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nativity scene in Questioning the Constitutionality of Celebrating Religious Holidays at Public Expense.     It is unconstitutional for local, state or federal governments to favor one religion over another?   Government can show favoritism toward religion by displaying religious symbols in public places at taxpayer expense, by sponsoring events like Christmas  concerts, caroling, or by supporting the teaching of  religious ideas. It appears the United States government has had a history of favoring Christianity.  The United States government's favoritism of Christianity  is a clear violation of the First Amendment.  This amendment  states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an  establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."   There  is another reference to religion in Article 6, Section 3.  This clause states "the United States and the several  States shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution,  but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any  office or public trust under the United States."    There have been several court cases on this and related issues which include Engel vs. Vitale, Everson vs. the Board of Education,  and Lynch vs. Donnelly,  the "Creche case".  In 1947, in the Everson vs. Board of Education  case, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th amendment  prevented the States and the and the Federal government  from setting up a church, passing laws that favor any religion, or using tax money to support any religion. Justice Hugo Black  "incorporated" the First Amendment's establishment clause into the 14th Amendment which states that "the State shall not deny any  person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws and due  process.  After this trial, people began to question whether school  prayer was constitutional  (pg. 93-94, Klinker).  The "creche case," Lynch vs. Donnelly, came from Rhode Island in 1980. In this case, the city offical included  a creche, or nativity scene, in their city's annual Christmas  display that included all traditional Christmas symbols.   Chief Justice Warren E. Burger represented the court's opinion  when he stated that, "Nor does the constitution require complete separation of church and state; it affirmatively  mandates accommodation, not merely tolerance, of all religions,  and forbids hostility toward any."  Justices Brennan, Marshall, Blackman, and Stevens dissented.  They thought the "primary effect of including a  nativity scene in the city's display is. . . to place the government's impremature approval on the particular religion's beliefs exemplified by the creche."   They argued that it clearly violated the First Amendment (p. 99, Witt).  These cases demonstrate a pattern of Constitutional thought by high  courts prohibiting the promotion of particular religious ideas, and the  spending of tax dollars on events that promote particular religious views.   A logical extension of this pattern can be made to the spending of tax  dollars for decorating towns on religious holidays, such as Christmas.  Local, state, and federal governments attempt to get around the prohibitions of the Everson and Lynch  cases by decorating the streets in town with non-religious symbols  such as lights, trees, wreaths and other objects that symbolize the  season.  But, religious people think the season itself has religious  meaning. Using tax money to decorate for a religious holiday not celebrated by everyone is unconstitutional because these symbols support one religion over no religion. The First Amendment prohibits this.  We understand that public school prayer discriminates  against some religious views so it is prohibited in public  schools.  Similarly, Christmas concerts play a role similar  to the teaching of creationism and prayer. The Christmas  concerts subconsiously influence students toward the beliefs of Christianity. To be fair to non-Christian groups, converting "Christmas" concerts to "Holiday" concerts would maintain the "separation of church and state."   One could recognize the beliefs of many religions or none.  One could play music from several religions or non-religious music.    Religion is a personal belief.  There are so many  religions to choose from, including the choice of no religion.  It is impossible to decide that one belief is right and another is wrong.  So it is reasonable to say that it is unconstitutional for government to favor Christianity over other religions, including Athieism.  Instead of using tax dollars to decorate the streets for the holidays, we could use the money for other things like playgrounds and  helping the homeless. ... more

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Christmas Traditions Around th

RELIGIOUS PRACTICE AND POPULAR CUSTOMS  
The Bible provides no guidelines that explain how Christmas should be observed, nor does it even suggest that it should be considered a religious holiday. Because of the lack of biblical instructions, Christmas rituals have been shaped by the religious and popular traditions of each culture that celebrates the holiday.
On Christmas Eve, churches around the world hold evening services. At midnight, most Catholic and many Protestant churches hold special candlelight services. The Catholic midnight Mass was first introduced by the Roman Catholic Church in the 5th century.
In Greece  The Greek Christmas, or Christougenna, pays respect to the Nativity of Christ while also incorporating popular superstitions. On Christmas Eve, Greek children go from house to house knocking on doors and singing Greek songs that tell of the arrival of the Christ child. The family celebration focuses on a Christmas Eve dinner, which, in the Greek Orthodox tradition, follows several weeks of fasting. According to legend, mischievous, often hideous looking elves called Kallikantzaroi wreak havoc in houses for the next 12 days. Burning incense or leaving a peace offering is supposed offer some protection against the elves. Most families decorate a small wooden cross with basil and dip it into a shallow bowl of water. This is believed to give the water holy powers. The water is then sprinkled throughout the house to keep the mischievous spirits away.

