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On The Front Lines

Reiterating Need for Common Sense About Christmas, Rutherford Institute Issues Guidelines for Celebrating Christmas in Public, At School or Work

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Hoping to alleviate ongoing confusion arising from political correctness over the do’s and don’ts of celebrating Christmas in schools, workplaces and elsewhere, The Rutherford Institute has issued its “Twelve Rules of Christmas” guideline. Over the years, The Rutherford Institute has been contacted by parents and teachers alike complaining about schools changing their Christmas concerts to “winter holiday programs” and renaming Christmas “winter festival” or cancelling holiday celebrations altogether to avoid offending those who do not celebrate the various holidays.

Individuals with legal questions or in need of legal assistance should call (434) 978-3888 or email staff@rutherford.org.

“Political correctness should never trump the Constitution,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Schools, government officials and businesses have an opportunity to take the high road and not be relegated to playing the Grinch this Christmas. It’s time for some common sense this Christmas.”

In issuing the guidelines, Institute attorneys cited incidents from past years in which, for example, a public school 6th-grade class was asked to make “holiday cards” to send to the troops but were told they could not use the words “Merry Christmas” on their cards. Similarly, nativity displays, Christmas carols, Christmas trees, wreaths, candy canes and even the colors red and green have been banned as part of the effort to avoid any reference to Christmas, Christ or God. Thanksgiving has also come under fire in recent years. Several years ago, for example, Institute attorneys were contacted by a concerned parent who remarked that whereas in previous years teachers in their school district had been told not to mention Christmas, Easter or anything relating to God, they could no longer even mention the word “Thanksgiving” because “the pilgrims offended the Indians” and “Thanksgiving was never intended to be thanks to God!” Another parent with children in the public schools was upset and concerned when she received a letter from school officials directing classroom mothers not to use plates and napkins with Thanksgiving printed on them at their children’s fall parties. As she recounted, “It seems like they are worried about offending just one person and are worried about lawsuits. In the past, this school has gone from ‘winter’ parties that banned red and green cupcakes and napkins, to banning any winter party in fear that it may be mistaken for Christmas.”

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