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western piedmont community college alliance defending freedom first amendment perfectly constitutional

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#1 Hum

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 17:43

To members of BEST Society, a student club at Western Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, it sounded like a nice idea. In order to raise money for Angel Tree, an organization that “connects incarcerated parents with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts,” they would sell Christmas trees to the public during the holiday season.

The warm-hearted plan took a Grinch-like turn, however, when school administrators unilaterally removed the words “Christmas trees” from the club’s online announcement and replaced them with the words “holiday trees.”

After the removal of "Christmas," BEST, which stands for Building Energy Sustainable Technology, received complaints from community members and lost several sales, thus hampering its fundraising efforts.

On Nov. 28, lawyers for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal coalition, sent a letter to school officials on behalf of the club demanding that the school stop censoring the students’ speech, citing First Amendment free speech protections. Part of the ADF letter reads as follows:

"The Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibits public universities from censoring the speech of student groups based on the content or viewpoint of their expression … WPCC’s removal of all references to Christmas in BEST’s advertisments because of the religious message conveyed in the advertisements is blatant viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment."

The school responded quickly by reversing course. News site The Daily Caller reported that ADF received word from the school within hours that it had “committed an error" and was "going to take steps to immediately remedy it.”

A news release posted to the school’s website Wednesday morning ran with the headline: WPPC Club Sells Christmas Trees!!

“They had been under the impression that the law required them to censor the word Christmas,” J. Matthew Sharp, legal counsel for the ADF, said. “Our letter offered clarification that just the opposite was true, that they have to respect the rights of the club and its members to sell these Christmas trees and to call it a Christmas tree sale.”

Sharp said, "Not only is it perfectly constitutional to use the word 'Christmas,' it is unconstitutional to prohibit use of it. This is another perfect example of the immense misunderstanding that far too many college officials have about what the First Amendment truly requires."

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#2 Charisma

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 17:48

I wish people would get over all this PC stuff... it's really getting old.

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 18:21

Clearly Catholics hold the patent on Christmas trees --- all you Jewish, Kwanzans, and Saturnalia people are just SOoL.

It is not your holiday.

#4 +chconline

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 00:43

Political correctness is retarded.

#5 Nick H.

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 00:46

Is Hum on the offensive against North Carolina, or have N.C. just taken an overly-P.C. view towards things recently?

Again, this is ridiculous. Not that they changed it back, but that they felt that they needed to censor the word "christmas" in the first place.

#6 TPreston

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 00:54

I wonder if the ADF would defend an atheists right to free speech... No thought not

#7 Nick H.

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:10

I wonder if the ADF would defend an atheists right to free speech... No thought not

The ADF aren't Government-enforced. As such, they are allowed to defend whomever they want. Now, does it mean that if the ADF are defending you that you are automatically right? Not at all. You still need to comply with the Government's rules. In conclusion, who cares whether the ADF defend one group of people more than another? They don't make the rules, they need to follow them and (if you're a lawyer worth your salt) find the loopholes in the rules to back your client's position up.

#8 Growled

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:11

I wish people would get over all this PC stuff... it's really getting old.


Well, if you look at the history of trees at Christmas it has nothing to do with Christ.

#9 OP Hum

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:23

Is Hum on the offensive against North Carolina, or have N.C. just taken an overly-P.C. view towards things recently?


I was expressing a little sarcastic humor. ;)

Doesn't matter to me who buys an evergreen tree, and decorates it.

Well, if you look at the history of trees at Christmas it has nothing to do with Christ.


Not entirely -- the evergreen tree is symbolic of eternal life, which Christ tried to teach, that all humans surrvive -- even after 'death'.

And the lights and other decorations represent the richness of the Universe -- the myriad of Possibilities.

And gift giving represents the love and caring we should all have for each other.

And we should learn, that when we give unto others, we give to ourselves. :happy:

#10 Nick H.

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:26

Doesn't matter to me who buys an evergreen tree, and decorates it.

Blast, the P.C. party got to you as well! :p :laugh:

#11 Growled

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:26

^ In other words, don't shoot the messenger? :D