criticism of the school or the song[:] "I like the song. . . . I just thought it was kind of ironic that they could play that song, but they wouldn't be allowed to play a song about God." . . .
Thanks to Becky Dale for the pointer.
For those curious about whether playing The Devil Went Down to Georgia would be an Establishment Clause violation, the answer is no; though some songs that mention God (or for that matter the Devil) may in some contexts be seen by a reasonable person as endorsements of religion, this song wouldn't be.