California County Orders Religious Symbols Removed

December 22, 2009 - 4:47 PM
California's Sonoma County has ordered officials to remove angels, stars and other religious symbols from Christmas trees in county buildings over concerns they violate the Constitution.
Santa Rosa, Calif. (AP) - California's Sonoma County has ordered officials to remove angels, stars and other religious symbols from Christmas trees in county buildings over concerns they violate the Constitution.
 
County Administrator Chris Thomas issued the order Monday to managers of all 26 county departments, saying it is not the government's role to endorse religion.
 
The Supreme Court has ruled that governments can celebrate Christmas but cannot support Christian doctrine.
 
Thomas' order followed a complaint by Santa Rosa resident Irv Sutley, an atheist who heads the county's socialist Peace and Freedom Party. He says the government should not show favoritism to any religion.
 
Sutley has previously been successful in stopping prayers at government meetings in several cities.