A Wisconsin-based atheist group helped kill a 25-year Christmas tradition for choir students in an Oregon public school district. The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights has been held in Portland, Oregon, for over two decades, featuring choirs from churches, schools and other organizations. The event is held in a botanical garden and Catholic shrine. A complaint filed in the district by the Freedom from Religion Foundation prompted officials to ban all school choirs from performing at the festival, the Oregonian reported Thursday.
Lawyers reviewed the atheists group’s complaint and concluded the legal risk of continuing the annual tradition was too much for the district to accept. Teachers were informed of the decision last month. “It was a sad decision for us to make and it was a hard decision,” Portland Public Schools District spokeswoman Christine Miles told the newspaper on Thursday. “If we know there is a legal risk and we don’t do anything, then that’s not the right thing to do.” CONTINUE