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Old 12-06-2019, 01:45 AM
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Can an American town ban Christmas?


25% of the plots to children movies seem to be around Christmas being banned/cancelled in some way, usually by way of the mayor or overpowered city council somehow having the ability to literally prevent people from individually celebrating Christmas in their own homes.

I realize how absurd this is but am curious the extent an American town/city/county/state could theoretically try to "Ban" Christmas. And by that I mean completely prevent Christmas being celebrated in the open, not just having everything be labeled "Happy Holidays" instead. And let's keep this "realistic" so we aren't having the Army break down people's doors and taking away Christmas trees, but maybe like how Home Owner's Associations have in the past prevented residents from decorating their houses with Christmas lights.

I imagine there would be three different variations of this.

1. The "easiest", simply prevent all public buildings (such as libraries) and streets from even acknowledging Christmas and not allowing any decorations put up at all.

2. Banning private businesses open to the public from celebrating Christmas (so McDonald's can't have Christmas stuff on display, but you can still have a holiday party at your work)

3. Banning all open displays of Christmas over the entire town (so no Christmas lights or decorations allowed on people's private houses at all but you can still have a tree in your house)
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:52 AM
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No, of course not. Freedom of...well, basically everything. They might as well quarter some soldiers in your home while they're doing it so that they can get the full gamut of broken amendments.

But I'm having a hard time thinking of a single example of this that isn't blatantly magical (i.e. the "cancelling Christmas" thing involves Santa being unwilling/unable to show or somesuch). Can you give some examples?

Last edited by TimeWinder; 12-06-2019 at 01:53 AM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:31 AM
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Option 1 seems possible. Not putting things up in government buildings is not a violation of the first amendment. Plenty of holidays don't get recognized. I don't recall Easter (a less secular holiday) decorations. Not that this is likely.

2 and 3 are clearly unconstitutional.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:14 AM
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It doesn't matter what a town does to try to ban Christmas. The spirit of Christmas will prevail and Santa will deliver presents to all the little children in town, and the frozen hearts of those cruel councilmen will thaw and they will rename the town to Christmasville.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:56 AM
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Ban Christmas, but make the Second Amendmenteers happy: Declare open season, no bag limit, maybe even a per-head bounty, on flying reindeer.


Okay, here's a story that really did happen, must be about 25 years ago, in Pismo Beach, CA or one of the smaller surrounding towns, as best I remember it:

City put up a Christmas tree on top of a city-owned hilltop overlooking the main freeway through town, or maybe it was a big cross that was there all year round. Diehard militant atheists screamed. (Don't remember if a court order got involved at this point.)

Christian citizen offers to buy the hilltop from the city, whereupon he will then put up the tree (or cross), the hilltop then being his own private property. City agrees to sell. Christian citizen buys. Christian citizen installs tree (or cross) as expected.

Diehard militant atheists still screamed, claiming the city sold that land deliberately so the private citizen could put that tree (or cross) there, knowing that he was planning to do that, so it was just as bad as if the city still owned the hilltop. Diehard militant atheists take city and/or new hilltop owner to court.

Comes now the part that boggles the mind, as I remember it: The court agreed with Diehard militant atheists. So private Christian citizen hilltop owner was not permitted to put up his Christian display on his own hilltop.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:20 AM
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A bit of actual history about "banning Christmas", at least some pieces that I remember:

It actually was a thing about "militant atheists" making a fuss. About 25-30 years ago (say, early 1990's) was the earliest I remember this stuff happening, although maybe it was going on earlier.

Cities commonly put up, or permitted to be put up, Christian displays in public parks or similar public spaces. These often included lots of lights or other electric devices, which were plugged in to electric sockets about the property. Atheist groups began to scream that this was the city putting forward Christian beliefs ahead of other beliefs. One response was to begin putting up Hanukkah displays in the parks too. I don't think there are really any other traditional holidays of other major religions around that time of year. (Pagan religions, with their Winter Solstice festivities, didn't count for much.)

