Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Change of Heart

Here's the latest on the subject:
National Christmas tree will display religious ornaments. Charle Butts - OneNewsNow - 10/7/2009
The National Forest Service has reversed its policy banning religious oriented decorations on the White House Christmas tree.

The original decision came down after Arizona school children -- chosen this year to design their own ornaments for the tree -- designed ornaments with religious themes.
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Jonathan Scruggs says some of the "controversial" ornaments displayed manger scenes and the words "Merry Christmas." ADF immediately sent a demand letter outlining why the ornament ban was unconstitutional -- and received a speedy response.

"We received a letter from the National Forest Service saying essentially that they agreed and therefore our client would be allowed to submit his religious ornaments," says the attorney.

Although officials originally used the First Amendment to support the ban, ADF used the same amendment to argue against it. An excerpt from the letter reads: "It is well established that expression of religious beliefs is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Religious expression is speech and is entitled to the same level of protection as other kinds of speech...even expression that comes through symbols, such as ornaments...."

Students will now be allowed to construct 4,000 ornaments for the 65-foot tree without further harassment over religious content.

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