‘Militant Atheist’ Erects Festivus Pole Near Nativity Scene in Florida Capitol

BY TYLER O’NEIL , CP REPORTER

The Festivus pole, a relic from the 1990s NBC sitcom “Seinfeld,” made an appearance in the Florida Capitol on Tuesday, after a self-described “militant atheist” received permission to set it up near a Nativity scene.

“A Pabst Blue Ribbon Festivus pole is a symbol of ridiculousness,” Chaz Stephens, editor in chief of South Florida advocacy blog MAOS (My Acts of Sedition), told The Christian Post on Tuesday. He set up the pole, not to celebrate a 1990s holiday, but to protest the Nativity scene and other religious monuments set up in public spaces.

“It’s a made up holiday from the 1990s, but it’s a symbol of separation of church and state, in my mind,” Stephens explained… FULL STORY

Radio Shack Censors Word ‘Christmas;’ American Family Association Calls for Boycott, Issues ‘Scrooge Alert’

NEWS RELEASE

(Photo: Reuters/Robert Galbraith)

(Photo: Reuters/Robert Galbraith)

AFA Calling for One-Month Boycott of Electronics Chain and Its ‘Holiday’ Deals, ‘Holiday’ Kickoff and ‘Holiday’ Gift Guide

TUPELO, Miss. — Looking for the Christmas spirit this shopping season? It isn’t found at Radio Shack. They seem more like Ebenezer Scrooge, says the American Family Association, (AFA,www.afa.net) because Radio Shack has eliminated the words that portray the reason for the season and have degraded Christmas in their stores by making the celebration of Christ’s birth a generic, bland and unholy imposter of the true meaning of Christmas.

American Family Association is calling for a limited one-month boycott of the Radio Shack chain over the company’s censorship of the word “Christmas.”

For years, Radio Shack has refused to use the word Christmas on its website, in television commercials, newspaper ads and in-store promotions, despite tens of thousands of consumer requests to recognize Christmas and in spite of repeated requests from AFA to do the same.

For proof, visit www.radioshack.com and type “Christmas” in the search bar. As of today, the website brings up zero results.

“Radio Shack is censoring the word Christmas, pure and simple,” said American Family Association President, Tim Wildmon. “Yet the company wants all the people who celebrate Christmas to do their shopping at its stores. Until Radio Shack proves it recognizes Christmas by using it in their newspaper, radio and television advertising or in-store signage, American Family Association will continue to promote this boycott.”

Instead, at Radio Shack, consumers will find “holiday” deals, “holiday” kickoff, “holiday” cash and a “holiday” gift guide, but they won’t find “Christmas” anywhere.

“AFA has successfully influenced almost all of the nation’s largest retailers to embrace the use of Christmas in their advertising,” Wildmon continued, “but at Radio Shack, it’s ‘Bah, Humbug!’”

Shoppers can take action to encourage Radio Shack to use “Christmas” in its advertising and signage through several steps:

SIGN: Sign the Boycott Radio Shack Pledge. AFA will regularly update Radio Shack on how many people have signed the pledge.
CALL: Follow up your signature with a phone call to the Radio Shack corporate office at (817) 415-3011, option 0. Let them know you are serious about taking your business elsewhere.
POST: On Facebook, leave a comment on Radio Shack’s Facebook page for an immediate impact that will get their attention.
CONTACT: Connect with the local Radio Shack in your area, and politely let the manager know that you won’t be shopping there this Christmas season. Ask the manager to pass your comments along to the corporate office.
American Family Association recently released its 2013 list of Naughty or Nice retailers, letting shoppers know which are “For Christmas” and which are “Against Christmas.” AFA noted nearly 60 stores who either tell shoppers to have a “Merry Christmas,” use “Christmas” on a regular basis or recognize Christmas in some other way. The list also calls out 11 retailers that may use “Christmas” sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it.

For more information on American Family Association, visit www.afa.net

From the desk of Alex Murashko.

NY Town Rallies to Keep ‘Christmas on the Canal’ Event After Atheist’s Complaint Cancels Government Funds

The 2008 "Christmas on the Canal" event in Spencerport, N.Y. that was temporarily canceled when an atheist complained about Separation of Church and State violations. Since this initial cancellation, the event has been reinstated after local businesses and residents donated enough money to continue funding the event.

The 2008 “Christmas on the Canal” event in Spencerport, N.Y. that was temporarily canceled when an atheist complained about Separation of Church and State violations. Since this initial cancellation, the event has been reinstated after local businesses and residents donated enough money to continue funding the event.

