McKeon Speaks Out Against 'A Sad Trend' Against Religious Freedom
After a local apartment complex for senior citizens made its residents take down Christmas- and Hanukkah-related decorations from its community room, Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon sounded off on what he saw as a violation of Constitutional rights.
“This is an absolute outrage and another example of a sad, sad trend I see happening in America today," McKeon said, in a statement.
McKeon went on to describe the nature of restrictions placed on legislators, who are essentially prevented from expressing holiday cheer for any religiously affiliated event.
"In Congress, rules prohibit us from sending out any official form of communication to our constituents wishing them any sort of religious happy holiday greeting. We can’t say, Merry Christmas, we can’t say Happy Hanukkah, we can’t say anything that even alludes to a religious celebration or specific holiday greeting. We can’t even use the colors red and green," he said.
“On Monday night hundreds, of people gathered on the Capitol lawn as we lit the Capitol Christmas Tree, and tonight, millions will watch as the President lights our National Christmas Tree -- a tradition of spirit and unity we have enjoyed for 90 years. Are these great American holiday traditions next to go? I understand that freedom of religion is a founding principle of our democracy, and that part of that freedom is the freedom to not believe in or practice a religious faith. But an abolition of every marker of the holiday season, no matter the religious affiliation, is an affront to our most sacred traditions and darkens what is supposed to be a time of thankfulness, giving, togetherness, peace, love, hope and reflection. These residents pay rent to a private entity and should have the freedom to practice the holiday traditions of their choice."