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18 Dec

Taking “Christ” Out of “Christmas” on College Campuses

Under the guise of inclusivity, many colleges across the nation are promoting non-religious decorations, displays and celebrations when issuing their annual guidelines for Christmas.  They contend that public religious displays are inappropriate for Christmas – a holiday so-named because it celebrates the birth of Christ.  In their efforts “striving to make campuses as inclusive as possible in 2017” by banning Christmas displays and celebrations, these colleges are telling Christians their traditions are offensive.
*  The University of California, Irvine, encouraged a “focus on celebrating a special occasion, instead of a specific holiday” such as a “year-end celebration” or celebrate “seasonal themes such as fall, winter, or spring.”
*  The State University of New York at Brockport issued decorating guidelines.  “Keep decorations general and non-specific to any religion.  Create a winter theme with lights and color rather than religious icons …”  Brockport advised employees to “consider a grab bag instead of a ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchange.
*  Missouri State University barred “religious icons”  and recommended displaying snowmen, bells, flowers, and other nondescript items.
*  Life University in Georgia, Eastern Connecticut State University, and others, are  holding a holiday decorating contest that considers “inclusiveness, or how the decorations are respectful of all religious winter holidays.”
*  Many colleges are leaving off the word “Christmas” to describe annual tree lighting ceremonies.
       (, 12/10/17;, 12/6/17;, 12/11/17)
“There were only a few shepherds at the first Bethlehem.  The ox and the donkey understood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem.  And it is the same today.”    Thomas Merton, Catholic monk and author

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12 Rules for Christmas

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Free to Speak:
Our public schools are not “God-Free Zones”

America’s children need not leave their faith at the school house door.

For students to be silenced or disciplined by an authority figure, for appropriate religious expression should never happen. Sadly, young students may well conclude…

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Religious Freedom Resources

Educational resources for parish members who work to support Religious Freedoms.

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At World Meeting of Families: Defending Freedom of Religion

WorldMeetingofFamiliesBarbara Samuells, president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion and a parishioner at St. Matthew’s, Dix Hills, shares her experience at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

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Religious Freedom: Our First Amendment Right

In Service to the Church

Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.

Pope blesses boy as he leaves audience in St. Peter's Square at VaticanPope Francis has observed that “religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.” Evangelii Gaudium. . . , no. 183. In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said that this work belongs to “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” Therefore, catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. If religious liberty is not properly understood, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that individuals make every day, both here at home and overseas.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion
Mission Statement


America’s First Amendment guarantees its citizens five freedoms, the first of which is Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship according to one’s beliefs as well as the freedom to practice that faith in everyday life according to one’s conscience.

So that this First Amendment freedom may be practiced and preserved for generations yet unborn it is essential that Americans understand this freedom and the circumstances from which it came. A fitting place for the development of this understanding and protection of Religious Freedom is inside all faith communities.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion offers resources to parish members who work to support Religious Freedom by initiating parish laity groups with these suggested goals:

  • To educate and inspire for Freedom of Religion
  • To remain non-partisan, advocating for no candidate or party
  • To invite and include other faith communities
  • To become a permanent group within each parish to educate every generation of Catholics about our Freedom of Religion…how rare it is, how dearly it was purchased for us and how certainly it is being lost.
  • To recognize and oppose attacks on Freedom of Religion from any source

“We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.” James Madison

“While Americans presume that the Constitution guarantees their rights, in practice our rights survive or disappear based on how firmly we defend them.” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Phone 631-896-8331

National Religious Freedom Day

Click here to view a video about National Religious Freedom Day 2014.