It's that time of year. Most Americans are putting their final touches on their decorations, getting their final presents, and getting ready to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. Well, not everybody:
Nina Totenberg actually apologizes for saying she was at a Christmas party. As Ace says, Totenberg would never say "I was -- forgive the expression -- at a gay wedding"; remember, Totenberg's outfit, the Soros-funded and taxpayer-subsidized NPR, fired Juan Williams for not being "sensitive", which apparently is some kind of policy. I guess it's NPR's policy to have their employees apologize for saying the word "Christmas" to be "sensitive" to...someone. Never mind that the majority of Americans would find it ridiculous.
And while Totenberg's "apology" was typical Orwellian liberal-speak, the government itself decided to get in on the War on Christmas. On the wrong side.
Via KOCO in Oklahoma City:
A small-town bank in Oklahoma said the Federal Reserve won’t let it keep religious signs and symbols on display.
Horror of horrors. Christians working at a privately-owned bank have Christian signs on symbols on display. During the Christmas season. Thank Obama and the Democrats they have someone to stop these fiends.
In the piece, the Fed examiners claimed their regulatory authority allowed them to violate bank employees' First Amendment rights:
The examiners came to Perkins last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say "Merry Christmas, God With Us." were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank's Internet site also had to be taken down.
Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, "...the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication ... express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion."
The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslim or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination.
Fortunately, Oklahoma Republicans Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Frank Lucas sent a letter to the Fed demanding they look at that regulation again and reexamine their policy interpretation. Shortly thereafter, the Fed complied. The Kansas City Fed then issued a press release; but if you notice, there is no hint of an apology:
“The Federal Reserve's interactions with supervised institutions are subject to strict confidentiality. However, we have become aware of substantial confusion and misinformation related to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and one of the banks it regulates in Oklahoma. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the bank are working cooperatively and closely to clarify this issue.
“There have been references made to Regulation B (12 CFR 202 et. seq.), which implements the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and prohibits discriminatory creditor practices. Regulation B, as interpreted by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, does not apply to jewelry or other personal items displayed in the workplace.
“As the regional headquarters for the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s officers, management and staff recognize the critical importance of community banks and the freedom under which they can serve their communities by providing financial services and fair access to credit.”
Notice how there is no indication someone at the KC Fed did anything wrong, or even mention that it was the religious signs and symbols that one of their overzealous jerks decided had to come down. Also not mentioned is anything that says there will be an improvement in the training of these bank examiners so they a) learn about what Christmas is and b) learn the meaning of the First Amendment to avoid further embarrassment in the future.
The bank in question is the Payne County Bank in Perkins, OK. Currently on their home page is a very diplomatic, yet firm, statement showing that they had won. And if you notice at the lower left of the page, they do have a Bible Verse of the Day.
If you believe the Fed should hear from a few more people, send them a note via their feedback page. Or perhaps you might want to contact some of their Community Affairs people, who seem to need to be reminded that they are doing a lousy job at community affairs. As Payne County Bank did, be diplomatic but be firm. And make sure you wish them a Merry Christmas.