Tis the season for perennial battles between true believers and atheists, between mass marketers and the devout souls who worry about blatant commercialization of "the holiday season."
While it may seem like it's getting worse then ever, learning more about the facts behind these arguments might help all of us understand one another a bit better, suggest legal and religious history experts at Washington University in St. Louis.
WUSTL scholar explains how Christians and non-Christians can begin to understand one other
While some Christians may declare there’s a war on Christmas and choose to proclaim their faith with the shout of a billboard, some atheists find it an equally opportune time to boldly express their disdain for the holiday that has been foisted upon them.There may be no easy solutions to this modern-day religious war, but one religious historian says that we all might be a little better off if we simply took the time to try and understand one another.
Roots of secular Christmas celebrations go deep into American history
While many may see “taking Christ out of Christmas” as a recent phenomenon, the roots of secular Christmas celebrations and commercialization go deep into American history, says Anne Blankenship, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate at the John C. Danforth Center for Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.
Cost of religious victory may outweigh the benefit says legal expert
“The Supreme Court’s approach to public religious displays under the Establishment Clause has been less than clear,” says John Inazu, JD, expert on religion and the constitution and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. Future litigation could bring more clarity, but even apparent victories for religious liberty may come at a significant cost, he says.