There is a flip side to this issue and it is one that is going on at the moment.
Up in Olympia, Washington, at the State Capitol, a battle between Christianity and Aethiesm is ensuing. A Nativity Scene was first put in place. Recently, a sign stating things such as "There is no god. There is no devil. There is no heaven. There is no hell. There is only the natural world" was erected. As you may already have heard, this story spread like wildfire. Even Bill O'Reilly jumped on the band wagon with his usual over-reactionary commentary.
As a result, the Governor's office reportedly began receiving upwards of 200 calls per hour, most wanting the sign removed.
This is no different than those wanting to see the quieting of the religious aspects of Christmas.
However, what I have not yet seen discussed is the obvious: I thought we had a Separation of Church and State in this country. Therefore, a Nativity Scene does not belong in a State building. And as such, neither does this sign.
That being said, if we were truly enlightened, if we were truly able to stand side by side as Jews, Christian's, Muslims, Hindu's, Buddhist, Athiest's, Wiccan, Agnostics and the thousands of other religious philosophies and labels we embrace while ceasing to impose our belief and our will on those wearing different labels, we wouldn't NEED the Separation of Church and State to begin with. We would truly honor the diversity and be open to seeing and celebrating the likeness. We would be able to see symbols and statues and signs and statements all over the planet, each proclaiming "This is what I believe" and not take offense.
But we are not yet there. Therefore, we are not as enlightened as we could be. And we are not yet free.
So what say you. Could you allow yourself to become comfortable with the side-by-side display of different religious philosophies? Maybe that question could be worked into our focus and explored, thoughtfully, this time of year.