Friday, June 24, 2011

Banning Heaven from Street Names - Is That In the Constitution?

People across the nation were inspired by some of the heroic deeds of the first responders, as well as other police and fire personnel and various volunteers after the attacks in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. One Brooklyn firehouse lost seven firemen on that day, and they naturally want to honor them. The city named a nearby street for them: "Seven in Heaven Way."

You readers know what's coming next, right? An atheist group is complaining to the city about the sign, demanding it be changed. "Heaven" is a Christian concept, they say. Well, that's partly right. Heaven, or similar concepts using other words, are part of many religions. But Heaven is not part of atheism.

According to an article in New American:
Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission noted, "There are cities that have religious connotations in their names. Why not a street. Do they want us to rename Los Angeles, Corpus Christi, and St. Joseph?” Added Land,  "In a country where 85 percent of the people say they are Christian or claim to be Christian, should it be surprising that you name cities and streets with religious terminology?”

That makes sense to me. Our Constitution specifies (in the Bill of Rights) that Congress may not make a law establishing a religion, and the provision is being applied to our states as well after a Supreme Court decision. But clearly a street sign requires no state law to be passed; it is a decision that cities make for a variety of reasons, and such decision do not require statutes to back them up. Even if they did, there is a difference between recognizing religion and establishing a religion. We have "Armed Forces Day" each year, but every citizen is not required to be in the military, for example. And many, if not most, cities have a form of Martin Luther King on a street name (sometimes on several). But the residents of those cities are not all black.

Read more here:

Atheists Complain Over NYC Street Sign Honoring Fallen 9-11 Firemen

Monday, June 20, 2011

Major Network Seems Not to Like Phrase 'Under God'

Maybe it's time for a refresher on the Declaration of Independence. It contains a very important phrase, which points out that our rights are endowed by our Creator. That phrase was important as we sought independence from England and England's king. There are rights that are not the King's to give; they would not be the yet-to-be formed U.S. Government to give; they are rights given by God to human beings. Doesn't that seem like an important concept?

To be specific, those words from the Declaration of Independence are, "We hold these truths to self-evident, that all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights." Is there any reason to be ashamed of those words?  Aren't those same words indicative of people of all races having the same rights? We certainly aren't ashamed of that concept today.

And given that thought, it seems easy to accept the words "under God" that are in our Pledge of Allegiance. After all, that phrase was part of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. After a bold statement in our Declaration that our rights are given by our Creator, and the landmark Gettysburg Address saying we are a nation under God, having it in the Pledge seems consistent.

Yet, it seems that NBC is not at all comfortable with those words. In this weekend's broadcast of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, NBC played a moving "Americana" segment with the Pledge interwoven. But NBC decided to move the words "under God" out of the script. They are a non-governmental company (although there are serious ties these days between the Federal Government and the parent company of NBC), so they can do what they want. But if I ran the company and didn't care one way or the other about history, God, etc., I still might have guessed differently about which version might offend fewer members of the audience.

Read more here:
NBC Cuts 'Under God' From Pledge of Allegiance

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pledge of Allegiance Challenged Once Again - and Survived

The well-known atheist Michael Newdow has continued to endless quest to remove any reference to God from all public arenas. He was unhappy about the children in Hanover, New Hampshire, being allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the words, "under God."

On June 13, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected Newdow's appeal from the Boston Federal court. The Boston First Circuit's decision had been unanimous. The decision stated that the Constitution does not require complete separation of church and state. In my opinion, as expressed countless times in this blog, that makes sense. Our Declaration of Independence states that our rights are not given to us by the government, but rather are given to us by God. If we do not believe that, then we have no rights of our own. And if we think it is wrong to recite that we are a nation "under God" in our Pledge, are we not abandoning the belief that our government is not all-powerful?

Read another opinion of the case here:

Supreme Court rejects atheist's latest challenge to Pledge of Allegiance

See the Boston circuit decision here:


Monday, June 6, 2011

Remembering D-Day - FDR Prayer

The way some news sources handle the issue, one could believe that religious belief and public prayer belong to the right and/or the Republican party. But if you look at our history this was not always the case. Certainly it would have been very difficult for any news outlet to claim he did not have religious feelings and beliefs after he gave a nationwide live radio address just before D-Day. The text below is the full prayer given by FDR, for and with the American people, on June 6, 1944. (As found on the FDR Library site.)

