AU received multiple complaints that the Menominee Parks & Recreation Committee was considering erecting a crèche in the bandshell of a public park. In past years, the City had displayed an illuminated manger. In a letter to the City, AU explained that a public entity may display a religious symbol only when it appears among other items that — together — communicate a secular message. The letter cautioned that the City’s planned display would run afoul of the Establishment Clause because it would send an unmistakably religious message.
It's the day after Thanksgiving, and you know what that means. Yes, the malls will be crowded, but this time of year also means an escalation in the battles over how public schools and government deal with Christmas.
Some disputes have already erupted. In Chambersburg, Pa., the borough council voted unanimously to ban most displays from a public square rather than accommodate an atheist who wanted access to the space.
Christmas may be over, but before we head into a new year, I think it's important to point out one last tussle over the holiday that had a happy ending.
The mayor of Avon, Ohio, posted the message "Remember Christ is in Christmas" on a marquee outside city hall on Dec. 15.
To Mayor Karl Zuber, it seemed like a harmless sign, just a "good Christmas message."
Sure, for a sign outside a church. But for a sign outside city hall, there is need to be more considerate – not to mention a requirement to follow the Constitution.