Imagine being so entitled that you believe people should stop celebrating holidays and traditions in order to not offend you. That is what one atheist group in Oklahoma seems to feel.
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a threatening letter to an Oklahoma public elementary school over their live Nativity scene that was scheduled to be in the annual Christmas production. This resulted in the school removing the Nativity from the production.
FFRF Staff attorney Christopher Line wrote a letter to F. Andrew Fugitt at the Center for Education Law claiming that the school was committing a “constitutional violation” by displaying the Nativity.
"A concerned Edmond Public Schools community member has reported that each year, third grade teachers at Chisholm Elementary have students rehearse a live nativity scene," he wrote, "Which students then perform at the school’s holiday concert in December. We understand that Chisholm students who participate in the nativity play various roles, including Mary and Joseph, etc."
The letter continued, "While a public school can hold holiday concerts, religious performances and instruction that emphasize the religious aspects of a holiday are prohibited … A live nativity performance celebrating the story of Jesus’s birth is precisely the sort of religious endorsement prohibited by the Establishment Clause."
Line pressed the school district to “ensure that future school-sponsored performances will not include nativity scenes and that District teachers will not promote religion through class assignments.”
He added he expected the school district to respond to his letter in writing with an outline of steps it has taken to show it has submitted to FFRF’s demands.
Liberty Counsel, a non-profit litigation organization, also sent a letter. However, their letter rebutted the FFRF, stating that “a live Nativity scene as part of a balanced Christmas program is not an automatic Establishment Clause violation.”
Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver said that FFRF “continually bullies and threatens people every Christmas, and that includes even children.”
He added, “This organization mocks Christianity and does not seem to know what the Constitution means. I hope this school district will not cave to their threats and continues to allow these children to celebrate Christ’s birth in their school production.”