A specific complaint was the expense of all that electricity, which was paid for by the city, and hence, by the taxpayers. The atheists really didn't like that their tax money was supporting Christian displays. That was one of the really big screaming arguments they made.

You can kinda see how they may have had sort of a point, in principle. I doubt that the actual dollar amount that each citizen paid in taxes for these displays added up to much. But it was the principle of the thing. But apparently this thinking began to gain traction in some quarters, and in the courts.

The above story about the private Christian hilltop happened during that period of time.

And that, as I remember it, was part of the beginnings of the "War on Christmas".
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:12 AM
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There's a difference between "banning Christmas" and keeping overtly religious creches and such off of city property. But consider: Christmas (unlike pretty much all other religious holidays) is a federal holiday, so banning it outright simply won't happen.

Also, most retailers (clothing, books, electronics, most everything but groceries) make over half of the money they're going to make all year between Thanksgiving and New Year's, and facilitating business is every city, town and municipality's first priority in the US. I don't personally know anyone who has gone to jail for breaking the law, but I know plenty of people who've been incarcerated for being bad for the business climate. Shutting down Christmas would be bad for the business climate. And that's un-American.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:29 AM
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Option 1 isn't just "the easiest", it's the only one of your three variations that is even possible.

To answer your question, "Can an American town ban Christmas?": the answer is, "No". They can't ban Ramadan, either.

Last edited by Bear_Nenno; 12-06-2019 at 06:30 AM.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:29 AM
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You mean like when the “Muslim mayor” (who doesn’t exist) of “Blairsville, MI” (which doesn’t exist) unilaterally issued a law “banning Christmas?”
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:15 AM
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Christmas has been banned in America—in colonial times, by the Puritans.

https://www.history.com/news/when-ma...nned-christmas
https://www.theatlantic.com/national...istmas/355705/
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
25% of the plots to children movies seem to be around Christmas being banned/cancelled in some way, usually by way of the mayor or overpowered city council somehow having the ability to literally prevent people from individually celebrating Christmas in their own homes.
The premise of this thread starts with a statement for which I can find little or no evidence.

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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Okay, here's a story that really did happen, must be about 25 years ago, in Pismo Beach, CA or one of the smaller surrounding towns, as best I remember it:

City put up a Christmas tree on top of a city-owned hilltop overlooking the main freeway through town, or maybe it was a big cross that was there all year round. Diehard militant atheists screamed. (Don't remember if a court order got involved at this point.)

Christian citizen offers to buy the hilltop from the city, whereupon he will then put up the tree (or cross), the hilltop then being his own private property. City agrees to sell. Christian citizen buys. Christian citizen installs tree (or cross) as expected.

Diehard militant atheists still screamed, claiming the city sold that land deliberately so the private citizen could put that tree (or cross) there, knowing that he was planning to do that, so it was just as bad as if the city still owned the hilltop. Diehard militant atheists take city and/or new hilltop owner to court.

Comes now the part that boggles the mind, as I remember it: The court agreed with Diehard militant atheists. So private Christian citizen hilltop owner was not permitted to put up his Christian display on his own hilltop.
Could you perhaps provide a link to what actually happened? The use of such terms as "diehard militant atheists" and "screamed" makes me question your impartiality.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:35 AM
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A bit of actual history about "banning Christmas", at least some pieces that I remember:

It actually was a thing about "militant atheists" making a fuss. About 25-30 years ago (say, early 1990's) was the earliest I remember this stuff happening, although maybe it was going on earlier.

Cities commonly put up, or permitted to be put up, Christian displays in public parks or similar public spaces. These often included lots of lights or other electric devices, which were plugged in to electric sockets about the property. Atheist groups began to scream that this was the city putting forward Christian beliefs ahead of other beliefs. One response was to begin putting up Hanukkah displays in the parks too. I don't think there are really any other traditional holidays of other major religions around that time of year. (Pagan religions, with their Winter Solstice festivities, didn't count for much.)

A specific complaint was the expense of all that electricity, which was paid for by the city, and hence, by the taxpayers. The atheists really didn't like that their tax money was supporting Christian displays. That was one of the really big screaming arguments they made.

