The use of biblical imagery in an Arizona Christmas lighting ceremony has prompted letters of protest from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation. The letters, sent to Prescott town officials and Arizona's secretary of state, Ken Bennett, demand future lightings refrain from suggesting citizens to "praise God for the birth of Jesus."
The ceremony, which takes place annually at a local courthouse, caught the attention of the foundation after a member attended. Andrew Seidel, staff attorney for the organization, said he also watched videos of children singing religious songs and Bennett reading from the Bible.
"The government is all the people, not just Christian people. To have the government espouse a particular religious belief is so far out of bounds..." Seidel told the Prescott Daily Courier.
The organization said it doesn't want the ceremony to end, but to become more secular.
Local officials, however, don't show any signs of changing the ceremony soon. Yavapai County Supervisor Tom Thurman said he doesn't see a harm in a Christmas ceremony at the Prescott courthouse. Attendance, he told the Courier, is a matter of choice.Via the Prescott Daily Courier