The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is known for being more of a curmudgeon and general pain-in-the-ass than as an organization truly concerned with the civil liberties of Americans. No time is more confirming of that than the last six weeks of the calendar year.
From opposing city Christmas displays to challenging schools for having Christmas observances, the ACLU usually centers its Grinchness on public entities. I’m no Constitutional attorney and this subject has been debated for a very long time, but I’ll throw in that I don’t believe a city hall crèche violates the Constitution or the intent of the Founding Fathers.
The document does not include a “separation of church and state” clause. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I agree with the long-held argument that the intent is to prohibit Congress from creating a religious body such as the Church of England and/or denying individuals from exercising their religious preference.
But this post isn’t about that. With all the ACLU hoo-ha about town halls, public thoroughfares, schools, government buildings, etc., have you wondered why the group doesn’t have an equally strident effort to do away with Christmas as a Federal holiday? What is a more governmentally sanctioned recognition of a religious event than the U.S., state and local authorities giving paid time off public servants? Isn’t that infinitely worse than allowing “Merry Christmas” in grade schools?
The answer is that the government doesn’t “celebrate” Christmas as a religious event. Officially, it’s a “traditional” holiday as is Thanksgiving.
Given that, why can’t public entities observe Christmas on their respective premises and even say “Merry Christmas?” As much as it pains me to say it, I suppose limiting the observances to the more secular aspects (Santa Claus, Frosty, Jingle Bells, etc.) would likely be more appropriate, but there is no reason why public employees can’t wish a “Merry Christmas” on public property and in their public capacity.
AND ANOTHER THING…
Does anyone else find it more than hypocritical for Jews like Barbra Streisand and atheists such as John Lennon recording Christmas songs?