Activists tell town 'Christmas’ tree OK - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Activists tell town 'Christmas’ tree OK

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Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2007 2:07 am | Updated: 8:04 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a national advocacy group for religious rights, has sent a letter to Queen Creek this week in an effort to convince the town that using the name “Christmas” in conjunction with annual ceremonies does not violate the Constitution.

Queen Creek officials traded “Christmas Tree” for “Holiday Tree” seven years ago to be more inclusive in its holiday celebration, and residents seemed to have waited until this year to express objections over the change, with more than 60 e-mails to town officials.

The tree stands outside Town Hall and was donated years ago by Mark and Carrie Schnepf of Schnepf Farms to be used as part of a tree-lighting ceremony.

Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund have offered legal assistance to the town if it chooses to restore “Christmas” and have told Mayor Art Sanders and the Town Council any litigation against the city for use of the word “Christmas” would be virtually frivolous.

“ADF will continue to protect the right to publicly celebrate Christmas as well as other constitutionally-protected religious liberties that are attacked,” defense fund senior legal counsel Gary McCaleb said in a news release. “It is time to stop the ridiculous assault on a holiday celebrated by 95 percent of Americans.”

A copy of the letter sent by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys to Queen Creek officials can be seen online at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/QueenCreekLetter.pdf

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