During what is often referred to as the holiday season, a variety of cultures and religions honor an equally diverse number of both religious and secular traditions. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Bodhi Day are just some of the religious holidays that are celebrated this time of year. And for many who don’t subscribe to a particular faith tradition, the season is still seen as an occasion to gather with friends and family.
No matter why you are celebrating this holiday season, we can all celebrate living in a country where religious freedom is a fundamental value. The First Amendment’s Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses not only protect the right to believe (or not to believe), but also the right to express and to manifest religious beliefs.
In honor of our country’s proud history of promoting religious freedom, and the ACLU’s commitment to protecting the rights of all religious believers to practice their faith, this holiday season we are highlighting 12 cases we have brought on behalf of a variety of faiths defending religious liberty and the right to religious expression.
Fourth Day: ACLU Defends Right of Students to Wear Anti-Abortion T-Shirts
The ACLU works to defend your right to religious expression even when that message may be considered inflammatory by others. For example, the ACLU of Iowa defended the rights of two teenage girls who, for religious reasons, sought to wear anti-abortion t-shirts to school after school officials threatened to punish them.
High school students Tamera and Brittany Chandler, wore T-shirts displaying a picture of a fetus and the words, “Abortion Kills Kids.” School officials told them to cover up the shirts or face punishment. The ACLU of Iowa, which staunchly defends the reproductive rights of women, also has a long track record of defending the rights of anti-abortion and conservative Christian groups. Read more…