Defending Christmas: The ACLJ Continually Defeats Atheists' Attacks on Religious Freedom and Holiday Traditions


Jordan Sekulow

December 13, 2021

5 min read

American Heritage



For many of us, the Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year. Especially for Christians celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sadly, there are others out there who claim to be triggered by the traditional symbols of the Christmas holiday and seek to have them torn down, literally and figuratively. And not just sacred images like Nativity displays which depict the birth of Jesus in the manger. Radical atheists have even targeted candy canes, calling the striped peppermint candy offensive and a violation of their rights.

That’s right – according to some anti-Christian activists, CANDY CANES ARE CANCELED. Okay, for now at least, they’re not, thanks to the actions of the ACLJ.

We wish we were making that one up, but we are not. As we shared with you previously, a military base was pressured to stop selling candy canes in a store on base because the so-called “Jesus Candy” was a violation of their constitutional rights. It’s not, by the way, and we explained that in a legal letter sent directly to the base.

On yet another occasion, an anti-Christian group demanded that a Nativity scene be moved from the lobby of an unarmed “command’s HQ building” to official chapel grounds. It’s particularly sad that while so many of our brave servicemen and women in the military cling to their Christian faith, particularly those who spend the holidays in foreign lands and dangerous war zones to protect our freedoms, there are some others who seek to remove those comforting symbols of faith on American soil.

Our team sent out legal letters to each of the Judge Advocates General of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard (including a copy to each Service Chief), explaining why, once again, such a demand was unfounded and that the Nativity scene need not be moved to the chapel grounds. We argued that just like America in general, many different faiths are represented in the U.S. military, and different faith groups recognize and celebrate different religious holidays. It is common to see numerous displays erected to celebrate such holidays. The military does not endorse one religious holiday over another merely because it permits such displays on a military installation. In all likelihood, those allegedly “offended” by the Christian Nativity scene would not have objected to any other religious display, such as one representing Ramadan or Kwanza. It is only Christian traditions and holidays that seem to be targeted.

But it’s not just the faith of our soldiers that’s under continual attack, especially during the holidays. Atheists and anti-Christian organizations have no issue coming for your Christmas decorations, whether they’re displayed at school or even your own home. The ACLJ took action after we were contacted by concerned parents whose daughter had drawn a representation of a Nativity scene. The picture was selected by the child’s teacher for inclusion in the school’s Christmas program. That is, until the parents were informed that, due to a concern over the “separation of church and state,” their daughter’s drawing would not be included in the program.

As our team advised the family, “The school should not exclude your daughter’s drawing from the program; the drawing represents and reflects your daughter’s personal expression and viewpoints, not any official message of religious endorsement by the school.”

As we have made clear in our informational letter for families or students who are being pressured not to talk about their faith at Christmastime, students have a constitutional right to share the biblical origins of Christmas (and Easter) during non-instructional time and in school class assignments or activities where the school seeks the students’ personal views. A school Christmas music program is no exception.

Thankfully, a week later we were notified that because of the legal counsel of the ACLJ, the school’s principal changed course and properly determined there was no valid reason for removing the picture from the program. The student’s Nativity drawing was used as the cover decoration of the Christmas event’s program.

This “Cancel Christmas Culture” trend is getting out of hand. No one is forcing atheists to celebrate Christmas, let alone convert to Christianity. Candy canes and Christmas carols do no harm to anyone, whatsoever. And interestingly, none of these groups ever attack Ramadan or Kwanzaa or a host of other, non-Christian holidays.  In fact, in an ironic twist, we told you how some states have allowed Satanists to erect “holiday” displays in their state capitols; yet these same groups have remained silent, apparently unoffended – their rights unscathed.

The beauty of Christmas is that, like Jesus Himself, it is for everyone. For God so loved THE WORLD (John 3:16). If you choose not to celebrate, that is your option. But you can be certain that the ACLJ has no intention of sitting back and letting the enemies of faith attack and destroy our traditions.

Now more than ever, the ACLJ is not only committed to protecting religious liberty and our American heritage but to defending our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering and imprisoned for their faith in Jesus, the true reason for our holiday season.

You can read and download our legal analysis on how the Constitution isn’t anti-Christmas here.

If you are being discriminated against this Christmas season or your child is facing anti-Christmas bullying by your public school, then please reach out to us at It’s why we exist.

Your support allows us to continue defending your constitutional rights this Christmas. Right now, have your tax-deductible gift doubled through our Matching Challenge.