October 02, 2009
Guess who's now banned from Capitol Christmas tree!
Guess who's now banned from Capitol Christmas tree!
Forest Service forbids 'religious themes' on 5,000 decorations recognizing holiday
The U.S. Forest Service has banned the name of Jesus from decorations being assembled by children in Arizona for a blue spruce from the state that will become the Capitol Christmas Tree this year, and a legal firm is challenging the censorship.
"Banning Christmas from the Capitol Christmas tree is just absurd. Christian students shouldn't be discriminated against for expressing their religious beliefs," said Jonathan Scruggs, litigation staff counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.
"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," he said yesterday.
The organization has sent a letter to state and federal officials, including Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer, who are supervising the program, calling on them to stop enforcement of the prohibition.
ADF set a deadline for response of Oct. 4, the day before all the ornaments must be turned in.
The legal organization said one criterion states: "Ornaments cannot reflect a religious or political theme. Instead,
share your interpretation of our theme 'Arizona's gift, from the Grand Canyon State."
But a mother whose child wanted to submit ornaments with holiday themes such as "Happy Birthday, Jesus," "Merry Christmas" and a manger scene raised her concern with ADF.
"The child desires to convey a message about Arizona from his religious perspective via Christmas ornaments. It is well established that expression of religious beliefs is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution," the ADF letter said. "Religious expression is speech and is entitled to the same level of protection as other kinds of speech.
"The Supreme Court has consistently condemned viewpoint discrimination regardless where it occurs," the letter continued. "Viewpoint discrimination is an 'egregious' form of discrimination that occurs '[w]hen the government targets not subject matter, but particular views taken by speakers on a subject.'
"When the government excludes speech from a forum on an otherwise includible subject because of its perspective, it engages in viewpoint discrimination," the letter said. "Here, there is little question that government officials have opened up a forum for speech on a particular topic – the topic of Arizona – yet have singled out and forbidden religious viewpoints about this topic. … thus, while children may submit ornaments about Arizona from all different viewpoints – whether from different historical or cultural or geographical or economic perspectives – these children may not submit an ornament about Arizona from a religious perspective."
The ADF demands that the restriction be rescinded or the family "will be forced to take legal action to protect her child's First Amendment rights."
Those in charge of the program, including Capitol Christmas Tree Coordinator Richard Davalos in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, did not return WND messages asking for comment.
A public information officer for the forests promised to research the issue.
The ADF said the tree itself is an 85-foot blue spruce that will be chopped down and hauled to Washington. Four thousand of the ornaments will be on the tree itself, and 1,000 will be displayed at other locations.
The Forest Service ornament program specifies ornaments need to be 9-12 inches tall, able to withstand winter weather for three weeks, include a loop of wire for hanging, and be able to be seen 75 feet away.
Also, "Ornament designs may not reflect religious or political themes."
Wild Thing's comment..........
Forbidding religious references is in itself a violation of the First Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This makes no sense at all. Christmas IS a religious holiday. What do they think would represent Christmas? Santa Claus? Like Easter is about the Easter Bunny???? The Easter Bunny rose after three days? And saw its shadow? See? This kind of thing drives me a bit crazy.
If they really do this horrible thing. Then make them go to school on Christmas too and see how that goes over. If the government wants a religious war then give them one make them work on all religious holidays. Christmas, Thanks giving. Chisel every mention of God off any monument in Washington. Make it truly the godless city it is. Make congress and the senate work too no Christmas holidays for them either.
Don't mess with Christmas, that is my all time favorite time of year and this REALLY ticks me off. GRRRR
....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.
3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
Posted by Wild Thing at October 2, 2009 05:48 AM
The banning of Christian ornaments on the Capitol Christmas tree comes from obama. It has to because the Forestry Service has not done this before to my knowledge. It is akin to the demand to cover crosses at Georgetown during obama's speech there.
obama is at least a muslim supporter if not actually a muslim. No attendance at the National Day of Prayer, but an invitation for a muslim Day on the Capital Mall. Not bringing his non muslim wife on his trips to Cairo and other Mid East muslim stops. There is way too much activity on obama's part showing his muslim leanings.
Posted by: TomR at October 2, 2009 10:44 AM
That tells me that the Obamas are not Christian people. How much you want to bet that they don't decorate the White House either? Muslims don't celebrate Christmas. Think about the word-Christmas-Christ's Mass. It celebrates a life greater than our own and should be taken as such. To know you have the love and forgiveness of the Christ is more special than anything else. He forgets the citizens of this nation own that White House and we graciously allow him to live there while he is President, so he should do as we say and if we want religious decorations, then it should be obliged.
Posted by: Lynn at October 2, 2009 01:25 PM
Tom, thanks you I was wondering that too,
it has got to be coming from him.
Posted by: Wild Thing at October 2, 2009 04:14 PM
Lynn, I agree, to do this, there is no
way a Christian would allow this or want
this to happen.
Posted by: Wild Thing at October 2, 2009 04:15 PM