Catholics across the nation’s capital are livid after the public transit system rejected the Archdiocese of Washington’s Christmas advertisements because they were deemed “religious.”
The advertisement depicted silhouettes of three shepherds walking at night with tall canes and sheep beneath a shining North Star. Emblazoned across the ad is the phrase: “FIND THE PERFECT GIFT.”
The Archdiocese filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority violated the U.S. Constitution by rejecting the ad.
“To borrow a phrase 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,” spokesman Ed McFadden said in a statement. “But if Christmas means a little bit more, WMATA plays Grinch.”
The transit authority defended the ban citing a 2015 change in its advertising policies that banned issue-oriented advertising, including political, religious and advocacy advertising.
“The ad in question was declined because it is prohibited by WMATA’s current advertising guidelines,” the agency said in a statement.