President Barack Obama has not banned Americans from sending Christmas cards to soldiers stationed overseas, despite claims in a viral post manipulated to resemble a Fox News report.
The website tdtalliance.com, whose design crudely mimics Fox News’s website, posted an article Dec. 12 headlined, "War on Christmas: Obama orders ban on Christmas cards to military." The article said Obama issued the executive order out of concern that Christmas cards would offend Muslims in the nations where soldiers are deployed.
But tdtalliance.com is not affiliated with Fox News. And the article is 100 percent fiction.
First of all, a search of all of Obama’s executive orders shows that he never issued an order banning Christmas cards to the military.
In fact, the 2016 White House holiday website prompts visitors to send a USO e-card to members of the military. One of the pre-written message options is, "We are grateful for all you do. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!"
The tdtalliance.com article quotes a Hyman Stratcher, litigation director at the Liberty Institute. The Liberty Institute is a real right-wing advocacy group based in Texas, but Stratcher is a made-up person. (The institute’s real head of litigation is named Hiram Sasser.)
The article also quotes Imam Al-Suq Akweer of the Islamic Friendship Coalition, and neither the person nor the organization are real.
Finally, the article includes an image that has been edited to look like an on-air Fox News report featuring anchor Martha MacCallum, captioned, "Obama orders ban on all Christmas cards to overseas servicemen. Pentagon to censor all outgoing mail that appears to be Christmas themed."
While Fox has published numerous stories about the so-called "War on Christmas," they did not run this fabricated story about banning Christmas cards.
Side note: In researching this fact-check, we came across a 2013 Fox article that says a Veterans Administration hospital in Dallas refused to accept cards that say "Merry Christmas." However, that article is misleading because it does not explain that a VA chaplain reviews and distributes Christmas cards to veterans who want to receive cards with a religious message.
This article claiming that Obama issued an executive order that bans sending Christmas cards to overseas soldiers is fake news, designed to deceive. Pants on Fire!https://www.sharethefacts.co/share/32fb307f-199d-41de-87b8-83ad75bcd556
Tdtalliance.com, "War on Christmas: Obama orders ban on Christmas cards to military," Dec. 12, 2016
Tdtalliance.com, "Obama launches first salvo in War on Christmas," Nov. 5, 2015
White House, "The 2016 Holidays," accessed Dec. 23, 2016
National Archives, Barack Obama Executive Orders by subject, accessed Dec. 23, 2016
USO, Holiday card form, accessed Dec. 23, 2016
Search, FoxNews.com, conducted Dec. 23, 2016
Snopes, "FALSE: Obama Launches First Salvo in War on Christmas," Nov. 5, 2015
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