BY KATHERINE WEBER, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER

A small town in upstate New York has rallied together to continue funding its local community’s Christmas celebration, even though an atheist’s complaint forced the local government to stop supporting the event.

The town of Spencerport, N.Y., a small village located just outside of Rochester, has been celebrating its annual “Christmas on the Canal” event for 17 years until this year, when Elaine Spaziano, the event’s founder and organizer, announced that the tradition had to be canceled after an atheist complained about First Amendment rights and the separation of church and state to the local government.

The event features an array of holiday-themed activities, such as a tree lighting ceremony, carols, a nativity, a blessing by a local clergy member, and other festive events. The celebration was funded partially by Spencerport and the neighboring village of Ogden, and both villages were forced to pull their funds and support for the celebration this year after an atheist activist complained that the event used taxpayer dollars to support Christianity. The activist reportedly had a petition and threatened to take the cities to court if they continued donating to “Christmas on the Canal.”

As Spaziano told The Blaze, the local government initially went to the event’s planning committee to see if they would change the name to something more universal, such as “Holiday on the Canal,” but the board ultimately voted to keep the old name, arguing that taking the faith-based elements out of the event would ruin its entire foundation. FULL STORY

Atheist Activists Threaten to Sue Public Schools Over Participation in Samaritan’s Purse Toys to Needy Children International Project: Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

BY KATHERINE WEBER, CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER

A humanist organization is threatening lawsuits against two public schools for their participation in Operation Christmas Child, a project of evangelist Franklin Graham’s international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse that seeks to deliver Christmas toys to needy children throughout the world.

The American Humanist Association recently sent letters to two public elementary schools, one in South Carolina and one in Colorado, threatening legal action if they continue participating in Operation Christmas Child, which delivers thousands of shoe boxes stuffed with gifts to needy children throughout the world every year during the holidays. Along with containing small gifts, the shoe boxes also include a small note inviting recipients to join in Christianity. The American Humanist Organization argues that Operation Christmas Child’s commitment to “[sharing] the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ” means that public schools in the U.S. should not participate in the program.

In its letter sent to East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., the humanist association accuses the school of “promoting student participation” in the Operation Christmas Child program by encouraging students to assemble shoeboxes and donate money. According to the humanist organization, East Point Academy has been involved with Operation Christmas Child since 2011.

“Because the purpose and effect of Operation Christmas Child is to induce impoverished children to convert to Christianity, the school’s promotion of this program violates the Constitution. The school must immediately suspend its unconstitutional participation in Operation Christmas Child,” the letter states. FULL STORY

Atheist Activists Gear Up for ‘War on Christmas,’ Sell Winter Solstice Greeting Cards, Bible Warning Stickers

christmas cp

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is gearing up for the so-called “War on Christmas” this year by promoting products to help nonbelievers celebrate the winter solstice.

“Most people think December is strictly for Christians and view the solstice as an intrusion, when actually it’s the other way around,” Dan Barker, FFRF co-president, said in a statement. “People have been celebrating the winter solstice long before Christmas. We see Christianity as the intruder, trying to steal the natural holiday from all of us humans.”

The Madison, Wis.-based organization said in a press release that winter solstice is “the real reason for the season.” FFRF is selling, among other things, 14 varieties of winter solstice greeting cards that say things like “Reason’s Greetings” and “Yes, Virginia . . . There Is No God” and more.

The group is also promoting items such as Bible warning stickers, “debaptismal certificates” and “Heathen’s Greetings” non-tracts, which are small brochures that attempt to address “myths” about religion or freethought. FULL STORY

Santa Monica: Churches Go to Court for Religious Freedom Right to Display Nativity Scenes

“It’s a sad, sad commentary on the attitudes of the day that a nearly 60-year-old Christmas tradition is now having to hunt for a home, something like our savior had to hunt for a place to be born because the world was not interested.” – Hunter Jameson, head of the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee. (AP)

FULL STORY:

Christian Law Group Defends 5th Grade Student’s Right to Hand Out Christmas Invitations

“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas – and that certainly includes a 5th-grader’s Christmas party invitations,” ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman said. “America’s public schools should recognize the constitutionally protected freedom of religious students who wish to hand out these kinds of fliers. The district court was right to stop this unconstitutional ban on Christmas party invitations. Numerous courts have upheld similar fliers around the country.”

FULL STORY