Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fort Worth Bank Kicks Out Christmas Tree

In Southlake, Texas, a Chase Bank branch was given a Christmas tree by a local businessman as a favor to the bank's manager. But the corporate office sent an email that said the tree had to go. The stated reason was they wanted to be inclusive and not risk offending some customers.

While the theme of this blog is usually related to misguided actions made because of confusion about the purpose of the Constitution's First Amendment. That is not the case here. The tree was not removed because the company said they were afraid of breaking the law. It was a corporate decision based on a view of customer relations. It dealt with an item displayed on property they control. It was their right to do this. But I think it is too bad that a company thinks this way, and that some of the public thinks this way.

The President is going to light a National Christmas Tree this year, and there are many other Christmas trees on display in public places, private and governmental. Are people afraid that such a tree indicates the bank is preaching? Or that the bank only welcomes Christian customers? Does the bank intend to stay open on Christmas day in order to be inclusive?

I strongly suspect that this kind of attitude comes about because of all the lawsuits that have been publicized about various types of Christmas recognition and other religious symbols or statements in public places. You will find many such actions reported elsewhere on this blog.

But at least the bank (apparently) does not prohibit employees from wishing "Merry Christmas" to customers.

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