The city of Piedmont, Alabama has a Christmas parade on December 4, which is not really a big deal… but their theme could use a bit of work:
The annual City of Piedmont Christmas parade will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 4. The lineup will start at the old National Guard Armory at 4 p.m. The theme for this year is “Let’s Keep Christ in Christmas,” reflecting our strong belief in prayers.
The hell…? That’s unequivocally a city-sponsored promotion of Christianity. This week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote a letter to city officials warning them of the constitutional problems:
The theme “alienates non-Christians and others in Piedmont who do not in fact have a ‘strong belief in prayers’ by turning them into political outsiders in their own community,” wrote Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel.
“The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from endorsing, advancing or promoting religion. A government celebration of Christmas is only permissible because courts have ruled certain aspects of the holiday, such as Christmas trees, to be secular symbols. The sentiment of ‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’ does not qualify” as a secular celebration, Seidel explained.
This is the same city, by the way, in which the school district said prayers over the loudspeakers at football games until FFRF stepped in.
No word yet on whether the city will change its theme by next week.