The “war on Christmas” has pretty much become a common American holiday tradition. In a politically correct, increasingly secularized America, the fight has engulfed nativity scenes and Starbucks Christmas cups and has even motivated thieves to steal Baby Jesuses.
In the annual war, there are a few usual suspects: Nativity scenes, Christmas trees, etc. There’s also a few newcomers to the bunch, like coffee cups. Here’s the five most absurd battlegrounds from 2015’s war on Christmas:
1. The great Starbucks Christmas cup fiasco of 2015 was the most publicized and most obnoxious of all the battles of the War on Christmas. Though it’s unclear if Christians actually cared, an overzealous Christian social media personality latched onto the issue and started a movement to shame the company for trading in its previously festive holiday cup for a plain, red cup that celebrates inclusivity.
Here’s the Christmas cup in all its Grinch glory.
2. A nativity in Nebraska’s state capitol was removed this year to make room for an atheist display.
The Christian legal group, The Thomas More Society, began sponsoring the nativity last year. This year, though, the Lincoln Atheists group preempted the Christians by reserving all the available space months ahead of time. When the Thomas More Society went to reserve space for the nativity, the week of Christmas was already taken by the atheist group. The atheist display features a large wall dividing a church and the capitol building to symbolize the separation of church and state.
The atheists won this battle. The nativity was displaced, and the atheist display will remain up through Christmas.
3. An atheist group filed suit against Harrison County in Mississippi over a nativity scene at its courthouse, claiming the religious symbol violated the Establishment Clause. The local government stood its ground and refused to take down the nativity, leaving the groups at an impasse.
After a gridlock, the two groups finally reached a compromise. The atheist group announced on Christmas Evethat they would retract their lawsuit since the county agreed to let the atheists put up a sign as well.
4. Officials from Bethlehem, N.Y., had a “Happy Hanukkah” sign and a “Merry Christmas” sign removedfrom a busy intersection and have refused to put up any new holiday signs out of fear the signs would violate the law. The town’s lawyer reportedly said Christmas trees and other symbols were allowed, but no signs, a decision that has caused a serious dispute in the local community. Despite residents protesting and paying for the signs with their own money, the town has still refused.
“The irony is not lost on us that your Town’s name is Bethlehem,” the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian group involved in the dispute, said in a letter to the town.
5. A federal judge ruled that an Arkansas courthouse must remove its nativity scene or allow space for all religions to put up holiday displays. The county judge decided to not allow any displays, rather than allow them all. This may be because an atheist group wanted to use the opportunity to place an inflammatory sign mocking all other religions as their “holiday display.”
Here’s a sign the group has used in the past.
-An Indiana school district was forced to cut a nativity scene from their annual Christmas program after a lawsuit.
-Also, somebody in New Jersey keeps stealing Baby Jesuses from nativity scenes. Not cool.