During the Christmas season, we get many questions from concerned citizens about what Christmas activities are constitutionally permissible. Therefore, we want to take a moment to explain the constitutionality of various issues that may arise during the Christmas season.
We often receive questions about whether the government may display a nativity scene or other religious symbol on public property. The Supreme Court has directly addressed this issue in Lynch v. Donnelly, 492 U.S. 573 (1989). In Lynch, theCourt explained that as long as the nativity scene is part of a larger holiday display (i.e., among secular symbols like Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, etc.) the display is constitutional. Additionally, Christmas trees are not considered religious, so displaying a tree does not violate the Constitution. To explain this principle, the Court in County of Allegheny v. ACLU stated:
Read the rest and see answers to more questions on ACLJ.
Photo credit Jeff Weese