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CHRISTMAS -- SECULAR HOLIDAY, OR AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION OF SECTARIAN RELIGION?

December 9, 2020


Should the federal government continue to recognize Christmas (December 25) as an official holiday?

Attorney Richard Ganulin has challenged the government’s recognition of December 25, and argues that it violates the separation of church and state by preferring one religion -- Judeo-Christianity -- over others, and by promoting religion in general.

Is he right? Should atheists and state-church separationists care? (skip to poll)

A federal judge has ruled that Christmas is really a secular event, and even though it is a holiday, no one is compelled to participate in religious ritual. Mr. Ganulin says that recognizing the day most Christians consider to be one of the sacred event of the year -- one commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ -- is clearly a nod to the religious aspect of this time. He considers it discriminatory and unfair.

Increasingly, America is become a more culturally diverse place. Even the most optimistic projections of church attendance show that the majority of Americans still avoid religious services on a regular basis. We have a growing number of “other” religions, from Buddhism and Islam to Hinduism. Wiccans and pagans have become more visible, and millions of Americans -- perhaps as many as 10% of the population -- express no religious beliefs at all.

Where does this leave the Christmas holiday? Has it become “secularized” thanks to commercialism, losing its religious overtones? Or is it still a religious holiday as well?

Read our latest FlashLine story about Richard Ganulin. For futher background on Christmas, try A Nativity Potpourri, and The Bible and Jesus Myth.

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