Christmas Victory for Religious Expression in Public Square | American Center for Law and Justice

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Christmas Victory for Religious Expression in Public Square

By 

Shaheryar Gill

|

December 01, 2015

1 min read

Free Speech

Every year around Christmas time the ACLJ receives requests regarding the legality of Christmas displays on public property. Every year atheist organizations threaten public officials with lawsuits if they allow Christmas displays on public property.

This year again, the fight against Christmas displays has begun. The City of Wadena in Minnesota decided to stop displaying a Christmas holiday display in one of its parks after it received a threatening letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

Concerned by the City of Wadena’s decision, a resident of the city asked city officials if he could use an area (a bandstand) in a city park that has been designated for public discourse for his family Christmas gathering in which he would like to display his Christmas decorations that included a nativity scene. The city officials denied his request.

After he contacted the ACLJ, we reviewed the city’s bandstand usage policy and provided information regarding religious displays and equal access to public facilities for religious use to help facilitate the discussion between the individual and city officials regarding his right to use the bandstand.

We also advised the individual to resubmit his request so that it is narrowly tailored to the city’s policy that does not allow citizens to leave any materials at the bandstand at night time. He resubmitted the updated request and the city officials agreed, allowing him to use the bandstand for his family Christmas gathering.

This is once again an important victory against angry atheists attacks on Christmas and religious expression.  We will continue to work to defend religious free speech from unwarranted attacks this Christmas season.

Our informational memo regarding religious holiday displays is available here, and our informational memo regarding equal access to public facilities for religious use is available here.

Shaheryar Gill

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Shaheryar Gill serves as Senior Litigation Counsel with the ACLJ in Virginia Beach, where he works on international religious freedom issues.

Shaheryar Gill

Shaheryar Gill serves as Senior Litigation Counsel with the ACLJ in Virginia Beach, where he works on international religious freedom issues.

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Christmas Victory for Religious Expression in Public Square

By 

Shaheryar Gill

|

December 01, 2015

1 min read

Free Speech

Every year around Christmas time the ACLJ receives requests regarding the legality of Christmas displays on public property. Every year atheist organizations threaten public officials with lawsuits if they allow Christmas displays on public property.

This year again, the fight against Christmas displays has begun. The City of Wadena in Minnesota decided to stop displaying a Christmas holiday display in one of its parks after it received a threatening letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

Concerned by the City of Wadena’s decision, a resident of the city asked city officials if he could use an area (a bandstand) in a city park that has been designated for public discourse for his family Christmas gathering in which he would like to display his Christmas decorations that included a nativity scene. The city officials denied his request.

After he contacted the ACLJ, we reviewed the city’s bandstand usage policy and provided information regarding religious displays and equal access to public facilities for religious use to help facilitate the discussion between the individual and city officials regarding his right to use the bandstand.

We also advised the individual to resubmit his request so that it is narrowly tailored to the city’s policy that does not allow citizens to leave any materials at the bandstand at night time. He resubmitted the updated request and the city officials agreed, allowing him to use the bandstand for his family Christmas gathering.

This is once again an important victory against angry atheists attacks on Christmas and religious expression.  We will continue to work to defend religious free speech from unwarranted attacks this Christmas season.

Our informational memo regarding religious holiday displays is available here, and our informational memo regarding equal access to public facilities for religious use is available here.

Shaheryar Gill

More Articles

Shaheryar Gill serves as Senior Litigation Counsel with the ACLJ in Virginia Beach, where he works on international religious freedom issues.

Shaheryar Gill

Shaheryar Gill serves as Senior Litigation Counsel with the ACLJ in Virginia Beach, where he works on international religious freedom issues.

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Article Completion

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Take action with the ACLJ as we continue fighting for life and liberty. Make a tax-deductible gift today.
Giving monthly is the best way to provide ongoing support in our fight
Donate Once
Donate Monthly
$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Other
Email is required
First Name is required
Last Name is required
Country is required
Street Address is required
Street Address 2 is required
City is required
State is required
Zip is required
Credit Card is required
Exp. Date (MM/YY) is required
CVC is required

Amount:

No Amount Chosen

If you are experiencing any issues with our donation form, please click here.

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from the ACLJ.

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