The announcement, entitled “Guidelines for Holiday Decorations for King County Employees,” told county employees that religious symbols could not appear in their video backgrounds. While images of snowflakes, wreaths, and pine trees are still permissible, the grinch-like King County HR department has made it its mission to erase religious emblems from the online workplace this holiday season.

King County’s rationale for banning religious symbols—that it might offend coworkers—also conflicts with Becket’s latest findings in our Religious Freedom Index. Overall, we found that 85 % percent of Americans support the freedom to express or share religious beliefs with others, which would certainly include displaying a nativity scene or menorah in someone’s video background.

“Religious employees of King County will likely feel like the ransacked residents of Whoville this Christmas and Hanukkah season,” said Montse Alvarado, COO and executive director of Becket. “The government has no right to rob its employees of holiday cheer by forcing them to take down their nativity sets and menorahs, particularly in their own homes.”

Each year the Christmas and Hanukkah season inspires a slew of outrageous offenses against the free exercise of religion. At Becket, we do Santa’s dirty work for him, delivering a lump of coal as an acknowledgment of scroogery on a grand scale.