Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Federal government bans religious references on ornaments for 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree

ADF attorneys send letter to federal, state officials after Arizona school children chosen to decorate D.C. tree, but told to keep religion out.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys sent a letter to federal and state officials, including Arizona Governor Janice Brewer Monday, calling for them to stop enforcing a requirement prohibiting the state’s schoolchildren from expressing religious viewpoints through Christmas themes while decorating ornaments for the 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree.

Arizona was chosen this year to present 4,000 handcrafted ornaments made by elementary, middle-school, and high-school students to decorate Washington, D.C.’s annual Christmas tree.

“Banning Christmas from the Capitol Christmas tree is just absurd. Christian students shouldn’t be discriminated against for expressing their religious beliefs,” said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Jonathan Scruggs. “The First Amendment does not allow government officials to exclude schoolchildren’s ornaments for the capitol’s Christmas tree merely because they communicate a religious viewpoint.”

On behalf of a mother whose son strongly desires to submit three ornaments for the tree, ADF attorneys sent a letter to state and federal officials demanding that they abandon the prohibition of religious viewpoints so that the child may participate in the unique opportunity. One of the ornaments will read “Merry Christmas,” another will say “Happy Birthday, Jesus,” and the third will portray a manger scene with the baby Jesus.

Each of these ornaments will also honor Arizona, using as a theme the state’s history, geography, or motto, “Ditat Deus,” which means “God Enriches.” ADF attorneys indicate in the letter that they will take legal action if officials do not comply by October 4, the day before the deadline to submit ornaments for consideration.

“It is well established that expression of religious beliefs is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” the letter reads. “Religious expression is speech and is entitled to the same level of protection as other kinds of speech... Even expression that comes through symbols, such as ornaments…”

Read rest of story here


The assault on Christmas continues in 2009!


ExPatMatt said...

Very ironic, that motto of Arizona's!

People who try and remove the 'Christ' from Christmas are - excuse my French - pedantic a$$holes. I always make a point of saying Merry Christmas (especially to my atheist friends) because we should never forget the history and traditions of the culture we live in and, more importantly, IT'S CHRISTMAS!

Nobody's going to get offended by an ornament that says 'Happy Birthday Jesus'. They might think that it was silly to think that Jesus was born on Dec 25th, but that's about it.

Seriously Wayne, I'm 100% on your side with this and when I go to Church this Christmas with my girlfriend's family, I will be sure to wish everyone I meet a very, Merry Christmas indeed.



Joe A. said...

Isn't it September?

Jesus wasn't born on December 25th?!

Most people think he was born on year 1 AD too. Scholars conclude otherwise, it seems.

Anyway. Happy holi- I mean celebrations, everyone!

Wayne Dawg said...

Yet another area of common ground that we share Matt!

Pretty soon you will be repenting of your sins and trusting in the gospel!

ExPatMatt said...

I'm almost there, Wayne. It's just the whole 'not believing in God' thing that I've got to get past!

Joe A. said...

I laughed.

Nohm said...

I'm another atheist who doesn't mind the whole "Merry Christmas" thing.

At the same time, I also don't support people trying to push other people away from saying "Happy Holidays".

Whatever works for the people involved. I don't see any rights being squashed by saying either "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"... just think about who your audience is.

Nohm said...

Having said all of that above, I think claims of "assault on Christmas" are at best laughable, and at worst a paranoid delusion.