Human Christmas Tree Gets Around Decoration Rules

A ban on Christmas decorations this year at the Staten Island ferry terminal in a bid to avoid lawsuits sparked an unusual protest Friday.

Self-proclaimed activist and Staten Island resident Scott LoBaido found a loophole in the rule imposed at the transit hub by the Department of Transportation and dressed up as a seven-foot Christmas tree, sparking smiles and cheers, myFOXny.com reported.

“It’s just a costume,” he said from inside the tree which was decorated with tinsel and baubles. “You ever come by here on Halloween? People have the craziest costumes.

This just happens to be what I’m wearing today.”

He called the department’s edict, introduced last week for safety reasons, as “political correctness gone crazy.”

“A simple Christmas tree brings so much joy,” LoBaido said while wandering the St. George terminal.

LoBaido told the New York Daily News he spent nearly $400 on the costume, using mostly chicken wire, duct tape and “a lot of battery-operated lights.”

Post Office Bars Santa from Delivering

The U.S. Postal Service is bankrupt. Abused by years of mismanagement and fierce competition in the shipping business the Postal Service is inept, incompetent and woefully broke. They’re cutting back services, stifling customer service and draining the coffers of the government at a record pace. We only point all this out in advance of telling this next sad chapter in the saga of the U.S. Postal Service.

The U.S. Postal Service has ordered a letter carrier to stop wearing a Santa Claus outfit after a co-worker complained.

Bob McLean has been dressing up as Santa for the past decade, donning a red suit to deliver the mail along his route in Bellevue, WA. He even has a snow white beard – that’s real.

“The government is shutting me down because it’s a non-postal regulation uniform, McLean told the Bellevue Reporter. “This was the first time; I don’t know what happened. I don’t step on anyone’s toes. Being Santa isn’t religious to me; it’s secular. It’s about giving.”

But the U.S. Postal Service said it’s about looking like a letter carrier.

“The Santa Claus suit is not in compliance with the Postal Service’s dress code for letter carriers,” Postal Service spokesman Ernie Swanson told Fox News & Commentary.

He confirmed that someone was not too happy about a colleague dressed like Jolly Old Saint Nick.

“He had been doing this for some and there had not been an issue and a couple of weeks ago one of his fellow carriers raised the issue with management,” Swanson said. “The postmaster acknowledges that until one of his fellow carriers made an issue out of it he was okay with it,” Swanson said.

By most accounts, McLean’s Santa suit was well-received along his route – especially the children.

“Little kids – they just stare because they wonder,” said Brenda Archuletta in an interview with the Bellevue Reporter.

“I love seeing Santa,” Rachel Young told television station News 9. “It does bring cheer. It brings something to old Main Street that other places don’t have.”

Regardless of what the Postal Service said, McLean told News 9 he plans on defying orders.

“Kinda going rogue,” he said. “Might get in trouble.”

The Postal Service said there was no leeway in the dress code.

“The postmaster didn’t feel he had any choice in the matter,” Swanson said.

FFRF Goes After Michigan City Now

At the center of yet another atheist-led drama is a nativity that is currently stationed inside Warren, Michigan City Hall. If the Christian-based imagery is going to be present, atheists contend that the town must also allow other religions displays that represent different viewpoints. The Freedom from Religion Foundation — making headlines and threats coast-to-coast this Christmas — has promised legal action if they continue to be ignored on the issue.

So, to level the playing field, they wish to post a sign that says (you may recall this same message from other nativity dramas, as this is frequently used by the FFRF):

“At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Douglas Marshall, a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, is claiming that Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is discriminating against atheists and nonbelievers, while engaging in illegal censorship. So far, the mayor has ignored Marshall’s requests to post the sign.

While the local atheist has apparently tried to place the sign inside city hall, it has been removed, as he does not have the permission to do so. If Fouts continues to ignore the request to place the sign inside of the government building, the FFRF has pledged to file a lawsuit in the coming days.

School District Bans Santa from Making Traditional Visit

A Massachusetts school system is embroiled in a war on Christmas debate after Santa Claus was initially banned from visiting elementary school children over “religious” concerns.

Since 1960 firefighters in the town of Saugus dressed up like Santa Claus and visited every elementary school handing out coloring books. But on Monday, the school superintendent told firefighters that they would not be welcomed into the classrooms.

“Certainly everyone acknowledges their holiday in a special way they want. But there is a conflict between the church and the state in that regard,” Superintendent Richard Langlois told MyFoxBoston.com.

However, Santa Claus is not a religious figure – and is not mentioned anywhere in the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus.

Regardless, the superintendent stood by his decision until word began to spread across the community. By late Monday, Santa had been given a temporary reprieve. The Saugus School Committee is expected to address the issue next month – meaning Santa’s days may be numbered.

“I couldn’t believe it,” firefighter Mark Gannon told MyFoxBoston.com. “There are so many things in the world going on – to see that all of a sudden Santa can’t go to the schools – what else are we going to give up?”

Gannon said he’s been participating in the Christmas tradition for the past 14 years – and said the children absolutely love to see Old Saint Nick.

“It’s a great thing,” he said.

Superintendent Langlois defended his Santa ban – saying he was simply enforcing the rules..

“I’m carrying out the orders of the school community,” he said. “I’m not overstepping my bounds.”

But the firefighters said there is absolutely nothing religious about what they are doing.

“There’s no religious content in the coloring books,” Gannon said, noting that the coloring books feature characters like Strawberry Shortcake.

At least one school committee member is supporting the firefighters, calling the Santa controversy a case of political correctness gone amuck.