How crazy has the war on Christmas gotten? Now, a city in the blue state of Wisconsin is telling city employees that they must refrain from not just putting up traditional, religious Christmas decorations, but must refrain from even using traditional Christmas colors like red and green when decorating city property.
Specifically, that demand came in a memo was sent via email by the city of Wauwatosa’s city manager’s office. In the memo, the city manager told departments to “refrain from using religious decorations or solely associated with Christmas (such as red and green colors) when decorating public spaces within city buildings.”
Continuing, the letter requested the use of “inclusive” decorations, saying, “Instead, we encourage you to opt for more neutral and inclusive decorations that celebrate the season without favoring any particular faith belief system.”
The memo then claimed, “By embracing inclusive decorating practices, we can reinforce our commitment to being a more equitable and welcoming place for all people who live in Wauwatosa, do business in our community, and our coworkers.”
Such was revealed in a letter to the city from the pro-liberty legal non-profit Liberty Counsel, in which the non-profit blasted the city’s demands as “Orwellian,” demanded a retraction of the memo, and explained the current Supreme Court case law on the matter.
The letter began by saying, “By way of brief introduction, Liberty Counsel is a national non-profit litigation, education, and public policy organization with an emphasis on First Amendment religious liberties. Liberty Counsel provides pro bono advocacy and assistance on a variety of issues within our mission, including the public celebration of traditional holidays such as Christmas. We have affiliated attorneys across the United States, including Wisconsin.“
Continuing, it demanded a retraction of what it called the city’s “unconstitutional ban” on Christmas decorations, saying, “Liberty Counsel writes to demand the immediate retraction of the unconstitutional ban on Christmas holiday symbols, decorations, and expression that the City of Wauwatosa (“City”) sent via email to City employees. Liberty Counsel cautions any City department from unlawful retaliation against any employee who declines this unlawful directive. 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.”
The letter then cited the cases supporting its position and ripped the attempt to “eliminate” Christmas symbols as “Orwellian,” saying, “The City’s effort to comprehensively eliminate Christmas symbols is Orwellian. This antiChristmas (read: anti-Christianity) purge utterly fails to consider the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Shurtleff v. City of Boston, Massachusetts, 142 S. Ct. 1583 (2022); Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, 142 S. Ct. 2407 (2022); and Groff v. DeJoy, 600 U.S. 447 (2023). The City’s entire legal foundation (such as it was) for its Christmas decoration ban has been overruled by these cases.”
Featured image credit: By w:User:PFAStudent – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94171076
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