The debate got heated last night on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" when host Bill O'Reilly and David Silverman, president of the American Atheists organization, went head to head on the issue of Christmas and Christianity.
While Silverman argued that the government needs to practice neutrality toward all religions, and therefore not honor Christmas as a federal holiday because it is a Christian tradition, O'Reilly argued that Christianity is "not a religion, it is a philosophy," and therefore all non-religious Americans can honor Christmas.
The debate began with O'Reilly, a self-proclaimed Roman Catholic, questioning Silverman: "Why are you messing around with my tradition, why are you messing around with Christmas? Just leave it alone." more >>
School officials at a community college in western North Carolina replaced the word "Christmas" with "holiday" in a student club's announcement of a Christmas tree sale aimed at raising funds for charity, says a religious freedom law group. "We cannot market your trees in association solely with a Christian event," a college official told the club, according to Alliance Defending Freedom.
Lawyers from ADF responded by sending a letter to Western Piedmont Community College pointing out that it had violated the constitutional rights of the club.
"It's ridiculous that anyone would have to think twice about using the word 'Christmas' as part of a Christmas tree sale," said Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. "Not only is it perfectly constitutional to use the word 'Christmas,' it is unconstitutional to prohibit use of it. This is another perfect example of the immense misunderstanding that far too many college officials have about what the First Amendment truly requires." more >>
An atheist organization has set up its own version of the Nativity scene in Madison, Wis., replacing the traditional Christian depiction of Jesus' birth with figures and objects honored by secularists.
"We nonbelievers don't mind sharing the season with Christians, but we think there should be some acknowledgment that the Christians really 'stole' the trimmings of Christmas, and the sun-god myths, from pagans," said Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor.
Emma Goldman, the goddess Venus, the Statue of Liberty, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson replace the magi, or wise men, in the atheist's Nativity version, while the baby Jesus has been replaced by a baby girl. more >>
LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Contrary to what many scientists believe, science points toward a creator of the universe instead of away from God, says best-selling author and Christian apologist Lee Strobel.
Speaking at a two-day Christian apologetics event at Saddleback Church in Southern California, Strobel kicked-off the series of weekend messages given by five different apologists by talking about The Case for a Creator.
"There are some scientists that will tell you that the evidence of science points away from a Creator. That it disproves the existence of a Creator," said the atheist-turned-Christian and former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune. more >>
A lawyer representing a group of churches that appears to have lost their bid to continue a nearly 60-year-old tradition of hosting a Nativity scene at a park in the beach city of Santa Monica, Calif., says the battle to preserve Christmas displays in the national public square has been lost.
"When [Monday] (11/19/2012), United States District Court Judge Audrey B Collins delivered a 28-page ruling denying my client the right to continue a 59-year-old tradition of exhibiting Nativity scenes along Ocean Boulevard in the City of Santa Monica this Christmas season, another dagger plunged into the heart of America's twilight customs and traditions. The sneered-at 'war on Christmas' was effectively lost for good," wrote William J. Becker, Jr., of The Becker Law Firm, in an article.
A controversy over the display about the birth of Jesus at Palisades Park erupted last Christmas season when an atheist group "manipulated" the city's lottery system for spaces, according to the Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee, resulting in only two booths for the Christian group that normally uses 14 booths for the various Nativity-related scenes. more >>
Patrick Greene, a self-proclaimed atheist turned Christian turned atheist again, has recently offered a large light-up star to accompany the Henderson County courthouse's public nativity display in Athens, Texas.
Greene, who purchased the star in March 2012, says that the purpose of the creation, which is from both him and his wife, is to dispel the "animosity that grew towards atheists" in the Athens area.
The star, which is four-feet long, is accompanied by a handwritten sign which reads: "This star is a gift from two Texas atheists, Merry Christmas." more >>