The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is teaching state penitentiary inmates about Christ and equipping them for ministry.
This week Tony Perkins of Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., wrote about senior citizens who were told they could not celebrate Christmas at their living center in Washington State.
Providence Place senior center reportedly told residents they could not put up Christmas decorations, sing carols, or exchange Christmas greetings, because the center accepts federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
One resident contacted attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom about the situation. The attorneys promptly sent a letter to Providence Place explaining that federal policies cannot be used to squelch residents’ free speech and free exercise of religion.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time someone has tried to claim the Bill of Rights prevents everyday citizens from celebrating Christmas.
Public schools routinely try to stop students and teachers from wishing one another a merry Christmas. In 2013 a VA hospital in Georgia prohibited high school Christmas carolers from singing religious songs to veterans.
The First Amendment was intended to protect the free exercise of religion. It was never meant to stop anyone from following their faith or from saying, “Merry Christmas!”
Yesterday U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker allowed the Satanic Temple to intervene in a lawsuit over the state’s monument of the Ten Commandments on the Arkansas Capitol lawn.
In 2015 the Arkansas Legislature authorized the privately funded Ten Commandments monument that is identical to a monument the U.S. Supreme Court ruled constitutional in Texas a few years ago.
However, last June the American Humanist Association and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit against the state to have the monument removed. Now the Satanic Temple will be part of that lawsuit as well.
Both the Satanic Temple and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have made headlines recently over their efforts to oppose Christmas celebrations and displays.
In Ohio the Freedom From Religion Foundation successfully bullied a town into removing a Ten Commandments monument and a Nativity scene from public property.
In the Illinois capitol rotunda the Satanic Temple installed a temporary “Snaketivity” display that features a human hand holding an apple with a snake coiled around it. Beneath the statue read the words, “Knowledge Is The Greatest Gift.”
As we have said before, city, county, and state officials are free to celebrate Christmas. Courts also have ruled that the government can recognize the significant impact of the Ten Commandments down through the years.
We need to understand and appreciate the significance of the Ten Commandments — including their impact on our system government and their relevance to us still today. Unfortunately some groups seem determined to erase anything that acknowledges that significance from the public sphere.