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.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy
Tedesco has sent a
letter [PDF] to assure those officials that their actions were
"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
"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