A senior housing facility in Washington state is in legal hot water after it allegedly blocked a resident from including Christ in Christmas.
Religious liberty law firm Alliance Defending Freedom fired off a letter Dec. 17 to Providence Place, located in Chehalis, after a resident claimed she was advised that religious content is prohibited.
According to ADF, the building manager claimed the federal Fair Housing Act prohibits even the use of "Merry Christmas" as well as singing Christmas carols and any displays with religious content.
But that simply is not true, says ADF attorney Matt Sharp.
"There's no Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rule," he stresses, "requiring senior living center to deny their residents the ability to celebrate Christmas, sing Christmas songs, or decorate their residence."
In fact, the HUD states on its website that it supports the display of religious symbols during holiday season:
The holiday season is an opportunity to celebrate our diverse traditions and faiths. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development continues to strongly support and respect the display of all religious symbols on properties receiving HUD assistance. We discourage anyone from interfering in the free exercise of religion and prohibiting residents from celebrating the joys of the season.
"Providence Place's belief that it is required to suppress religious speech under the Fair Housing Act is incorrect and unwise," ADF states in the letter it sent this week.
It is unclear from ADF's press release if Providence Place has responded to the resident's claims and the ADF letter.