Is there a war on Christmas? - FOX 35 News Orlando

Is there a war on Christmas?

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A group wants to take Christ out of Christmas -- the group is called American Atheists and they've placed an ad on a 40 foot tall digital billboard in Times Square in New York City.  It urges people to celebrate Christmas without religion.

Some say this is the latest example of the so called "War on Christmas," but is there really a war on Christmas?

A Scottsdale group thinks so and they have vowed to fight.

"It's not illegal, it's not unconstitutional," said Doug Napier, Senior V.P., Alliance Defending Freedom.

Napier says schools can have Christmas programs, despite what other groups may want them to think.

"You have a small band of people who have no interest in schools whatsoever coming in, spreading misinformation.. it's unconstitutional to celebrate Christmas -- it's simply not true," he said.

Napier says they've had three cases this year where schools have banned Christmas carols from their programs.

"One school.. it was a band.. there were no words, just instrumentals, had two songs picked out by students.. traditional Christmas carols.. they got one of these letters saying you can't do that," he said.  "We sent them an informational letter, they changed their policy, those songs are back in the program."

Alessandra Soler, the executive director of the ACLU in Arizona says the war on Christmas is a myth.

"I think it's a myth.  I think it's a scare tactic -- an effort by certain groups to generate media attention, to generate more donations for themselves," she said.

Soler adds that students are free to celebrate and sing about whatever religion they want.

"They can stand up and sing religious songs if that's the individual student expressing him or herself.  What we don't want is the schools picking one religion over another."

Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says school programs
 should not exclude other religions.

"The war that I would see or the attack I would see in December tends to be on separation between religion and government and honoring this constitutional principal," she said.  "Just because something isn't necessarily outright illegal or there isn't a court decision saying don't do this, don't do that, doesn't mean that it's
still a good idea for a public school to celebrate Christmas in a devotional sense."

Napier says if any school district that gets a letter, has questions or are threatened with a lawsuit, in regards to celebrating Christmas, they will represent and defend them for free.

 Alliance Defending Freedom - www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org

 

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