Reading Time: 2 minutes

On Monday night, during a meeting of the Tuscumbia City Council in Alabama, many Christians spoke out against a secular “Festival of Yule” that will soon take place in their community. They expressed their utter ignorance of how the law works, along with a general disdain for anything that doesn’t promote Jesus. One of the speakers specifically cited my earlier piece on the matter as proof that the family-friendly festival meant to bring joy to the community while supporting small businesses was actually an advertisement for atheism.

The festival, taking place on December 3, is being organized by Kendall Gilchrist, the owner of Hesperia Mystic Shoppe. She ran a similar event in nearby Florence last year—complete with a 7.5-foot statue of Krampus—and decided to apply for a permit in Tuscumbia this time around.

City officials have been fully supportive of her efforts, which may be why so many locals are angry.

For about 30 minutes on Monday, Christian after Christian came up to the microphone during the public comments portion of the meeting to express fear and resentment that their town would grant a permit for this non-Christian (some falsely said “Satanic”) event. That happened even after Gilchrist herself spoke earlier during the meeting to explain the true intentions of her event and how it wasn’t the bogeyman so many people online were portraying it to be.

Here’s just a sampling of what they said. (And a hearty pat on the back to OnlySky’s “Herman Mehta,” whoever he is.)

Last night, Gilchrist told me she expects to see “major churches in the area protesting at the festival,” but she’s confident the city will remain on her side. After all, she did everything by the book and there’s no legal reason to rescind her permit application.

Christian ignorance doesn’t create an exception to the law.

Avatar photo

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.