The war on Christmas has spilled over into January.
According to the Baxter Bulletin, on Wednesday of this week (New Year’s Day), an atheist group wrote a letter to Baxter County Judge Mickey Pendergrass, Mountain Home Mayor David Osmon, and Mountain Home attorney Rick Spencer. The letter complains about a Nativity scene on the courthouse lawn in Mountain Home, and threatens legal action if the Nativity is not removed.
Now, Christmas is already over and the Nativity scene (which you can see here) will be “removed” soon anyway, if it has not been already. Just the same, this group wants to be assured the Nativity, which has graced the courthouse lawn for the past fifteen years, never will be put up again.
But the Nativity is well within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. According to Alliance Defending Freedom, courts have ruled that government offices can place Nativity scenes and other decorations with a religious connotation on their public property–especially if non-religious decorations are present as well.
The display in Baxter County includes a large Christmas tree with a Santa Claus standing next to it — neither of which is a religious decoration. In the background, an arch of holly is visible surrounding the doors to the courthouse, and red bows are visible on the building — both are Christmas decorations, but not religious.
The courthouse’s Christmas decorations are not exclusively religious; in fact, they are exactly the kind that judges have ruled constitutional.
We keep saying it: Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also an official holiday in this country. Why would our government be free to recognize Christmas as a holiday; give its employees time off from work on Christmas day; put up decorations commemorating Christmas; but not even mention the very event Christmas celebrates? It’s ridiculous.