A Cincinnati attorney is suing the United States government because Christmas is recognized as a legal holiday. Richard Ganulin filed suit yesterday in U.S. District Court arguing that it is unconstitutional for Congress to proclaim Christmas as a national holiday. In his lawsuit, Ganulin said that because he does not celebrate Christmas or the birth of “Jesus Christ” (his quotes), he is “consequently damaged” by enforcement of the law.
Catholic League president William Donohue aired his views in today’s edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer and now offers the following additional remarks:
“Ganulin doesn’t have a leg to stand on. In 1984, in Lynch v. Donnelly, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the ‘Christmas holiday in our national culture contains both secular and sectarian elements.’ Five years later, in Allegheny County v. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, the high court declared that both Christmas and Hanukkah ‘are part of the same winter holiday season, which has attained a secular status in our society.’
“In short, while the Supreme Court knows that the origin of Christmas is religious, it also acknowledges that it has acquired a secular meaning. And that settles the issue: by having a secular as well as a religious purpose, the celebration of Christmas is in accordance with the strictures laid down by the Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971).
“But beyond the legalisms lies the real issue—the determination of secular zealots to scrub our society clean of all religious influence. This represents not only a war against our heritage, it represents an authoritarian impulse to restructure our culture according to the dictates of devout atheists. In the end, what bothers these people is that those who believe in Christ have Christmas to celebrate while those like themselves have, by definition, nothing to celebrate. That they are ‘consequently damaged’ as a result of their own doing is a mystery only to them.”