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Religious Freedom: The Greatest Gift Of All

Note: This blog post is a re-publication of an item that originally appeared on Christmas Day, 2007. Happy Holidays to all!

It's Christmas. Some Americans are observing this day by attending religious services, others are celebrating in a mostly secular fashion while still others aren't making note of it at all.

What could be better than to have the right to choose for yourself?

‘Merry Christmas’ In May?: Texas Legislators Reaffirm Right To Use Holiday Greeting

Texas legislators appear to have too much time on their hands. Members of the House of Representatives just passed legislation protecting everyone’s right to say “Merry Christmas.”

That’s right. It’s mid-May, and some Lone Star lawmakers are worried about Christmas and how it might be acknowledged in public schools. They’re so worried, in fact, that they’ve passed a bill guaranteeing the right to say “Merry Christmas” and display certain holiday symbols in schools. Read more

Holiday Humbug: Sarah Palin Plots To Restore The True Meaning Of Christmas

As I glance out my office window today at the snowflakes drifting down from the leaden gray skies of Washington, D.C., I have to keep reminding myself that spring will be here soon – on Wednesday, actually.

But, of course, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas – especially if you’re Sarah Palin. Read more

Christmas Confusion: Religious Right Keeps Looking For God In All The Wrong Places

The broken record that is Mat Staver, founder of the Religious Right group Liberty Counsel, is at it again: Christmas is under attack. Christmas is under attack. Christmas is under attack.

You could have fooled me. I stopped in a local mall last weekend, and it sure looked to me like Christmas was in full swing. On my way there, I passed more than one church with a Nativity scene on its lawn. Based on the decorations on my block alone, which include both the secular and the sacred, you’d have a hard time not knowing it’s Christmastime. Read more

‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – which means it’s time for the Religious Right to start carping about the so-called “war on Christmas.”

Actually, there have already been several developments in this alleged war. As an unwilling combatant, I’d like to give you a little round-up of the action so far. Read more

Frankly, This Is Silly: Two Congressmen Gripe About Being Forced To Pay For Their Own Holiday Cards

One of the perks of being a member of Congress is access to a “free” mail system. Senators and representatives can send information to constituents about legislation, congressional votes or other government-related matters and “frank” the envelope, with the taxpayer picking up the stamp. (It’s not really free because you and I pay for it.)

The franking system isn’t for personal mail. If you’re a member of Congress and want to drop Aunt Gertrude a note to ask how her gall bladder surgery went, you must pay for the stamp yourself. Read more

Christmas Cranks: Rhode Island Governor Under Fire For ‘Holiday Tree’

My family and I are planning to get a Christmas tree this weekend. We usually opt for a Fraser fir. They’re attractive trees with sharp needles that discourage our two cats from getting too close.

I have no problem calling it a Christmas tree because we celebrate Christmas. But if someone called it a “holiday tree” or even “a seasonal evergreen display,” I wouldn’t much care. The holiday will come either way, and we’ll still experience all of our traditions. Read more

Of Courthouses And Creches: The Crucial Difference Between Public And Private Religious Symbols

One of the Religious Right’s favorite tricks is to do something that pretty much everyone agrees is legal, and then thumb their noses at groups like Americans United when nobody gets in trouble for doing it. Read more

Creche Clash Averted: Connecticut Community Defuses Christmas Controversy

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, we’re racing full throttle toward Christmas. Tree lots and holiday lights have already sprung up in my neighborhood. (How much time did you spend shopping online yesterday? Be honest.)

For those who celebrate the holiday, it’s a festive time of year, marked with twinkling lights, decorated trees, greeting cards, rich food, gifts and social events with family and friends. For many, it’s also a time of religious devotion, attending services at their chosen house of worship. It’s supposed to be a time of goodwill and good cheer. Read more

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