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas -- whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

National Tradition Under Fire - Day of Prayer

Before and after our Constitution was written, continuing through this century, Congress, Presidents, and Governors have declared national/state days of prayers. Even President Thomas "separation of church and state" Jeffersion declared a state day of prayer as Governor of Virginia (he did not declare a national day as President). But today there are organizations fighting to remove such traditions. Oddly, these groups even want to eliminate state days of prayer because of "separation of church and state," a phrase quoted by these groups. That phrase was from a letter of Thomas Jeffersion, who clearly was NOT against state days of prayer.
Jay Sekulow has a good, brief article about this. You can find it here:

Legal Challenge Can’t Stop National Day of Prayer

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jefferson Bible: Newly Restored, Still Misunderstood

USA Today reports that the famous Jefferson Bible is being restored. This Bible contained the story of Jesus' life in chronological order, but it left out some of the miracles and resurrection. This fact is presented in the article, and later in the article it is said that Jefferson never sold it because he didn't want the give support to the claims that he was not a Christian. Those facts are probably all true, but they don't tell the whole story. And by not telling the rest of the story, they leave a false impression. It also leaves the impression that Jefferson left out all the miracles, even though there is evidence that some were originally included.

Jefferson was not an ideal Christian by my personal definition, but he called himself a Christian. And in the case of this Bible, his goal was not (apparently) to deny the miracles or resurrection, but was instead to make the Bible more understandable and acceptable for a primer for the Indians - to help show the Indians Jesus' teachings. In today's common concept of Jefferson - that he wanted a complete separation of church and state - this seems very odd indeed. Why would a President and Founding Father, if he believed in keeping religion far from government, create a Bible to give to the Native Americans of his time?

Read more about Jefferson's edition of the Bible here:
The Jefferson Bible

Also, look at the University of Virginia's Jefferson Library (once on the page, search for the word "indians"):
About the Jefferson Bible, from University of Virginia

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Invite Me Anywhere, Just Not to Church

The First Amendment seems so clear to me. First, the wording is clear and concise. Second, there are ample examples of the interpretations of the men who wrote it to demonstrate what they thought about it. Surely one demand of the First Amendment is NOT to allow all manner of speech as long as it is not religious.

Pocono Mountain School District is being sued over a supposed First Amendment issue. Students are allowed to pass out to their classmates all sorts of invitations to events. Halloween parties are fine, birthday parties are fine, Valentine's dances are fine, even some paid events are fine. But a student was barred from handing out an invitation to a free Christmas party at a church.

Many, if not most, public schools have become overly nervous about any hint of religious speech or actions within school property. The blame the constraints of the First Amendment, which is not accurate but is widely believed. But surely some of these officials must see that when you allow students to share invitations to all events except religious ones, that is hostility to religion more than neutrality to religion. This is more obvious when you consider that the handing out was done during non-instructional time before classes.

This blog is peppered with examples of our Founders supporting religion in public life and in public schools. The few Founders who may have been resistant to such support would still have insisted on neutrality.

Our country went through some troubling times when people with colored skin were treated different. Sometimes Jews were treated differently; sometimes Irish were treated differently. Now it may be a time when religious people are treated differently.

Read the story below:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day of Prayer Declaration in 1622

There are several examples on this blog of our founders' declarations for days of fasting and prayer, many from around the time of our Declaration of Independence and later years. But it was the continuation of a tradition that started long before that.

Consider Plymouth Plantation, when there was a severe lack of rain in 1622. Governor Bradford had no federal government to look to for assistance. Instead he looked to the leader that he and his people wanted to be in charge. He wrote this declaration:

"I may not here omit how, notwithstand all their great pains and industry, and the great hopes of a large crop, the Lord seemed to blast, and take away the same, and to threaten further and more sore famine unto them. By a great drought which continued from the third week in May, till about the middle of July, without any rain and with great heat for the most part, insomuch as the corn began to wither away though it was set with fish, the moisture whereof helped it much. Yet at length it began to languish sore, and some of the drier grounds were parched like withered hay, part whereof was never recovered. Upon which they set apart a solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer, in this great distress. And He was pleased to give them a gracious and speedy answer, both to their own and the Indians' admiration that lived amongst them. For all the morning, and greatest part of the day, it was clear weather and very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen; yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain with such sweet and gentle showers as gave them cause of rejoicing and blessing God..."

