On Nov. 28, 2017, the Archdiocese of Washington filed a legal action in federal court challenging the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) advertising guidelines and sought injunctive relief after WMATA rejected the advertisement promoting the archdiocese's annual "Find the Perfect Gift" initiative.
"The rejected ad conveys a simple message of hope, and an invitation to participate in the Christmas season. Yet citing its guidelines, WMATA's legal counsel said the ad 'depicts a religious scene and thus seeks to promote religion,'" said Ed McFadden, Secretary for Communications for the Archdiocese of Washington. "To borrow from a favorite Christmas story, under WMATA's guidelines, if the ads are about packages, boxes or bags ... if Christmas comes from a store ... then it seems WMATA approves. But if Christmas means a little bit more, WMATA plays Grinch."
"We believe rejection of this ad to be a clear violation of fundamental free speech and a limitation on the exercise of our faith," said Kim Fiorentino, the Archdiocese of Washington's chancellor and general counsel. "We look forward to presenting our case to affirm the right of all to express such viewpoints in the public square."
"As the papers filed in court today make clear, WMATA's rejection of the Archdiocese's speech amounts to a violation of the First Amendment, plain and simple. We are bringing this complaint to vindicate the basic principle that the government may not allow a wide variety of speech in a forum and then turn around and deny the archdiocese access because of the religious nature of its speech," said Paul Clement of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, who is serving as counsel to the archdiocese in this case.
"Our ad was designed to be placed on metro bus exteriors to reach the broadest audience and to invite everyone to experience the well-accepted joyful spirit of the season, or to share their many blessings with others less fortunate through service opportunities. The archdiocese wishes to encourage our society to help feed, clothe and care for our most vulnerable neighbors, and to share our blessings, and welcome all who wish to hear the Good News," said Susan Timoney, secretary for pastoral ministry and social concerns for the archdiocese.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
It's a NEW YEAR! Get ready for a NEW YOU!
- New Year Discounts On Book Bundles & Gifts: Click Here to view all our bundles and save up to 72%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- Go Deeper with God in a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all eight of our free courses. Topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Anointed Woman Of God: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Never Stop Praying - Prayer Changes Everything! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- New Year - New You - Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for two years for Only $29.97 and get two free gifts. Gift #1 The Harbinger. Gift #2 The Harbinger II. Both books are by New York Times Best-Selling author Jonathan Cahn. View Offer