Friday, December 16, 2005

No Christmas In Subsidized Housing


Housing officials
'cancel' Christmas
Federally funded facilities tell residents not to sing carols, decorate
Posted: December 15, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2005

Managers in charge of two federally subsidized housing facilities have told residents in one case they cannot sing Christmas carols, and in another they can't decorate their own entry doors with religious symbols, according to a religious-liberty law firm.

Attorneys at Liberty Counsel say they have sent two separate letters to housing authorities subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development demanding that they reverse their positions regarding Christmas.

In a statement, the law group says the Housing Resource Development Corporation has informed those senior citizens living in its Winter Park, Fla., subsidized housing facility that they may not sing Christmas carols, nor may they have outside religious groups or churches sing Christmas carols in the facility.

Representing one of the residents, Liberty Counsel sent a demand letter asserting the housing authority is violating the Federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits religious discrimination. The housing authority was threatened with legal action if it did not lift the carols prohibition.

Liberty Counsel also targeted Bethany Towers, which provides housing to low-income seniors and people with disabilities in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The managers reportedly have barred Christmas decorations from the lobby and the day rooms on each floor, and have prohibited decorations with religious connotations on individuals' entry doors.

"Throughout the year, residents decorate the exterior of their entry doors with cards and stuffed animals, but this year they have been told that they may not have religious Christmas decorations," Liberty Counsel stated.

Mathew Staver is president and general counsel of the law firm.

"Some of these elderly citizens and persons with disabilities will celebrate their final Christmas in these housing facilities," Staver noted. "It is unthinkable that these housing authorities would rob the elderly and the dependent residents of their joy in celebrating Christmas. It is hard to imagine what these officials are thinking when they tell senior citizens that they may not celebrate Christmas, and then in the same breath, seek to justify their discrimination on the basis of inclusion. Forbidding these senior and dependent residents from celebrating Christmas is the most exclusionary act imaginable."

As WorldNetDaily reported, in 2002, a woman living in a government-subsidized housing complex was nearly evicted for refusing to remove a sign from her window that read "24 Hr. Prayer Station." A lawsuit was settled that allowed the woman to stay in her home and keep up the prayer placard.

Repeated calls to both the Housing Resource Development Corporation and Bethany Towers were not returned by press time.

I'm not a fan of subsidized anything, but come on let the people have their decorations and singing. No where in the Constitution or in the Bill of Rights does it say "you have the right to not be offended". People need to get a life. If you aren't Christian and don't want to celebrate Christmas that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deny someone else their Christmas joy. I don't see how allowing residents in these subsidized housing decorating and singing Christmas carols as violating seperation of Church and State. The Federal government isn't decorating nor singing it's the citizens of the US that are celebrating. What are people afraid of, you can't catch Christianity by touching someone or shopping in store or hearing "Merry Christmas" public or seeing religious based cards on the doors of seniors subsidized door. But you know what, if you could the world may be a better place. Even here in the Bible Belt we see signs of the anti-Christian and anit-Christmas movement. Just a couple of weeks ago my daughter was shopper with my mother-in-law in a local Belk store. The woman who rang up their purchases told them that she wasn't allowed to say "Merry Christmas" and that the store was not playing any Christmas music this year. I'll stop here with this rant, till the next time I find a story like this.

posted by David at 2:32 AM :: Permalink ::

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