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Legal-Courts

FFRF in a fuss over Christmas lights

Charlie Butts   (OneNewsNow.com) Friday, December 21, 2012

ADF has come to the defense of some Arizona officials who have been targeted by an atheist organization for their role in a Christmas lighting ceremony on public property.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to various officials after the Arizona secretary of state joined Prescott city and school officials at the ceremony, suggesting they violated the constitutional provision for separation of church and state.

Tedesco, Jeremy (ADF)Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco has sent a letter [PDF] to assure those officials that their actions were not illegal.

"Of course it's legal to celebrate national holidays like Christmas in the public square," he insists. "Public officials should not fear attacks from atheist groups, because their freedom to participate in these events is protected under the First Amendment.

"The attacks on Christmas are part of a larger campaign to snuff out all references to our Christian heritage and are best ignored by government officials."

The lighting ceremony in Prescott has been held each year for close to 60 years in a common area of the courthouse plaza. The atheist organization complained that school children sang Christmas carols, which further offended them. Tedesco contends that any attempt by the atheists to restrict the participants' activities would violate their constitutional rights.

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