Texas Health Center ‘Invites’ Employees Not to Reference ‘Christmas’

A health center in Texas has stirred controversy by sending their employees a memo that told them not to “use references to Christmas” around patients, including any signage. Instead, the CEO said “I invite you” to decorate public areas “in a more inclusive or neutral way.” Recognition of the “winter season,” or “Happy Holidays,” was suggested.

“As an agency that is striving to value diversity and inclusion in our workforce and with our consumers, we risk excluding others if we recognize specific religious holidays.” He said he was “writing to make a request to improve our care environments this holiday season.”

Although the CEO used the words, “I invite you to think about decorating …,” the clear implication from a chief executive officer to all employees is that his ideas about holiday decorations required compliance. He also wrote in the letter, “This is a matter that will require thoughtfulness to address in a meaningful way and this will take place over the next 6 months.”

The halt to “Merry Christmas” came after a patient complained about Christmas decorations at one of their facilities, reported KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas.

Austin Travis County Integral Care sent the email entitled “Cultural Sensitivity” to “AllStaff” on Monday. A copy of the email was included in the local media outlet’s report.

CEO David Evans began his email to all of the employees writing:

“Over the last few years our agency has worked diligently to become person centered and culturally competent. Being person centered means that we put the person first in speech and treatment, not the condition. And being culturally competent means that we recognize our own biases and work towards valuing the diversity within our staff and consumers. As we strive to become more sensitive to the people around us, new questions arise.”

CEO Evans ended the email by thanking the employees “for doing your part to create a welcoming environment for everyone.”

Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, stated, “Austin Travis County Integral Care is targeting and censoring Christmas and Christians–ironically in the name of “diversity and inclusion. This attack should be stopped immediately.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated, “There’s this … sort of war on Christianity … You can bring up any other religion, and look — we want other religions to have their ability to speak out, but we don’t think that Christian beliefs should necessarily be pushed aside … In Texas you are going to be able to express your First Amendment rights, whatever they are.”

Breitbart Texas recently reported on December 15 that a Texas judge signed an order stopping the Killeen Independent School District from banning a Charlie Brown Christmas display because it had the word “Christ,” in it. The school board trustees had upheld, by a 6-1 vote, a ban by the Killeen ISD administration.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, the school board ignored the advice of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and voted to back the ban on a Charlie Brown Christmas display. The Charlie Brown Christmas door decoration bore the following quote from “A Charlie Brown Christmas:”

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord. That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

A law passed in 2013, called the “Merry Christmas” law, amended the Texas Education Code to protect the right of students and teachers to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah.

Last Christmas, Breitbart Texas wrote about the War on Christmas coming to a small east Texas town. Residents of Orange, Texas, were furious that a nativity scene had been taken down after 30 years. The city manager decided to remove it from city property after atheists demanded a display of their own. City Manager Shawn Oubre told Fox4 in Beaumont, Texas, that the Nativity scene would be removed in order to avoid legal costs. The atheist organization wanted to put a banner next to the Nativity scene. The city manager responded by saying that the Christmas display would be taken down.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.


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