Alabama Governor Kay Ivey wished a happy Christmas in the way that violates the Establishment Clause by communicating that the department, and by extension the state of Alabama, prefer religion, specifically Christianity, over nonreligion and all minority faiths, FFRF argues. She posted a video on her official Facebook page celebrating “the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
My fellow Alabamians, today, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that each of us share His light and love with one another. As we’re upon the Christmas season, reflecting on the past year, let us be filled with hope and joy as we look toward the opportunities that lie before us. May your days ahead be filled with the light of God and His abundant grace. Merry Christmas to you and your families!
Ivey’s video message is even more religious and therefore is more opposed to the Establishment Clause:
No matter what we face, we must never forget Christmas really celebrates one thing: the birth of Jesus Christ. During the holidays, our homes are filled with lights, from the candles we burn to the lights that twinkle on our trees. We use lights at Christmas because they symbolize that we have the light of Christ, a light which represents hope and promise for the future, within us. Despite our differences, we are all made in the image and likeness of God. We share a common bond, a desire to care for each other and to make this world a better place. That is the message of Jesus and the story of Christmas.
May your Christmas and the days ahead be filled with the light of God and His abundant grace. Merry Christmas to each of you and your families.
FFRF wrote a letter asking that the religious post be removed from the governor's official Facebook page. The government should not favor one religion and neglect others, because its neutrality is thereby disturbed. On the other hand, the governor certainly can celebrate Christmas but in the way that would not make non-Christians to feel like outsiders in their own state. "Wishing people good will and good cheer is all fine on Christmas, but not this overtly religious homily that the governor felt fit to send forth," says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "She's insulting residents of the state who aren't Christian by such sectarian preachiness."
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