UPDATE:

Sen Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) have responded with a letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.

A small Oklahoma town is enraged after Federal Reserve examiners told a hometown bank that it must remove crosses, Bible verses, and Christmas buttons from display because they could be offensive. The bank says the Fed told it the Christian paraphernalia violated federal bank regulations.

KOCO-TV reports:

Federal Reserve examiners come every four years to make sure banks are complying with a long list of regulations. The examiners came to Perkins [the town] last week. And the team from Kansas City deemed a Bible verse of the day, crosses on the teller’s counter and buttons that say “Merry Christmas, God With Us.” were inappropriate. The Bible verse of the day on the bank’s Internet site also had to be taken down. [...]

Specifically, the feds believed, the symbols violated the discouragement clause of Regulation B of the bank regulations. According to the clause, “…the use of words, symbols, models and other forms of communication … express, imply or suggest a discriminatory preference or policy of exclusion.”

The feds interpret that to mean, for example, a Jew or Muslin or atheist may be offended and believe they may be discriminated against at this bank. It is an appearance of discrimination.

Local residents were upset, with one woman calling it “absurd” while another man called it “ridiculous.”

The news station says the bank has contacted Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) and U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R), as well as the Oklahoma Bankers association, for help.