You can kinda see how they may have had sort of a point, in principle. I doubt that the actual dollar amount that each citizen paid in taxes for these displays added up to much. But it was the principle of the thing. But apparently this thinking began to gain traction in some quarters, and in the courts.

The above story about the private Christian hilltop happened during that period of time.

And that, as I remember it, was part of the beginnings of the "War on Christmas".
More "militant atheists" "screaming"?
Again, a more impartial cite would be nice.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:50 AM
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Will come back with cites later today, as I recall the story it was a divorced dad suing on behalf of his minor daughter (whom he did not have custody of) to have a cross removed.

Happens in my town, eh, regularly if not often. The Jr. Chamber of Commerce owns a bit of land that over looks the city and has a lit cross on it, sort of a city landmark. Various groups have been erroneously suing the city since it was first put up to have it removed. (The bit of private land the cross is on us inside a public park) Sometimes the JCC gets sued but the cross is still there.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:53 AM
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The premise of this thread starts with a statement for which I can find little or no evidence.

Could you perhaps provide a link to what actually happened? The use of such terms as "diehard militant atheists" and "screamed" makes me question your impartiality.
I lived in that area up until a couple of years ago. I can tell you a few things:

1) there are about 4 or 5 hilltops in the area with crosses or christmas trees on them. They are privately owned. So the issue isn't with a person putting up a cross on privare property (if it actually even happened, which I can find no cite for so far). It was with the city selling land (against the interest of the city and its constituents potentially?) For the Express purpose of circumventing the establishment clause

2) Pismo proper had a bigass christmas tree at the end of their pier last time I was there over the holidays.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:57 AM
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More "militant atheists" "screaming"?
Again, a more impartial cite would be nice.
Sorry for no cites or links, but this was 25-or-so years ago, and I'm recounting it substantially from memory.

The hilltop story took place in or near Pismo Beach, in San Luis Obispo County.

The Christmas lights in the park story, at least the one I paid most attention to at the time, took place in Paso Robles, also in San Luis Obispo County, but I think there was similar stuff going on all around the county, if not all around the country.

San Luis Obispo is a mostly rural-ish area, especially in the Paso Robles area, and quite conservative. So when anybody starts complaining about Christmas trees in the park or crosses on the hilltop, you might well imagine the strongly polarized yelling and screaming on all sides of the issue going on there. If I sound exaggerated, it's because I'm reflecting the tone of the whole controversy in that county, as I remember it.

ETA: Regarding babale comment just above -- well, sounds like they've at least toned down all the yelling and screaming on all sides a bit. One thing I don't know is whether that sale of the hilltop was done against the city's interests, for example, if they sold the land for $1 or something like that. I don't recall ever seeing that little detail mentioned in all the controversy.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:57 AM
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The premise of this thread starts with a statement for which I can find little or no evidence.

Could you perhaps provide a link to what actually happened? The use of such terms as "diehard militant atheists" and "screamed" makes me question your impartiality.
Yep, six years ago almost to the day.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:00 AM
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The closest thing I can find is that in 2013 they lost a court case and had to stop holding prayers before city council meetings. Someone needs to sue the town I'm in (a large city in SoCal...) because last time I went to a city council meeting here, they did the same thing: 20 minutes of prayer before the meeting started, and none of that vague and generic "higher power" stuff -- they were specifically praying to Jesus Christ.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:04 AM
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From your link:

Quote:
“We firmly support the government’s efforts to honor the service of those who fought and died for this country, but there are many ways to do that without playing favorites with religion,” Mach said
What exactly is your definition of a "die-hard militant athiest"? Is it just "anyone who hasn't accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior"? Because the linked article seems completely reasonable to me.

