Holidays


While some insist that the ACLU has some kind of bias against Christmas and the spirit of the season, this couldn't be further from the truth -- we believe strongly in religious freedom and in everyone's right to celebrate in their own way. The ACLU position is simply that government should stay neutral on religion by not endorsing things like religious displays or promoting any particular holiday or religious tradition. Instead, the government should leave it to individuals, families, and religious communities to decide what to celebrate, and how.

We invite you to read stories, watch videos and even check up on staff members' favorite ACLU-related holiday memories. 'Tis the season to be jolly -- in any way you choose to be!

Myths about the ACLU and Religion... Busted!

ACLU of Massachusetts press and public advisory on religious displays (PDF)

Some say the ACLU is leading the "war on Christmas." This simply isn't true.

Fact: The ACLU respects cross-shaped headstones in federal cemeteries.

Learn more about the ACLU and Christmas.

(Thanks to our friends at the ACLU of New Mexico for suggesting some of these links.)

ACLU reflections on the holidays (even Christmas!)

Christmas is not Kryptonite (Christopher Ott, Communications Director, ACLUm)

Sharing Time: A Christmas Memory (Danielle Riendeau, Online Communications Coordinator, ACLUm)

Is the ACLU waging a ‘war on Christmas’? (ACLUm board Member John Thomas, Wicked Local Easton)

A Very ACLU Christmas (Toby Jarman, OpenSalon.com)

The Holidays, ACLU-style hosted on the ACLU of Massachusetts' official blog

Videos and Blog Series

The War on Christmas: Friendly Fire Edition (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)

12 Days of Religious Liberty series
National ACLU's Blog of Rights

The Gretch Who Saved The War on Christmas (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
Posted on December 6th, 2010, this parody appropriately highlights some of the attitudes we here at the ACLU tend to see around the holidays.

Select Legal Cases Related to Religious Freedom and the Holidays

Westfield High School L.I.F.E. Club v. Westfield Public Schools

In 2002, Westfield High School students were punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages attached--a violation of the students' First Amendment rights. We filed a brief on their behalf.

Amicus Brief (PDF) | Blog (aclu.org)

Pielech v. Massasoit Greyhound, Inc.

In the early 1990s, we supported two women who were fired for refusing to work at race track on Christmas Day, which they could not do because of their religious beliefs.

Amicus Brief (PDF) | SJC Opinion (PDF)