A couple of weeks ago, we learned the city of Piedmont, Alabama was having a Christmas parade with the theme “Let’s Keep Christ in Christmas”:
Once the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote a letter warning the city of the constitutional problems with that, the city changed the theme to the more innocuous “City of Piedmont Christmas Parade.”
The parade took place Thursday night and it seemed to go over well. But the narratives surrounding it are so far off…
Like this one, where the headline talks about the success of the parade “Despite Atheist Attacks.”
There were no “attacks.” There was only a respectful letter reminding city officials that they couldn’t do what they were doing. It was a courtesy, really.
Mayor Bill Baker told a local news outlet that FFRF’s plan was foiled:
“This anti-religious group that started all this stuff, I really believe this has backfired on them,” mayor Baker said.
“What has happened now is the city of Piedmont, great city to live in, great people, has rallied. They have caused our parade to be bigger and better with more emphasis placed on Christianity.“
This is a common misunderstanding of church/state separation groups by people who love playing the Christian Persecution card.
Nothing “backfired” on FFRF because that would imply they wanted the parade to be unsuccessful and devoid of religion. Neither of those is correct.
FFRF is probably thrilled so many people came out. More importantly, they have no problem with individual expressions of religious faith, which were in full force the other night. Their only issue was government endorsement of religion. That’s it. Once that went away, so did their concerns.
They can all pretend FFRF is secretly upset about all of this — but I promise you they’re not.