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Fed Bans Christmas at Payne County Bank - 1st Amendment Alert

When I write semi-clever blog titles it is usually with the intention of "hooking you in" so I can blather on about some topic or the other. But this one is a little more serious even if some may accuse it of being slightly over the top.

This morning the Drudge Report carried a link to a story and news video from an Oklahoma news station which told the story of the Payne County Bank's run-in with the feds over their overtly religious celebration of a Christian holiday.

You know the one. It's the same one that has been renamed a hundred different things over the last few decades by the politically correct, the militantly secular, or the pitifully ashamed Christians in our society.

It's Christmas, not a "winter festival" or other PC happening. And despite the fact that many other folks celebrate parts of it, it's still a Christian holy day. 

As the above image explains, the US Congress (or its extensions such as the federal reserve) may not legally make a law (or regulation) which establishes a religion or prohibits the free exercise of one.

If the news report is correct, there is no doubt whatsoever that the described events fit the bill on this one. This isn't so called "public" property we are talking about here, it's a private enterprise and the celebration doesn't violate the rights of anyone.

According to the report, the bank had a "Bible verse of the day on it's web-site, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us." The examiners from the Kansas City Fed said they are "inappropriate."  Which may make you wonder, what exactly is appropriate for a religious holiday?

The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site had to be taken down and the buttons taken off and the crosses removed.

The story went on to say "Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, "...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."

"The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslim or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination."

Normal people are not offended by religious practices of those of different faiths. But even if there are some, or even many who are, in this country you are not allowed to interfere in those practices as long as they violate no laws. Are we then to conclude that it is against the law to practice our religions openly in public at private businesses?

Do observant Jews have to remove their yarmulkes if they work in a bank? Do Muslim female bank tellers have to remove their Hijab? This is the kind of concern that was scoffed at by those who advocate a large intrusive government when these "regulations" were first put into place.

What makes this different from any other private business? Because it's a bank in question? What about your local pub?

Try sitting down there for a brew and informing the bartender that you are offended or don't feel "included" because he has a "Merry Christmas" banner up on the back bar. Then tell him he will have to remove it because his regulator will pull his liquor license if he doesn't. Then see how long it takes Bruno on the next stool to change your seating arrangement.

This is a ski jump folks, not a slippery slope. Have a nice Winter Festival.


Anonymous said...

I work for the Chicago Public Schools and we have quite a few people of faith other than Christian and not a single complaint has been filed about their outward displays of their religion(s). Unfortunately, a few years ago we lost a paid day off because it happened to fall on Good Friday. The kids are off school and the Board of Ed decided to close until someone decided they should be offended that our day off happened to fall on a day that most Christians use to practice their faith. So, we no longer get that day off, we now have Lincoln's b-day and Presidents Day off.

Several years ago I was approached by a co-worker with a large complaint. At least they thought it was large. I had invited people to my home for a Christmas party I was told it should be referred to as a 'Year-End', 'Winter-Festival' or 'December Gathering'. I replied tha since it was in my home and I was buying the food and drink, it would remain a Christmas Party. And my final response was that he wasn't invited, so why did he care what I called it.

I refuse to accept this whole PC way of life. Sometimes I hold my tongue to not unnecessarily offend, but as a rule, I speak up. So should we all.

Grant Davies said...

Thanks for the comment and the story. It's a great one! Not many spoke up as this stuff was just starting and those that did were mostly ridiculed when they did. Now we are all paying the price. Merry Christmas! (Or should I go way out on a limb and say, "have a great celebration of the day our savior was born")

Anonymous said...

This PC business is to my knowledge no where to be found in our constitution. I am also unable to find any where in the constitution the right not to be offended. The type of behavior you describe in your essay is UNAMERICAN period!

Grant Davies said...

I agree. Too many people confuse being polite with being PC.
It's unAmerican to have the government so blatently violate the 1st Amendment too,,or at least it used to be.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this excellent summary of the deplorable situation of athesists' relentless assault on Christmas and Christians. Americans should NOT submit to this type of repression, and Christians especially should refuse to go along with this oppressive insanity.

This repression on the part of the Feds is not only unAmerican it is illegal and violates our First Amendment rights. REFUSE to submit, folks; or it will only GET WORSE.

Grant Davies said...

@ Anon...Thanks for the kind comment.

Our rights are being violated every day in this country. At the top of this page is a section called "Rights Violations Update". I urge you to read those articles as well.

I promise you that most of the people in government who have sworn to uphold the constitution will never rise to it's defense unless we make our voices heard. I urge everyone to get active NOW. It is two more years before we can throw these thugs out again.

Wolfgang Sheehy said...

From the vantage point of this amateur historian, our great tradition of the American meritocracy died an untimely death some time around the mid-1960's. The demise of self-determinism coincided with the advent of secularism. Sociologists and political philosophers can argue about which came first, which caused the other, the chicken or the egg. Whatever the case, both are an ebbing tide. Rightful indignation at federal interference in the celebration of religious holidays or the perpetuation of the nanny-state will always be welcome and will always help turn the tide. Remember, it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. It's about time Christians and self-determinists start squeaking real loud.