Defending Christmas

Jennifer Biddison

12/1/2005 12:01:00 AM - Jennifer Biddison

Several years ago, a boss of mine wished me a Happy Hanukkah, wrongly assuming that I was Jewish. Did I get offended? Of course not. I laughed hard, reminded him that I went to a Christian college, and still tease him about it all these years later.

That’s why I just can’t understand why folks get so up in arms these days when the topic of Christmas arises. According to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, 96% of Americans celebrate Christmas. Yet businesses and schools are often hesitant – or even afraid – to recognize the holiday. As you walk around the mall this month, notice how many store signs skip “Merry Christmas” in favor of a general, meaningless holiday greeting.

What do people think happens to the other 4% of Americans upon hearing Nat King Cole croon once again about roasting chestnuts? Do they melt? Turn into stone? Run into oncoming traffic? I doubt it. Almost 9 in 10 Americans said in a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll that it’s fine to wish others “Merry Christmas.”  

Twenty years ago, my elementary school choir sang a variety of holiday songs, including ones that were distinctly about Christmas or Hanukkah. But nowadays, many school districts are trying to ban Christmas songs, and parents are not happy about it. Yet many feel as if their hands are tied by our “politically correct” society.

Alliance Defense Fund is here to help. Since 1993, the legal alliance has been defending religious freedom, and it has just launched its annual Christmas Project™ to educate Americans about their rights.

The extent of your Christmas rights might surprise you. For instance, under the law your kids can:

• Say “Merry Christmas” at school
• Sing religious Christmas songs in school
• Distribute religious Christmas cards in school
• Read the biblical account of the birth of Christ in school
• Opt out of activities that conflict with their (or your) beliefs.

So what happens if a school refuses to acknowledge your child’s constitutional rights?  Again, ADF has come to the rescue. In addition to composing and compiling a number of written resources for your use, ADF also offers legal help in cases where it believes its attorneys can be of assistance. This year, more than 800 attorneys are standing by across the nation, ready to battle attempts to censor Christmas. And their record is impressive:

• In August, the ACLU gave up its legal attack on Louisiana’s Bossier Parish School District after initially objecting to the school’s nativity display and its inclusion of religious songs in its Christmas program.

• In July, a federal appeals court unanimously rejected an ACLU lawsuit over holiday displays at the city hall in Cranston, Rhode Island.

• Last December, after receiving a letter from an ADF attorney, school officials in Boca Raton, Florida changed their minds about allowing students to distribute candy canes with a religious message.

And the list of successes goes on and on. 

ADF has built a reputation of high-quality work, and thus finds itself growing larger and more influential by the day. Initially founded by such Christian powerhouses as Dr. Bill Bright, Larry Burkett, Dr. James Dobson, Dr. D. James Kennedy, and Marlin Maddoux for the purpose of defending religious freedom, the legal alliance has expanded to also influence cases regarding the sanctity of life and family values.

In this age of relativism and political correctness, I’m thankful to have the Alliance Defense Fund watching my back. While businesses like Target may still choose to cower from the ACLU and a few overly sensitive atheists, I can now stand up for the rights I know I have and encourage my local schools and government entities to do the same.  I hope you’ll join me.