Kicking off the annual “War On Christmas” in true to form style, the Archdiocese of Washington sued the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for refusing to air their Christmas themed-advertisement, according to the Washington Post.
In the lawsuit, the archdiocese contested that the Metro’s ban on non-commercial advertising infringed on their First Amendment rights, stating:
WMATA contends that it now prohibits all non-commercial advertising, including any speech that purportedly promotes a religion, religious practice, or belief. But the First Amendment, with its guarantees of free speech and the free exercise of religion, prevents the government from denying speech on the unreasonable, arbitrary, and discriminatory grounds put forward by WMATA. For this reason, and as set forth below, the Court should compel WMATA to allow the Archdiocese to convey its message of hope on public buses during this holiday season.
Reason reported that the lawsuit is the second First Amendment challenge to the Metro’s policy this year. The first came from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who the Metro refused to allow them to post the literal text of the First Amendment as an advertisement.
The Post noted that the archdiocese's ad, which featured an image of the Biblical story of the Wise Men, was designed to be placed on the the Metro train's exterior. The text on the ad reads, “Find the Perfect Gift,” referring to Jesus, popularly known during Christmastime as "the reason for the season.”
Here's the ad: