War at Christmas? The Catholic Church demands D.C. Metro for blocking the seasonal religious announcement



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The Metro in the nation's capital violated the freedom of expression of the city's Catholic Church by blocking a pro-religion Christmas season announcement on buses, a new lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The Archdiocese of Washington sued after the publicity of the church to encourage spirituality this holiday season was rejected by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on the grounds that it promoted the religion.

The announcement did not include any religious text, but included cut-out shepherds on a starry background, graphically recalling the birth of Christ The wording in the ad encouraged pbadengers to "Find the perfect gift" through religion.

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[The ad] "conveys a simple message of hope and an invitation to participate in the Christmas season," the archdiocese said in a statement. , adding that the transit system guidelines against religious or controversial discourse violate the First Amendment.

A spokesman for the archdiocese added that the WMATA Metro ad was designed specifically to avoid raising red flags.

"Our other ads have a very similar image but contain a quote from the Book of Luke, this is the single, only for Metro," said Chieko Noguchi, director of media relations, Newsweek .

<img itemprop = " contentUrl "width =" 961 "height =" 281 "clbad =" mapping-embed "src =" https://s.newsweek.com/sites/www.newsweek.com/files/styles/embed-lg/public/ 2017/11/28 / pasted-image-20171128-0445-pm.png "alt =" Image pasted in 2017_11_28 04_45 PM [19659009] The Archdiocese of Washington, DC, wanted to place this ad on the Washington Metro, but it was prohibited by the rules of the transit system. Archdiocese of Washington

The ad URL, FindThePerfectGift.org, guides interested persons to information on Catholic traditions.

] "Jesus is the perfect gift," the website says "Find the perfect gift of God's love this Christmas."

The announcement would have been accepted before 2015, when the transit system changed. its policy to prohibit "advertising oriented issues, including political, religious and advocacy advertising" WMATA spokesman. Sherri Ly told Newsweek .

The Metro guidelines also prohibit "advertisements intended to influence members of the public on a subject on which there are different opinions."

As a result, the DC transit agency has rejected announcements from organizations against wildlife trafficking, Birthright Israel, abortion pills, PETAN promotes veganism, Milo Yiannopoulos' book and anti-prostitution groups.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the Metro guidelines are "wrong and impossible to administer with justice" and sued to revoke them after the system canceled the announcements for Yiannopoulos' book Dangerous after that the Metro reported the complaints of the pbadengers.

"It is an indefensible policy to say that as soon as someone complains about an announcement, we are going to remove it," said ACLU DC Legal Director Arthur Spitzer said WTOP in August. "Almost everyone uses the bus or the subway or sees the bus pbading by, and it's a way of pbading on their message to people who would not otherwise see it, and that's something very valuable to our society."

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