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11 Dec

The 12 Myths of Christmas (Part 2)

Myth:  Students cannot talk about their faith and the religious origins of Christmas in class assignments.
Fact:  Schools can’t refuse to allow, punish, or give a lower grade to a student who includes a religious viewpoint in a class assignment.  Far from “establishing religion,” that would be displaying an anti-religious bias, which is unconstitutional and infringing on the free speech of students.
 
Myth:  Teachers cannot display a “Christmas tree”  in the classroom.
Fact:   No court has ruled that “Christmas” is unconstitutional.  In fact, The Supreme Court has acknowledged the governments long-standing recognition of holidays with religious significance, such as Christmas. 
 
Myth:  School choirs and bands cannot use churches as venues, because of the “separation of church and state.”
Fact:   Voluntary performances at a church do not promote religion.  “Courts have unanimously allowed students to sing Christmas carols in school.  Nothing changes when they sing the same Christmas songs at a community festival instead,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
 
Myth:  Students cannot give their classmates gifts that reference the Christian origins of the holiday.
Fact:  The Supreme Court has never ruled that public schools must prohibit the distribution of religious Christmas messages.  For example, a H.S. that forbade a student from giving out candy canes to friends with a note that described the Christian legend, later granted the student permission when ADF informed the principal of this fact.    
 

 

“Our first real Christmas as a nation was the dark and freezing Christmas of 1776, when George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware.  They and Providence gave our nation its first Christmas gift – a victory that brought us closer to liberty, the condition in which God meant man to flourish.”  President Ronald Reagan,  1984

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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

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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

www.CatholicsforFreedomofReligion.org Phone 631-896-8331


National Religious Freedom Day


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