So there was a brief tempest in a teapot in Oklahoma, when Federal Reserve examiners ordered a private bank to remove religious displays from their premises:
...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.
- This is incredibly stupid. I'd be ranting about regulatory creep and the inevitable end result of attempts to legislate morality and social change if this particular story wasn't so staggeringly trivial and petty. The regulators were clearly just being holier-than-thou tin gods, the First Amendment clearly protects the business's right to display religious slogans, and the Fed seems to have already reversed its ruling in a weasely way obviously intended to avoid a challenge to its rules.
- All that said, when you're distributing buttons to your employees that say "Gott mit uns", you should probably take a really deep breath and consider that maybe you're taking all the Jesus stuff a bit too far.