Patricia Sonntag, director of the office of Services to Students with Disabilities at California State University, Sacramento, has banned 4th of July celebrations, along with Christmas, from her office. Here is her directive:
“With the new year, we will now celebrate the seasons and holiday without decorations in the public areas and hallways. This is a secular university and we are a public service area that has a diverse employee and student populations [sic] even in our private offices. In order to avoid offending someone else, we will not display celebratory reminders. This specifically includes Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentines,4th of July, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, off the top of the list [my emphasis]. I, for one, am the worst offender and celebrant. Time has come to recognize that religious discrimination, as well as ethnic insensitivity to certain holidays, is forbidden. I am sorry if this offends anyone, but it is time to start the new year differently.”
We contacted Frank Whitlatch, Associate VP, Public Affairs, about Sonntag’s directive. He said, “The guidelines it sets out do not reflect general practice at Sacramento State, and in fact there are holiday decorations on display in offices and public areas throughout the campus.” But not in Sonntag’s area.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:
“Every day I come to work, I learn something new. Today I learned, courtesy of Patricia Sonntag, that the 4th of July is a religious holiday. Last week a rabbi told me the Christmas tree is a religious symbol. Yesterday, one of Donald Trump’s towers banned Christian mangers but allowed Jewish menorahs, because, as condo board member Laura Esrov explained, the religious menorah is really secular. It never occurs to these secular supremacists that it is their aversion to anything religious—or patriotic—that accounts for their desire to muzzle free speech.
“Let the Provost at Sacramento State, Ric Brown, know how you feel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.”