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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas, Pagans And Religious Divergence

Have I just offended you? If you are a member of the American Family Association, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights or the Committee to Save Merry Christmas, I probably have.

For the second year in a row, conservative Christian groups have threatened boycotts of big-box and department stores whose advertisements for "holiday trees" and whose hearty if non-specific holiday well-wishes reflect, these groups say, an "anti-Christian and anti-Christmas bias."

Of course, if you are a Jew celebrating Hanukkah, or a Muslim marking Eid al-Fitr, or a neo-pagan Wiccan for whom the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) is a major observance, you probably had appreciated the more inclusive acknowledgement that the end of the year is a festive time for you, too.

Indeed, particularly if you are Wiccan, the matter of being un-included this holiday season must especially sting. A group of Wiccan families is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs for the right to bury their fallen heroes in military cemeteries in graves marked with a pentacle, the five-pointed star that symbolizes their religion, much as a cross does Christianity or a Star of David, Judaism. Full Story

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