Victory for Christmas in Loudoun County, Virginia
Note this from the Rutherford Institute which wrote a letter to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors urging them to allow Christmas diplays, etc. at the courthouse:
VICTORY: Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Votes to Celebrate Diversity by Allowing Seasonal Holiday Displays at Courthouse
LEESBURG, Va. -- After being contacted by The Rutherford Institute, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to reject a proposal to ban all seasonal holiday displays on the grounds of the County Courthouse. In a letter to the Board of Supervisors, Institute president John W. Whitehead pointed out that the proposed ban would only serve to heighten community tensions and could reflect a hostility toward religion on the part of the Board of Supervisors, as well as an intolerance for the diverse makeup of the residents of Loudoun County. The Institute’s letter is available at www.rutherford.org.
As Eugene Delgaudio, a member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, noted, “I am pleased to inform you that the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors sided with the Constitutional precedent you outlined and voted to continue to allow the displays. Only one Supervisor dissented. Your letter provided a powerful, clear argument in favor of inclusion and freedom of expression. I cannot thank you enough.”
“This is a victory for the First Amendment,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “I commend the Board of Supervisors for not bowing to the pressure of political correctness.”
Community and citizen groups may use Loudoun County’s courthouse grounds during the year-end holiday season for up to ten unattended, semi-permanent displays. Groups may apply for permission to erect holiday displays, and space is allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, the Board of Supervisors has been considering several proposals that would either eliminate holiday displays altogether or merely ban religious elements from a single committee-arranged holiday display that would take the place of the community displays--a move that Whitehead warned would neither promote neutrality nor lessen conflict.
In his letter to the Board, Whitehead acknowledged that the face of America is changing rapidly to reflect a population with diverse backgrounds and belief systems, and government officials must walk a fine line, especially during the holiday season, in balancing the varied needs of their communities. Nonetheless, warned Whitehead, the Board must take care not to fall in line with the national trend toward political correctness and hostility to religion, which has seen corporations and government officials going to outrageous lengths to avoid anything related to religious holidays, Christmas in particular, in order to not offend those who do not celebrate the holidays. For example, one school even outlawed the colors red and green, saying they were Christmas colors and, thus, illegal. Nevertheless, said Whitehead, “this antiseptic, colorless course does not have to be your chosen path. The law clearly falls on the side of allowing holiday displays.”