ICC Note: In yet another incident atheist organizations have targeted displays of Christian faith in the public sphere in America. The town of Piedmont, Alabama had planned to make the theme of their annual Christmas parade “keep Christ in Christmas” until the Freedom from Religion Foundation, based in Wisconsin, sent a threatening letter to the town after a citizen allegedly complained. Across the U.S. and in the West in general, a concerted effort to remove faith from public view has been underway and Christians are finding it increasingly difficult to share their faith openly without fear of social or governmental hostility.
12/4/2014 United States (Fox News) – The annual Christmas parade in Piedmont, Alabama is a big deal in this small town tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
The Piedmont parade doesn’t have giant helium-filled balloons or dancing Broadway show girls – but they do have the local high school marching band and Santa Claus parades down North Main Street on a bright red fire truck. And just about every girl who’s ever won a beauty pageant will be riding on a float.
This year’s grand marshal is the Piedmont High School track team – state champions – the pride of the town.
“We try to honor our kids and we try to give recognition to those who do well,” Mayor Baker said. “We’re proud to have them leading the parade.”
But the town also wanted to honor the “reason for the season” and that landed them in a world of trouble with a group of out-of-town atheists.
The parade committee selected “Keep Christ in Christmas” as the theme of Thursday night’s parade. Seeing how there’s a church on nearly every street corner in town – no one gave it a second thought.
“It was a great theme,” the mayor said. “I was totally shocked when I received the letter. It’s a small town. It’s a small Christmas parade. We didn’t think there would be any problems at all.”
Little did the mayor know that his town was about to be infested with an ill-tempered gaggle of atheists from Wisconsin – the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
They alleged that a single person in Piedmont had complained about the parade theme – and the FFRF sent the mayor a threatening letter.
The theme “alienates non-Christians and others in Piedmont who do not in fact have a ‘strong belief in prayers’ by turning them into political outsiders in their own community,” FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel wrote. “The sentiment of ‘Keeping Christ in Christmas’ does not qualify as a secular celebration.”
They told the city to find a “more appropriate, more inclusive, and constitutional theme” for the parade.
It’s not the first time that the perpetually offended atheists have targeted Piedmont. Earlier this year, they demanded that the local high school stop reciting prayers before football games.
The prayer controversy was one of the reasons why the parade committee wanted to make a statement during the Christmas parade.
Unfortunately, the city attorney told the mayor that the theme violated the law – there was nothing they could do.