This was before the Constitution was written, so there was no cry of "separation of church and state." Indeed, the framers who wrote the Constitution took care to assure the states that the new federal government would not interfere with such practices and beliefs by the states.

As found in "Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647", by William Bradford, Samuel Eliot Morison.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hawaii Senate Feels Pressure and Discontinues Prayer

The senate of Hawaii had a practice of opening meetings with prayer. Apparently these prayers sometimes invokes Christian phrases, and now the senate has received notice from the American Civil Liberties Unions (ACLU) that they must stop of face a lawsuit. The ACLU bases such actions on the so-called "separation of church and state." The senate considered using a non-sectarian prayer instead, but finally voted to just discontinue prayer altogether.

To say that such a prayer is unconstitutional is an interesting concept, but is inherently misdirected. The very men who wrote the Constitution opened their first official meeting with a prayer, and the presiding chaplain read from a psalm. Did these men not understand the document they wrote? Were they hypocrites? Or is it possible that modern courts have essentially re-written the Constitution to fit their ideological views?

After the 1947 Supreme Court decision that started to erode the rights of religion, the veryACLU mentioned above said that the decision "gave new meaning to the Establishment Clause." That says it pretty well. Unfortunately, it is not the job of the court to give new meaning to laws. They are supposed to decide how to fairly apply the laws as they were written by the people charged with creating them.

Read the Hawaii story below:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Graduation Ceremonies in Churches Need Protection?

You can find other posts on this blog about controversy over churches serving as the venue for high school graduations and some other functions. Often, one group or another will take the matter to court to try to block the use of the church. Sometimes it has worked and other times the school has succeeded with their planned use.

There are some very good reasons that schools have chosen to use churches in these stories. Generally the churches have offered ample seating capacity at a price lower then secular venues in the same areas. Often the churches have comforts not found in high school facilities, such as air conditioning, more comfortable seating with a better overall view, better parking, better sound systems, and large-screen monitors.

That seems logical, and would be considered a good business decision in most circumstances. Perhaps if you are new to this blog, you are wondering what the objection could be. Almost without exception, the issue raised is a violation of the so-called "separation of church and state." As a reminder, the "separation" phrase comes from a letter of Thomas Jefferson. It is not a phrase contained in our legal founding documents, but rather was intended as a convenient metaphor to describe one aspect of the First Amendment. That amendment covers religion, and in fact the first two short clauses are called the Religion Clauses. The first of those two is called the Establishment Clause, and the second is called the Free Exercise clause. The whole First Amendment is:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Clearly the word "separation" is not found there. The context of this is a limitation on the actions of the Federal Government ("Congress"). Many believe the 14th Amendment places the same limitation on the state governments, in that it guarantees that the rights of a citizen under the constitution may not be abridged by any state.

In all of that, where do we justify not allowing a high school to hold a graduation ceremony inside a church facility? Does that establish a state law? Does is prohibit the free exercise of one's religion?

The Liberty Counsel has stepped in now to help various schools in Georgia that may have been threatened with legal action for planning to hold graduations in churches. Matt Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, said:

"Clearly, public schools can use religious venues -- churches and other venues -- just like anyone else [and can] make a common-sense decision based upon size, location and costs," he contends. "The First Amendment does not interfere with that decision."

Read more below:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Alexander Hamilton - Our Rights Come from the Divine

Alexander Hamilton was the first United States Secretary of Treasury, and was a signer of the U.S. Constitution. We hear it said often (just do a Google search) that our Founders were mostly atheists and that religious faith played no real part in our founding. That is easily argued against by perusing the writings of these men.

The University of Chicago has some fine web pages, including a series of Hamilton's writings. On the page covering Feb. 23, 1775, we find this quote:

The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.

Read more on the University's site:

Right of Revolution

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No Christianity Allowed in Home Schooling

The New Hampshire Supreme Court just declared that a home-schooled child must now be sent to public schools. It did not start as an uncommon story. The child's parents are divorced. Custodial Mom was doing the home schooling, Dad preferred public school.

Often divorced parents don't agree on how children should be treated in any number of ways. It would not be too surprising to hear a judge side with the notion that a home-schooled kid was too sheltered, or did not get a quality education. In this case, though, the student was doing very well academically and all agreed she was happy and doing well socially.

