The professional left has gotten off to a strong start in the “War on Christmas” this year. Following the gay nativity set and leftists trashing Melania Trump’s White House decorations, the Catholic Church is now suing D.C. Metro because the public transportation system allegedly blocked religious Christmas-season ads on buses.
According to Newsweek, “the Archdiocese of Washington sued after the church’s advertisement to encourage spirituality this holiday season was rejected by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on the grounds that it promoted religion.”
The ad contained no religious messages, only the image of silhouetted shepherds staring off into the starry sky demarcated by the iconic Bethlehem star. “Find the perfect gift,” the ad states, and nothing else.
In a statement, the archdiocese said the ad “conveys a simple message of hope, and an invitation to participate in the Christmas season” while alleging that the D.C. Metro guidelines violate the First Amendment.
“Our other ads have a very similar image but contain a quotation from the Book of Luke. This is the simple one, just for Metro,” said the archdiocese director of media relations, Chieko Noguchi.
Though the ad conveys no religious message, the FindThePerfectGift.org invites visitors to learn about Catholic traditions. It lists Mass times for Catholic Churches in the local Washington, D.C. area, provides a list of Advent resources for Catholics, and showcases an adopt-a-family promotion that lets people donate money and home goods to those in need.
“Jesus is the perfect gift,” the website says. “Find the perfect gift of God’s love this Christmas.”
WMATA spokesperson Sherri Ly told Newsweek that the ad would have been accepted in 2015 before Metro banned “issue-oriented advertising, including political, religious and advocacy advertising,” adding that Metro also prohibits “advertisements intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions.”
Surprisingly, even the ACLU thinks the WMATA’s policy is “indefensible.”
“It’s an indefensible policy to say that as soon as someone complains about an advertisement, we’re going to take it down,” the ACLU’s D.C. legal director Arthur Spitzer told WTOP. “Almost everybody rides the bus or the subway or sees the bus go by. And it’s a way to get your message to people who might not otherwise see it, and that’s a very valuable thing to our society.”
(First reported by the Daily Wire) http://www.dailywire.com/news/24120/catholic-church-sues-dc-metro-blocking-religious-paul-bois (November 29, 2017)
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