Thursday, December 27, 2012

Celebrating Christmas in America

Every year at about this time, the ACLU begins receiving scores of Christmas cards, generally unsigned, almost always without return addresses. Many are simple and nice. But some call on us to have a “Merry Christmas—whether you like it or not!” and similar not-in-the-spirit-of-the-season wishes.

We welcome all cards and well wishes! Many of our staff members across the country are practicing Christians and celebrate a religious Christmas; in fact, our offices are closed on Christmas Day! Our organization was founded to protect, among other liberties, the free exercise of religion. Although some claim that the ACLU is anti-Christian, the truth is quite the opposite: the ACLU has always stood up for the rights of all of us to practice our religion freely, and actively advocates for the right of all people to express and celebrate their beliefs, including, of course, Christians.

Governments should not be in the business of endorsing religious displays. Religion thrives best when government stays out of deciding which holidays and religions to promote. Religion belongs where it prospers best: with individuals, families, and religious communities.

As a seasonal greeting to all Christians: Merry Christmas from the ACLU of Wyoming! And for nonbelievers and believers in all other traditions: Thank you for enriching our world!

Read more about how the ACLU is not trying to take away Christmas.