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Published On: Thu, Dec 11th, 2014

‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ parade targeted by Freedom From Religion group

Alabama is now the epicenter of the latest battle over religious freedom and freedom of expression as the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) it threatening a small town for its Christmas parade theme.:  “Keep Christ in Christmas.”
 
Piedmont mayor Bill Baker said that the town has a church on every street corner and he never imagined that “Keep Christ in Christmas” would draw any criticism until he received a letter of complaint from the FFRF.

 
photo I, Briho

photo I, Briho

“It was a great theme,” he 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.”

 
According to the 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”.
 
The atheist organization urged the town to change the theme of the parade to be “more appropriate, more inclusive and constitutional.” The town did change the parade motto but baker says the parade’s content will remain the same. 
 
“Nothing has really changed. We still have the same religious floats. We still have the churches. We still have the beauty queens. We’re still going to have this wonderful Christian parade regardless of if we have a theme or not,” Baker said. 
 
“The town has rallied…It’s heartwarming to me to see the Christian response that has developed.”
 
The annual parade hosts the championship-winning high school track team, the high school marching band, the beauty pageant winner, religious floats and Santa Claus.  
 
 The parade committee dropped the theme, but Baker said the parade participants did not change.”Nothing has really changed,” he admitted. “We still have the same religious floats. We still have the churches. We still have the beauty queens. We’re still going to have this wonderful Christian parade regardless of if we have a theme or not.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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