Officials at the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences has deemed images of Santa, Christmas trees, dreidels, and nativity scenes inappropriate.
The dean’s office encouraged students and faculty to “consider neutral-themed parties such as a ‘winter celebration'” instead of Christmas or Chanukah-themed parties.
The handout also discouraged faculty from using white and silver or red and green decorations, as they are “not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year since they typically represent specific religious iconography.”
The U of M (@UMNews) shared this letter with some faculty and student employees this week The colors red & green, blue & white/silver are verboten during the “winter celebration” period. Images of Santa, wrapped gifts, and bells are also deemed “religious iconography.” #BahHumbug pic.twitter.com/sxzqDXLLqY
— Jon Miltimore (@miltimore79) December 14, 2017
“Decorations, music, and food should be general and not specific to any one religion,” it reads.
Ironically, the pamphlet discouraging displays of religious symbolism was distributed at an event entitled “Respective Religious Diversity” on campus earlier this month. Some religious freedom advocates say this is a perverse misunderstanding of religious diversity.
“It makes little sense to celebrate religious diversity by banning any sense of actual holiday celebration,” said Montse Alvarado, executive director of Becket, a religious freedom-focused law nonprofit. “What do they have against color schemes, are we living in communist Cuba?”
The firm has named the university as the winner of the firm’s annual Ebenezer Award, which goes to the biggest Christmas scrooge of the year.
A University of Minnesota spokesperson told Fox News the guidelines were not official campus policy, but were intended to “facilitate dialogue at a voluntary, internal college event.”