I'm sure you'd be OK with the government placing a giant Islamic crescent on that hill instead, to honor our soldiers? Or can we only honor them with Christian iconography?
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:13 AM
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So-6 years ago, not 25 or so years ago. San Diego, not Pismo Beach. War veterans of different religions, not "militant atheists".
And now for the rest of the story:
From the Mount Soledad Wiki-
Quote:
In 1998 the City of San Diego sold the cross and the land it stands on to the nonprofit Mount Soledad Memorial Association, and the cross was transformed into being the centerpiece of a newly erected Korean War Memorial. The land under the cross was eventually transferred to the federal government. In 2011 a federal appeals court found the cross unconstitutional, and in 2012 the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal, returning the issue to federal court. In December 2013 a federal judge ordered the cross to be removed, but stayed the order pending appeal. In June 2014 the Supreme Court declined to review a case concerning the cross as the previous appeal had not been heard. In December 2014, Congress passed and President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, which included a provision that "authorizes the Secretary of Defense to convey (the cross) to the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Association, subject to certain conditions." On July 20, 2015 the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association bought the land under the cross from the Dept. of Defense for $1.4 million, ending its unconstitutionality.

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Old 12-06-2019, 09:16 AM
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IE the cross was never actually taken down, just handed over to a private organization.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:31 AM
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25% of the plots to children movies seem to be around Christmas being banned/cancelled in some way, usually by way of the mayor or overpowered city council somehow having the ability to literally prevent people from individually celebrating Christmas in their own homes.
Would that "25%" happen to be this one direct to video movie put out by the religious studio Peace Arch Trinity back in 2008-"The Town That Banned Christmas"?
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:41 AM
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25% of the plots to children movies seem to be around Christmas being banned/cancelled in some way, usually by way of the mayor or overpowered city council somehow having the ability to literally prevent people from individually celebrating Christmas in their own homes.
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Would that "25%" happen to be this one direct to video movie put out by the religious studio Peace Arch Trinity back in 2008-"The Town That Banned Christmas"?
In my experience, when the plot to a children's Christmas movie involves Christmas being banned/cancelled in some way, the cause is that either Santa Claus is unable or unwilling to fulfill his duties, or there's some entity (like a Grinch) who sets out to steal/ruin/prevent it.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:57 AM
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I wish they would at least Ignore it. Especially radio stations...
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:08 AM
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In my experience, when the plot to a children's Christmas movie involves Christmas being banned/cancelled in some way, the cause is that either Santa Claus is unable or unwilling to fulfill his duties, or there's some entity (like a Grinch) who sets out to steal/ruin/prevent it.
Same thing I was thinking, It seems like a very rare thing, and I would like to know if they 25% claimed is close to the truth.

But yes governments have banned certain things in the past present and I suspect the future as well, including religious practices and also thus holidays.

Now in the US it is much harder to do, many would say that is due to freedom, but really freedom is preserved because there are many ruling authorities (checks and balances) striving to maintain their power and freedom is just one weapon they use to preserve their power. So it is a system set up in conflict with itself which allows us to celebrate christmas. But that is just a shortcoming of the inability to get a supreme leader's will passed and enforced. Many other such governments are not hamstrung in this way and can more easily ban it.

Since you asked about a american town, my take on it is unless power is consolidated to one ruler's will, freedom to have Christmas will be preserved because the rulers will insist on it to prevent them losing power. However it may be banned temporally as the system sorts things out and corrects it.

Thinking some more on this, there are some towns that are made up of people of a particular belief, some of which don't celebrate Christmas. New Square in NY is one such town, and of recent anti-vax/measle outbreak fame. The town elected to separate itself from the city it was part of (New City IIRC), and become its own entity. I believe it is 100% Jewish owned, in that every plot of land is thus owned by a Jewish person. While Christmas is not legally banned, it is effectively banned in that you won't seen any christmas decorations on public or private land there. Just a aside It is also quite incredible to see, Google maps shows just a hint of what it's like to actually drive through it. Increadabally build up in the middle of the suburbs. But in these single faith towns, it may be possible to get a local law through, and as long as no one challenges it outside the jurisdiction of the town it stands, but will fall when taking to the state level.