In Russia  After the Russian Revolution of 1917, authorities of the newly formed USSR prohibited the practice of all religions. After the USSR broke up in 1991, the Russian Orthodox Church revived Christmas rituals. Like the Greeks, some Russians fast during a period before Christmas. Then, at the sight of the first star in the sky on Christmas Eve, a 12-course supper begins, with one course for each of Jesus 12 disciples. The meal includes , or beet soup; stuffed cabbage; and kutiya, a dish of whole wheat grains soaked in water for hours and seasoned with honey, nuts, and crushed poppy seeds.
In Italy  
During the Christmas season Italians perform music at shrines of the Virgin Mary. They also play songs at the homes of carpenters in honor of Saint Joseph, who was a carpenter. On Christmas Eve, after a day of fasting, Italians enjoy a feast of eels and a spaghetti dish with anchovies called cennone. Santa Claus is not a prominent figure in Italian folklore. Instead, Italian children wait for La Befana, a good witch who rides her broom to their homes on Epiphany to distribute gifts. According to folk belief, La Befana was too busy to accompany the Three Wise Men on their journey to visit the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Now, to make up for her failing, she visits all good children and leaves them treats.
In France  Christmas in France is called Nol. Celebrations reach their peak on Christmas Eve, which tends to be more wild than solemn, especially in the cities. The festival meal is , a midnight supper that may consist of oysters, sausages, baked ham, fowl, fruit, pastries, and wine. In the French countryside, families often burn a large Yule log and preserve the ashes to protect the home from evil during the coming year.
In Spain  Spaniards attend church at Christmas, but during the Christmas season they also participate in seasonal rituals that can be traced back to pagan times. For example, townspeople gather in village squares around an "urn of fate." Each person writes his or her name on a piece of paper and places it in the urn. A designated person then draws the names out, two at a time. According to an old belief, those whose names are drawn together will be best friends for the coming year.
Some Spaniards also play a traditional game called Catalonia as part of their observance of Christmas. To play the game, adults fill a hollow tree trunk with candy and nuts, and children hit the tree with long sticks, trying to knock out the treats. As part of their Christmas celebration, Puerto Ricans go caroling in small processions called trullas. Most people in Puerto Rico wait until the Feast of the Epiphany to exchange gifts. ... more

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  • N: Celebrating Religious Holidays In Public N: Celebrating Religious Holidays In Public Celebrating Religious Holidays In Public It is unconstitutional for local, state or federal governments to favor one religion over another? Government can show favoritism toward religion by displaying religious symbols in public places at taxpayer expense, by sponsoring events like Christmas concerts, caroling, or by supporting the teaching of religious ideas. It appears the United States government has had a history of favoring Christianity. The United States government's favoritism of Christia...
  • A: Questioning the Constitutionality of Celebrating R A: Questioning the Constitutionality of Celebrating R Questioning the Constitutionality of Celebrating Religious Holidays at Public Expense It is unconstitutional for local, state or federal governments to favor one religion over another? Government can show favoritism toward religion by displaying religious symbols in public places at taxpayer expense, by sponsoring events like Christmas concerts, caroling, or by supporting the teaching of religious ideas. It appears the United States government has had a history of favoring Christianity. The Unit...
  • T: Christmas Traditions Around th T: Christmas Traditions Around th Christmas Traditions Around th RELIGIOUS PRACTICE AND POPULAR CUSTOMS The Bible provides no guidelines that explain how Christmas should be observed, nor does it even suggest that it should be considered a religious holiday. Because of the lack of biblical instructions, Christmas rituals have been shaped by the religious and popular traditions of each culture that celebrates the holiday. On Christmas Eve, churches around the world hold evening services. At midnight, most Catholic and many Protes...
  • I: Christmas History I: Christmas History Christmas History Christmas History The word Christmas comes from the old English Cristes maesse meaning Christ\'s Mass. The Holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The actual birthday of Jesus is not known; therefore, the early Church Fathers in the 4th century fixed the day around the old Roman Saturnalia festival (17 - 21 December), a traditional pagan festivity. The first mention of the birthday of Jesus is from the year 354 AD. Gradually all Christian churches, except Armenians who ...
  • V: Christianity V: Christianity Christianity Christianity Christianity Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.1 A simple directive spoken by God himself through Jesus Christ in the Sermon at the Mount, this Great Commission has impacted a countless number of lives throughout the years. The command given by Jesus at that...
  • I: Christianity I: Christianity Christianity Christianity Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.1 A simple directive spoken by God himself through Jesus Christ in the Sermon at the Mount, this Great Commission has impacted a countless number of lives throughout the years. The command given by Jesus at that time was act...
  • T: Sandro Botticelli: The Renaissance Artist T: Sandro Botticelli: The Renaissance Artist Sandro Botticelli: The Renaissance Artist Sandro Botticelli, born Alessandro Mariano Filipepi, was the son of a tanner. He was born in Florence around 1445 and showed a talent for painting at a very early age. Botticelli was first apprenticed under a goldsmith named Sandro, from whom it is believed he derived his nickname. At the age of sixteen, he served an apprenticeship with the painter Fra Filippo Lippi (Durant, 1953). From Lippi he learned to create the effect of transparency, to draw outli...
