Earlier this week, we saw New York’s Utica Fire Department Station 4 promoting Christianity with a sign outside the firehouse reading “Happy Birthday Jesus.”
Besides the sign just looking and sounding childish, you could make the argument that it’s an illegal promotion of a single faith. That’s what the Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a letter.
The sign at Fire Station 4 explicitly invokes the name Jesus, an exclusively Christian god, and makes a direct statement in support of that deity… This is precisely the sort of religious endorsement prohibited by the Establishment Clause.
The department could, in theory, put up displays of other groups to remain neutral, but they were better off just removing the sign or handing it off to a church.
So what did the department choose to do?