No, this time the objection was that the mom was too "Christian" in her approach. The court said:

"It would be remarkable if a ten year old child who spends her school time with her mother and the vast majority of her other time with her mother would seriously consider adopting any other religious point of view. Amanda’s vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to the counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view."

That statement assumes that the courts have the right to say the custodial parent does not have the right to teach her own religious beliefs to her child. Can someone point to the clause in the U.S. or New Hampshire constitution that gives the state the right to determine what is a proper religious upbringing (assuming no laws are being broken and no harm comes to the child). In fact, the U.S. Constitution specifically says it is not the government's business at all, which is expressed by saying that the government shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Read more below:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Donations OK, but Not to Churches?

In Polk Country, Florida, the Sheriff's department is in the news. They are donating no-longer-needed basketball equipment to eight local churches. But the Atheists of  Florida are complaining because they say that government money is supporting churches.

The Sheriff's motive appears to have been directed at the best use of the equipment. They are particularly concerned with providing a place for teens to assemble productively - the "get them off the streets" in other words. This is a common goal of law enforcement and community groups. The equipment will be outside, rather than behind locked doors.

Suppose the department had donated the equipment to the parks department or to a non-religious community group. Would there have been a complaint then? I personally believe there would not have been the same reaction. Would it be OK if these tax-provided leftovers were donated to any group except a religious group? That seems like reverse discrimination to me. Once again the so-called "separation of church and state" was invoked by the group complaining. Is this action the same as a body of law establishing an official religion? That is what "separation of church and state" intended to address, if one stops to read the First Amendment of our Constitution.

Read more below:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do We Learn Both Sides of Our Country's Founding?

I learned in school about a few of our nation's religious roots. At that time public schools taught about the religious motivations of the Pilgrims, for example. But a lot of the religious underpinnings of our founding were not mentioned. That's probably appropriate, given the sheer amount of data that had to be covered to catch me up on all those years between Columbus and the 20th Century.

There is more to the story, and my reading in more recent years has been very educational. It filled out a lot of the color of our history. I have seen where our first Congress met. I stood in the room and had a sense of awe at the history that room held. Now that I know the Founders opened their first Congress with prayer and a Bible reading, it colors it in a bit more, not so much as a religious story, but to show the importance the Founders gave to their tasks. The work was too much for the minds of even these smart folks. They needed God's help.

Dr. William Bennett, former Secretary of Education, has written several books about the country and its history. One of his recent efforts is the American Patriot's Almanac. In the revised edition he added a section titled "Faith and the Founders." Here is a nice summary from that a paragraph in that chapter:

"The Founders or this country were mostly Christians. They drew deeply from the wellsprings of the Judeo-Christian tradition for the underlying philosophy of the republic. Histories that ignore this side of the American story leave out a crucial part. As the scholar Michael Novak has written in his book On Two Wings, 'a purely secular interpretation of the founding runs aground on massive evidence.'"

Read more in the book shown here. It is a good value.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr - Reverend

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was both on January 15, 1929, and this year his federal holiday falls on January 17. I think most schools talk about King; many cities have streets named for him, and we hear about him on television often, especially around this time of the year.

I have been casually observing the manner of addressing King within the media. He held a doctoral degree and a divinity degree. In manuals of style, the correct form of address for such a person would be "The Reverend Doctor..." However, the common form I hear is "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." His widow has declared that King was most proud of the title Reverend.

But in news stories he is not addressed the way he would have preferred. I found the following numbers when I did a search on Google for these various forms of his name, searching only in the "News" category:

"Dr. Martin Luther King" - 3,060 results
"Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King" - 2 results
"Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King" -  25 results
"Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King" - 279 results

It is almost certain appropriate to remember that "Reverend" should be attached to his name. In his public work he was outspoken about religious roots of his beliefs and teaching. Consider a famous event in his life, which his front porch was bombed while his family was at home. King rushed into the home to learn their fate and found them safe. There was a very angry mom of King supporters in his front yard, many with weapons. Reporters on the scene were being blocked from departing and had reason to fear for their safety.

King walked onto the porch and said, in part:

"Don’t get your weapons. If you have weapons, take them home. He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword. Remember that is what Jesus said. We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love.’”

When the crowd of several hundred was silent, he continued, “I did not start this boycott. I was asked by you to serve as your spokesman. I want it to be known the length and breadth of this land that if I am stopped, this movement will not stop. If I am stopped, our work will not stop. For what we are doing is right. What we are doing is just. And God is with us.”

