This article originally appeared on WND.com
Guest by post by Bob Unruh
City officials who just a week ago had outlined exactly what they would allow for Christmas decorations – “non-religious” snowflakes, greenery and northern lights – abruptly now are claiming that was not intended to be a ban on religious items.
Christmas is, after all, one of the most significant religious days in the history of America, which was founded on Judeo-Christian ideals.
It is Liberty Counsel that reports city officials from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, have “quickly backpedaled” on their demands after being given a letter that pointed out their requirement for “non-religious” decorations exhibited hostility to Christianity.
Which is illegal.
City administrator Jim Archambo and Melissa Cantarero Weiss, a deputy, just days ago told employees in an email that Christmas decorations and events must be “inclusive” and “equitable.”
They mentioned that nine times in their email.
“Despite acknowledging that Christmas is a significant holiday for many, the administrators stated the need to ‘foster a more equitable and inclusive community’ for those who don’t celebrate Christmas…” Liberty Counsel reported.
They said what would be allowed would be “Winter wonderland – snowflakes, snow people [sic], and other non-religious symbols associated with winter. Lights and greenery – festive lighting and greenery can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere without specific religious connotations. Northern lights – draw inspiration from the aurora borealis and incorporate colors like blue, green, and purple.”
Liberty Counsel’s letter to the city noted, “The Christmas holiday ban violates the U.S. Constitution by showing hostility toward Christianity. The First Amendment does not permit the city to eliminate Christmas holiday symbols or expression in a misguided attempt to be ‘inclusive’ by eliminating all traditional elements of expression regarding a federally and state recognized holiday.”
Officials immediately “corrected” their memo.
Archambo said, “We’d like to add clarity around an email message sent to employees on Thursday, Nov. 9 by our Deputy City Administrator regarding holiday décor. City leaders, as a team, decided that this was an appropriate communication based on concerns from residents regarding decorations in public spaces.”
He claimed the email was not “A policy directive. A requirement to decorate or not decorate a certain way. Telling employees they cannot bring their full selves to work. Telling employees they cannot decorate their individual work spaces. Telling individuals how to decorate their homes or businesses.”
He said it was, “Asking our employees to consider all members of our community before deciding how to decorate public spaces in city-owned government buildings [and] Asking employees to consider the values of equity and inclusion identified in our strategic plan.”
Liberty Counsel explained, “Wauwatosa officials have now backtracked. The original email clearly warned employees to refrain from using ‘traditional’ Christmas decorations, including red and green. The new communication after receiving Liberty Counsel’s demand letter now states that employees ‘are free to decorate in the manner they have historically decorated or alter their decorations to be more inclusive at their discretion.’ In other words, as the law requires, these employees can decorate as they wish without the threat of punishment.”
Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel chief, said, “The city of Wauwatosa has gladly retreated from its Orwellian and unconstitutional Christmas decoration ban after receiving our demand letter. Now the city employees can celebrate the Christmas holiday consistent with their faith and the law.”
Copyright 2023 WND News Center
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