Celebrating Christmas in America is, in many ways, predictable. The decorations go up in the retail stores, the commercials on television take a decidedly “holiday” turn, the Salvation Army bell-ringers are out in force collecting with their ubiquitous red kettles, and radio stations begin to play the Christmas favorites. These “signs of the season” are predictable and, in many ways, welcome as we look forward to celebrating Christmas. After all, we take comfort in the holiday traditions that reappear every year.
Yet one of the “signs of the season” that has become just as predictable, but certainly less welcome, are the battles over Christmas celebration in the public square. Even in recent days, media reports have surfaced of a charter school banning Christmas carols at a school concert and of another school dropping Operation Christmas Child after threats of a lawsuit by atheists. These battles have become as predictable as the lights and decorations that accompany the signs of the season.
But virtually none of these battles have to end by capitulating to the shrill demands of those who claim celebrating Christmas is unconstitutional. The truth is that public acknowledgements of the Christmas holiday are not unconstitutional and never have been. It is constitutional to say “Merry Christmas.” It is constitutional to sing or perform religious Christmas carols at public school concerts. It is constitutional to have a Christmas tree, and there is nothing in the Constitution requiring the absurd step of calling it a holiday tree. It is also constitutional to have a nativity scene on public property, under certain conditions.
There are practical things you can do to ensure that Christ is not removed from the public square this Christmas:
1. Download this resource on seasonal religious expression to learn more about what the constitution protects, and give it to the government officials who attend your church.
2. You can also download a resource specifically targeted to school administrators and teachers.
3. Find out if your town has a public display area and have your church sponsor the display of a nativity scene there.
4. And say “Merry Christmas!” to everyone you meet.
As always, let us know if you hear of attempts to remove Christ from Christmas. Our attorneys are ready to combat the nonsense of those who object to Christmas and to defend the public acknowledgment that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ. We’ve been blessed to have success in this area, restoring Christmas carols to school concerts this season in Wisconsin and New Jersey. And our attorneys recently sent out a letter explaining the law in this area to over 13,000 school districts across the country.
Let’s celebrate the Christmas holiday this year with the welcome, time-honored, and constitutional traditions we are so fond of. And let’s refuse to allow those who wish to use this season to once again establish their radical agenda. Merry Christmas to all!