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Old 12-06-2019, 10:08 AM
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Would that "25%" happen to be this one direct to video movie put out by the religious studio Peace Arch Trinity back in 2008-"The Town That Banned Christmas"?
It's basically "Footloose" in December.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:16 AM
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@kanicbird -- are you equivocating "nobody chooses to celebrate Christmas as they aren't Christian" with a "ban on Christmas"? Because that's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:26 AM
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It's basically "Footloose" in December.
With Santa (or Jesus, I can't decide would be better) doing a not weird at all dance routine alone in a barn or whatever.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:14 PM
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Other issues aside: you can't, legally, ban specifically Christmas lights and/or Christmas decorations on private property. That's content-related and would violate freedom of speech.

It would, possibly, be potentially legal to ban all outside lights and/or decorations; or, at any rate, it wouldn't violate freedom of speech. I flat out can't see that happening. The Town That Banned Front Porch Lights?! Let alone The Town That Banned Putting Anything At All On Your Porch or Lawn.

It would be somewhat more plausible to ban, say, all outdoor blinking lights and/or all lights presenting an unreasonable amount of glare on the grounds that they're traffic distractions, and therefore presented a public hazard. But that would be certain types of lights, and based on a public hazard; not certain types of content. It would be difficult, to put it mildly, to claim that a non-blinking Nativity scene, for instance, on a private front lawn, not in the right of way, and not blocking drivers' lines of sight, was a public hazard.

I think some private housing associations control what people can and can't put on the outsides of their homes and on any lawns involved. But I don't see how a town can do it.


The town/city/whatever could, of course, decide that it was tired of paying for decorations and/or of their causing distractions from work, whether or not those distractions were related to arguments about religion, and could stop putting up decorations on its own property and in its own buildings. The municipality -- or any individual private workplace, for that matter -- could even prevent employees from putting up their own in the workplace. But a) they'd have to ban all similar decorations, of any religion or none and b) that would hardly be "banning Christmas", as everybody who wanted could perfectly well celebrate it at home.


In practice, every place around here that I'm aware of does spend public money and public space on Christmas decorations, and many of them also on Christmas town parties. I've decided this is not a hill I'm going to die on.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:52 PM
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An American town (to be exact, a smallish city) recently did ban Christmas.

Well, actually it banned the Christmas parade.

Mmm....to be exact, the mayor announced that the city's annual Christmas parade would be renamed the Winter Parade, in order to demonstrate how "inclusive" they were.

It did not go well.
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Old 12-06-2019, 03:16 PM
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Other issues aside: you can't, legally, ban specifically Christmas lights and/or Christmas decorations on private property. That's content-related and would violate freedom of speech.
There are town historic districts around here that restrict what you can do with your house, from paint colors to holiday lights. One that I know of (Merrimack NH) restricts holiday lighting to a single white candle (typically electric) in each window, nothing else. I don't think anyone is required to put them up, but if you want to put lights up that's what you need to use.

I assume they are kosher with respect to freedom of speech, but I've never looked into it.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:05 PM
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ok, I'm back, but apparrently I was conflating the lawsuit over a cross with this lawsuit which happened at pretty close to the same time, sorta.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:08 PM
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Would that "25%" happen to be this one direct to video movie put out by the religious studio Peace Arch Trinity back in 2008-"The Town That Banned Christmas"?
I know it's the MO on the SDMB to question the ulterior motive of any and all questions asked but I've seen a lot of bad Christmas films where this is the case. The movie that inspired the question was the 2000 animated movie "An Angel For Christmas" about a town where the Mayor was basically Scrooge and officially banned Christmas from being celebrated and enforced this by having anyone who celebrated it fired (since he owned the local factory and 99% of the townsfolk worked for him in some ways even the police)
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:13 PM
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An American town (to be exact, a smallish city) recently did ban Christmas.

Well, actually it banned the Christmas parade.

Mmm....to be exact, the mayor announced that the city's annual Christmas parade would be renamed the Winter Parade, in order to demonstrate how "inclusive" they were.

