Cancer Center Reverses Decision to Ban Santa

Nativity Scene is Still “Left Out in the Cold”

Liberty Alerts, Liberty Counsel

Liberty Counsel sent a letter to a cancer treatment center, demanding it extend its reversal of a decision to ban Santa Claus to now also allow Nativity scenes and other religious Christmas symbols. The Hollings Cancer Center, a state-funded institution in South Carolina, decided to ban all Christmas displays from its facilities. Two days later, they reversed the decision and let Santa Claus sneak in, but for now baby Jesus is still out in the cold.

The center originally decided to do away with Santa Claus due to some complaints from its culturally “diverse” patients. Santa Claus was seen as “religious” in nature, but after two days, the center changed its mind, calling Santa Claus a “tradition” that is not affiliated with any specific religion. It maintains, however, that Nativity scene displays, or any other Christian symbols, are still not allowed. Under a misunderstanding of the law, the center’s spokesperson claims, “We’ve got a diverse population here and a lot of folks celebrate the season differently – or don’t celebrate it….No Nativity scenes. We’re a state institution. We can’t do that anyway.” But it is exactly this type of ban that is unconstitutional, because it is a government-funded entity that is showing hostility toward religion.

Liberty Counsel has helped overturn a number of “grinch”-like decisions and has successfully educated the people proposing these anti-Christmas sentiments, so that the decisions were reversed. On its Website, www.LC.org, Liberty Counsel offers a Christmas Action Pack, which includes legal memoranda to educate officials, teachers, students, employees, and others that it is legal to celebrate Christmas. The United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a publicly sponsored Nativity display in Lynch v. Donnelly, saying a Nativity scene in a public display depicts a significant religious event long celebrated in the Western world and the historical origins of an event long recognized as a national holiday.

Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The ‘grinch’ continues to stalk public displays of Christmas. The overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas and like to see public displays commemorating Christmas. The Constitution permits Christmas displays that include Nativity scenes. To exclude Christian themes from Christmas is anti-American. Seriously, who is intolerant of Santa Claus?”

Used with permission of Liberty Counsel.