Every year about this time, there are Christians in the U. S. who complain because they cannot use public property to market their faith.
An interesting conflict in the news these past years is in Santa Monica, CA. There have been manger scenes in a city park for years. Atheists wanted to present displays, so the City awarded spaces by drawing. Nonbelievers put up secular displays such as quotes from Thomas Jefferson debunking religion. Some were awarded spots but put displayed nothing.
Now, the City has decided not to allow any displays. Carolers can sing in the park and those who want to display mangers scenes can do so on private property. The Christians do not think this is fair and are going to court.
This saga has much in common with what Freethinkers have experienced here in Fargo. The Ten Commandments monument has been displayed for 5o years on public property. We requested the right to place a monument next to it with a secular message. The decision was a Christian monument is OK, a secular one is not. Our case is still working its way through the courts. I think we will win ultimately.
In Santa Monica, Christians are saying use of public property to market their message is exercising free speech. Using it for a secular message is not.
The “war on Christimas” is a teaching moment about free speech for our country. The problem for some Christians is free speech applies to everyone.
P. S. Since this was written a court has ruled in favor of the City of Santa Monica and no displays will be allowed.