It did not go well.
So -- absolutely nothing was banned, they tried to comply with the establishment clause, and the townspeople threw a hissy fit?
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:27 PM
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[Moderating]

This question is inevitably and unavoidably going to veer into politics. That being the case, rather than try to steer it back into GQ, I'm going to just move it to IMHO.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:32 PM
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Do US towns exist whose residents are overwhelmingly of a faith that doesn't celebrate Xmas? No ban would be needed, then. Yes, colonial Puritans banned the heathen Papist celebration. How do their counterparts behave now?
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:36 PM
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So -- absolutely nothing was banned, they tried to comply with the establishment clause, and the townspeople threw a hissy fit?
Yep.
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Old 12-06-2019, 04:39 PM
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I know schools in our area kids cannot sing Christmas songs at the annual Christmas... woops... HOLIDAY show. Nice, generic songs about... well I dont remember if they can even mention Santa Claus or snow. The only song I remember is "Happy Holidays".

No songs with any depth or meaning.

Now at the HS level they do a Christmas show thats a bit of everything. Christian songs, generic Christmas song, some winter songs, some Hanukkah.
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:45 PM
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The above is likely not based in fact.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Ban Christmas, but make the Second Amendmenteers happy: Declare open season, no bag limit, maybe even a per-head bounty, on flying reindeer.


Okay, here's a story that really did happen, must be about 25 years ago, in Pismo Beach, CA or one of the smaller surrounding towns, as best I remember it:

City put up a Christmas tree on top of a city-owned hilltop overlooking the main freeway through town, or maybe it was a big cross that was there all year round. Diehard militant atheists screamed. (Don't remember if a court order got involved at this point.)

Christian citizen offers to buy the hilltop from the city, whereupon he will then put up the tree (or cross), the hilltop then being his own private property. City agrees to sell. Christian citizen buys. Christian citizen installs tree (or cross) as expected.

Diehard militant atheists still screamed, claiming the city sold that land deliberately so the private citizen could put that tree (or cross) there, knowing that he was planning to do that, so it was just as bad as if the city still owned the hilltop. Diehard militant atheists take city and/or new hilltop owner to court.

Comes now the part that boggles the mind, as I remember it: The court agreed with Diehard militant atheists. So private Christian citizen hilltop owner was not permitted to put up his Christian display on his own hilltop.
This reminds me of two similar incidents, although I am having trouble finding the second one.

First, on the highest point of land in San Francisco is the "Mount Davidson Cross," which was first put up in the 1920s, but it was on city-owned land, and in 1991, a group of organizations demanded that the fact that it was on government land violated the "separation of Church and State" - and the courts agreed. In 1997, the land, and the cross, were sold to an Armenian group that pretty much repurposed it as a memorial to the Armenian Genocide that started in 1914, and the cross is still there (and is lit every year on the night before Easter - there is a sunrise religious service there on Easter Sudnay - as well as on Armenian Holocaust Memorial Day.)

Second, I'm pretty sure that a similar attempt to sell government land with some religious icon on it was overturned by the Supreme Court relatively recently as it did not allow groups that wanted to remove the icon to be involved in the auction. (I remember Emailing Senator Feinstein about it, as the Mount Davidson Cross land was also sold at auction, and I vaguely remember a story about how at least one group that would have had the cross taken down was not allowed to bid.) I thought the land was in Arizona, but I can't find any reference to the case.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:34 PM
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An American town (to be exact, a smallish city) recently did ban Christmas.

Well, actually it banned the Christmas parade.

Mmm....to be exact, the mayor announced that the city's annual Christmas parade would be renamed the Winter Parade, in order to demonstrate how "inclusive" they were.

It did not go well.
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So -- absolutely nothing was banned, they tried to comply with the establishment clause, and the townspeople threw a hissy fit?
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Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Because it's absolutely intolerable to some Christians to admit that not all Americans believe their myths.

Being an atheist in this country sometimes puts me in mind of the joke about the rabbi who always read a virulently anti-Semitic website, to the consternation of his friends: "Why do you go to that hateful site?" "Because, when I read the regular newspapers, I read about pogroms and discrimination and hate crimes. But when I read Stormfront, I discover that we control the banks, and the arts, and are on the verge of taking over the world! It makes me feel so much better!"

