MESQUITE, Nev., and BROOKVILLE, Ind. — The Alliance Defense Fund and its allied attorneys sent letters Friday to local governments in Nevada and Indiana encouraging them not to give in to baseless threats that Christmas expression is somehow a violation of the First Amendment. The letters instead explain that stifling Christmas expression is what truly violates First Amendment protected rights.
“It’s ridiculous that people have to think twice about whether it’s okay to publicly celebrate Christmas. An overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas and are opposed to any kind of censorship of it,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The misguided attacks on Christmas by the ACLU and its allies expose an even larger, more aggressive attack on anything and everything Christian.”
One of the ADF letters went to Virgin Valley High School in Mesquite, Nev., which entered into an “agreement” with the American Civil Liberties Union to prohibit teachers and staff from saying “Merry Christmas” and engaging in other Christmas activities in response to the ACLU’s threat of litigation. Teachers are reportedly not allowed to post any religious Christmas decorations and are only permitted to say “happy holidays.” Christmas trees must instead be called “holiday trees.”
Attorney Michael Cork, one of more than 1,900 attorneys in the ADF alliance, sent the other letter regarding Christmas expression to Franklin County, Ind., which was threatened by the Freedom From Religion Foundation for a 50-year-old Nativity scene displayed on county property near a Christmas tree and three reindeer.
“This display is clearly constitutional as displayed, and the county should not give in to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s threats, which have no basis in the law,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Bryan Beauman. “ADF makes its legal services available free of charge to any local governments that are being wrongly attacked over Christmas expression.”
A 2008 Gallup poll found that 93 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. A 2009 Rasmussen poll found that 83 percent of American adults believe public schools should celebrate religious holidays, and 76 percent believe religious symbols, such as Christmas Nativity scenes, should be allowed on public land.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.