A group of Christmas carolers was thrown out of a U.S. Post Office in Silver Spring, MD, after the post office manager told them they were not allowed to sing Christmas carols on government property.
A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service confirmed the incident occurred Saturday at a branch office in the Aspen Hill Shopping Center. A trio of carolers walked into the building dressed in attire reminiscent of Charles Dickens and began singing.
FOLLOW TODD ON FACEBOOK
“They were only a few notes into their carol when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a scowling postal manager rushing to confront the carolers,” said JP Duffy, who was standing in a line with his wife and two-year-old daughter.
Duffy, who also happens to be a staff member of the Family Research Council, said he was stunned by what happened next.
“He told them that they had to leave immediately because they were violating the post office’s policy against solicitation,” Duffy said. “He told them they couldn’t do this on government property. He said: ‘You can’t go into Congress and sing and you can’t do it here either.’”
A spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service’s Capital Metro ARea said the carolers had “beautiful voices” but were told they could not perform in the lobby.
“Public assembly and public address, except when conducted or sponsored by the Postal Service, are prohibited in lobbies and other interior areas open to the public,” the spokesperson told Fox News & Commentary.
“We have rules and regulations governing conduct on postal property,” the spokesman said. “The only reason you should be inside is for postal business.”
The carolers explained that they had been performing at businesses in the shopping center for several years – including the post office – and they’ve never encountered any problems. But the post office employee refused to budge and ordered them to leave.
Duffy said that customers standing in line began to boo the postal worker.
“Over the last several years, we have watched militant secularists team up with federal bureaucrats in the effort to sterilize the public square of anything remotely connected to anything religious,” Duffy said. “This postal manager has clearly received the memo which has led him to stamp out Christmas caroling. But I have my own memo to all the Christmas carolers out there. Let’s not surrender to the secularist version of Christmas future.”
Duffy suggested that the U.S. Post Office follow the advice of its founder – Benjamin Franklin.
“So shalt thou always live jollily; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas,” Franklin once wrote.
“This is good advice that the U.S. Post Office and all of us would do well to heed,” Duffy said.