Apparently, the mere fact that non-Christians exist in this country is enough to send some Christians into a panic. I feel so powerful.
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  #41  
Old 12-06-2019, 07:05 PM
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Would that "25%" happen to be this one direct to video movie put out by the religious studio Peace Arch Trinity back in 2008-"The Town That Banned Christmas"?
You're seriously going to keep picking this nit?
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:17 PM
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The above is likely not based in fact.
Actually, that's pretty much true everywhere I am familiar with. Our annual Winter Assembly has something for everybody, music-wise. Although they do steer clear of the more blatant Christian songs. Or they perform them as instrumentals.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:24 PM
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I was mostly focusing on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
I know schools in our area kids cannot sing Christmas songs at the annual Christmas... woops... HOLIDAY show. Nice, generic songs about... well I dont remember if they can even mention Santa Claus or snow. The only song I remember is "Happy Holidays".



No songs with any depth or meaning.

It's probably not based on fact if he lives in Johnson County KS.
  #44  
Old 12-06-2019, 07:55 PM
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I know it's the MO on the SDMB to question the ulterior motive of any and all questions asked but I've seen a lot of bad Christmas films where this is the case. The movie that inspired the question was the 2000 animated movie "An Angel For Christmas" about a town where the Mayor was basically Scrooge and officially banned Christmas from being celebrated and enforced this by having anyone who celebrated it fired (since he owned the local factory and 99% of the townsfolk worked for him in some ways even the police)
well, I'm currently watching a movie where a "farm kid" on a desert planet encountered two sentient robots and then went on to blow up a fake planet. So...
  #45  
Old 12-06-2019, 08:11 PM
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Can they? Sure! Pittsburgh is almost notorious for enacting laws it knows either will be shot down in the courts or are impossible to enforce. Hey - you never know; some day one may actually stick.
  #46  
Old 12-06-2019, 10:24 PM
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My California 49er Gold Rush county was mobbed by miners way back when: French-Canadiens, LatinX, Serbs, Cornishmen, all with rather different Winter Solstice celebrations. Orthodoxoi are still numerous so we have two Xmases here, with the usual Prod and Cat-licker displays contrasting the Slavs, and merchants trying to fleece everyone in sight. Ban Xmas? Won't work here. But let each sect pay for their own festive lights and pranks. I don't want to subsidize a Scientologist parade. Is Santa clear?

Last edited by RioRico; 12-06-2019 at 10:26 PM.
  #47  
Old 12-07-2019, 01:38 AM
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You're seriously going to keep picking this nit?
This "nit" is supposedly the reason the OP raised the question in the first place. Personally, this "screaming militant atheists" crap bothers me a bit more.
  #48  
Old 12-07-2019, 10:53 AM
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Is Santa clear?
Considering the group I am leaving to go drinking with ------ Santa is almost never clear. Especially after the 12th bar or so.

PS - we've never been organized but if you check FaceBook you'll see we happen every year.

https://www.santacon.info/Pittsburgh-PA/

https://www.meetup.com/pittsburgh-fr...nts/257753035/

And I'm the Amish Santa (Yoder Klaus) in the middle of the picture.
  #49  
Old 12-07-2019, 11:17 AM
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If the government tries to get around the establishment clause by selling land to a private group so that it can leave a religious display in place, especially if it's a small bit of land surrounded by public land, it seems to me that the "screaming militant atheists" have a very good point to make.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:04 PM
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I envisage a "screaming militant atheist" parody creche scene setup in a public park. There's a (pagan) yule tree in the background laden with little glowing skull lights. Some reptilioid human+inhuman spawn writhes in the cradle. The three kings stand nearby offering their gifts: Santa Claus waves a wasp-waist bottle of Coca-Coca; Frosty the Snowman dangles a bag of carrots; and the Burger King hoists a Double Whopper. Angelic drones circle overhead blasting-down lightning bolts in rhythm with the drummer boy's incessant martial tattoo; giraffes and Hereford cattle sway in time. CO2 fumes rise.

Think that'll survive the ban on Xmas?
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