(As presented on Rhapsody of Books)

So this year, let's remember that he was not JUST Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cross Declared Unconstitutional

The Mount Soledad Cross is back in the news again. The cross belongs to the American Legion and was erected 57 years ago as a war memorial. Part of the complaint in this case is that it exists on government land.

The First Amendment addresses religion and government, and prohibits the government from establishing a national religion to which citizens must adhere. Allowing the Legion to maintain this cross is hardly the same as establishing an official religion.

The complaint was brought by the ACLU on behalf of Jewish war veterans. And now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has found the cross to be unconstitutional.

Certainly I sympathize with Jewish veterans who might feel "left out" when the see the cross. But a symbol erected by a private organization is not required to be all inclusive. And I can see that, if the Legion wishes a religious recognition, it would be difficult to do so without leaving out some group or other.

The Ninth Circuit decision in this case seems to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of a different cross in the Mojave National Preserve. And it also seems to dramatically expand the meaning of the First Amendment.

Read more below:

And read this informative insight from the Heritage Foundation:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Harry Truman - Too Religious to Be a President?

It seems as though a public official can't be deemed as too religious and have a hope of being elected. Or they might at least expect some kind of "religious zealot" theme in articles against them. After all, we have separation of church and state, right?

Did you know that President Truman said a daily prayer? Would it make citizens or the press uneasy if they learned that our current President said a prayer every day?

We have seen school systems forced to remove prayer as a daily routine. What if the students said the same prayer that Truman used? The very idea of students saying a common prayer would not be accepted today, and in our current society I'm not sure I would want students being lead in prayer by their teacher. But what part of the Truman prayer would be objectionable? What part of this would we not want to teach our young folk to believe?

Daily Prayer of President Harry S. Truman:

"Oh! Almighty and Everylasting God, Creator of heaven, earth and the universe, help me to be, to think, to act what is right, because it is right. Make me truthful, honest and honorable in all things. Make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me. Give me the ability to be charitable, forgiving and patient with my fellowmen -- help me to understand their motives and their shortcomings -- even as Thou understandest mine! Amen, amen, amen."

As found in the American Patriot's Almanac, by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cobb, revised edition.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Should Public School Choirs Sing Christmas Music at Christmas?

I have written before about various public school "holiday" concerts where the music directors were forced to not include any Christmas music. The justification is generally a misconception of the so-called "separation of church and state."  The below has a good discussion of this issue. It is written from the perspectives of school personnel who actually have to deal with the issue.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Boca Raton: Menorah, Yes - Nativity, No

Sometimes it is easy to understand the logic city officials use to say that no religious displays are permitted on city property. As I have pointed out several times previously, such a prohibition is not required by the Constitution, but some claim that it is.

But in Boca Raton, Florida, it is harder to understand the officials' logic. The do allow religious displays, but do not allow a nativity scene. The officials say that they are giving Christians an equal voice by having displays of Christmas trees and snowflakes. Those are secular symbols, and are displayed in non-Christian environments. Walk around Toyko, for example, and you will see such symbols everywhere. There is no intent to recognize the divinity of Christ; it is simply part of the commercial Christmas buying season. One could use Frosty the Snowman on a similar basis. On the other hand, a Menorah is a religious symbol with Biblical roots.

Read more at the link below:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Now the Federal Reserve Bans Christmas

A bank in Perkins, Oklahoma, found out the hard way. They had some quotes appropriate for the Christmas season (assuming you think Christmas is somehow related to Christianity) within the bank and on their website. But the Federal Reserve said that is against its rules. Those sayings might be in conflict with their Regulation B, which can disallow things on this basis: "...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."

Is the bank allowed to close on Christmas if they would otherwise be open on that day of the week? Would not that be a "policy of exclusion"? For that matter, if Christmas day fell on a Wednesday this year would the Fed's offices be open?

I have talked in the past about the "war on Christmas" and received comments that there is no such thing. Read the last several posts on this blog and see what you think. Perhaps this particular incident is not a war on Christmas, but one has to wonder whether the Fed would have cracked down similarly if the bank used phrases that recognized a Muslim holiday during the appropriate dates.

Read more here:

Feds Force Okla. Bank To Remove Crosses, Bible Verse