  • Y: A plethora of people have written about Y: A plethora of people have written about ya A plethora of people have written about Woody Allen, John Lahr said and they either like him or dislike him. But no one has yet managed, I think, to interpret him. Woody Allen has been revered as one of the brilliant artists of the twentieth century and at the same time called a pervert. His works have been called jokes but also masterpieces. Many critics have tried to explain why Allen writes the things he writes but not one has had success. The drive and brilliance of Allen has not been...
  •  : Sandro Boticelli : Sandro Boticelli Sandro Boticelli Sandro Botticelli, (1445-1510) was a famous Renaissance ari t. His real name was Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi; his nickname came from Botticello (little barrel), which was either the nickname of his older brother or the name of the goldsmith who first taught him. Botticelli was born in Florence to the tanner Marianno di Vanni and his wife in a small place called Smeralda which is now Borgo Ognissanti No. 28 in Florence. He was one of eight children born to his parents, Botti...
  • S: x-mas S: x-mas x-mas To me Christmas is a celebration, which includes spending time with my family, decorating the entire house, inside and out, and shopping, for the people I love. Doing this with the people I love is what means the most to me. Spending Christmas with my family is very important to me. We usually gather and celebrate at my parents house, in East Tennessee. My husband, our three children, and myself travel from California. My two sisters, their husbands, and children come from a nearby town, ...
  • C: Sandro Botticelli: The Renaissance Artist C: Sandro Botticelli: The Renaissance Artist Sandro Botticelli: The Renaissance Artist Sandro Botticelli, born Alessandro Mariano Filipepi, was the son of a tanner. He was born in Florence around 1445 and showed a talent for painting at a very early age. Botticelli was first apprenticed under a goldsmith named Sandro, from whom it is believed he derived his nickname. At the age of sixteen, he served an apprenticeship with the painter Fra Filippo Lippi (Durant, 1953). From Lippi he learned to create the effect of transparency, to draw outli...
  • E: Christianity In The New World E: Christianity In The New World Christianity In The New World The Catholic Church during the Middle Ages played an all encompassing role over the lives of the people and the government. As the Dark Ages came to a close the ideas of the Renaissance started to take hold, and the church\'s power gradually began to wain. The monarchies of Europe also began to grow replacing the church\'s power. Monarchies, at the close of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance, did not so much seek the guidance of the church as much as it...
  • N: Shakespeares As You Like It - The Doubtful Truth N: Shakespeares As You Like It - The Doubtful Truth Shakespeare's As You Like It - The Doubtful Truth of Masks Shakespeare As You Like It Essays The Doubtful Truth of Masks in As You Like It The most obvious concern of As You Like It is love, and particularly the attitudes and the language appropriate to young romantic love. Here the role of Rosalind is decisive, and much of one's response to this play will depend upon ones reaction to her. Rosalind is Shakespeare's greatest and most vibrant comic female role. The focus of this essay is Rosali...
  • E: Eddie Xiaofan Zhu E: Eddie Xiaofan Zhu Eddie Xiaofan Zhu 0348937, M.A. student Early Modern Theatre, essay 2 Drs. H. E. A. L. Duchenne 14, January, 2004-1-14 VILLAIN'S REVENGE The Roles of the Villain in Shakespeare's Plays Among the numerous roles in Shakespeare's plays, there are some villains profoundly depicted, each exhibiting some unique features in personality and mindset. Their villainousness is so striking that the reader of the plays cannot help contemplating the dark side of human nature and exploring the motives of thei...
  •  : The gallery report : The gallery report the gallery report The poisoning of the American south by Richard Misrach Since the late 70s, Richard Misrach has been known for his large format, eight by ten inch color photographs of the Nevada desert. His epic series of 18 Cantos or groups, of photographs range from lyrical to political. The west was a vision or absolute purity, Misrach tries to temper that reverence with the truth about moms occupation of the land. In 1999, Misrach accepted a commission from Atlantas High museum of ar...
  • I: Christiantiy In the new world I: Christiantiy In the new world Christiantiy In the new world The Catholic Church during the Middle Ages played an all encompassing role over the lives of the people and the government. As the Dark Ages came to a close the ideas of the Renaissance started to take hold, and the church\'s power gradually began to wain. The monarchies of Europe also began to grow replacing the church\'s power. Monarchies, at the close of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance, did not so much seek the guidance of the church as much as it...
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  • Christianity Christianity Christianity Christianity Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.1 A simple directive spoken by God himself through Jesus Christ in the Sermon at the Mount, this Great Commission has impacted a countless number of lives throughout the years. The command given by Jesus at that time was act...
  • Christianity Christianity Christianity Christianity Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 1 A simple directive spoken by God himself through Jesus Christ in the Sermon at the Mount, this Great Commission has impacted a countless number of lives throughout the years. The command given by Jesus at that time was actu...
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  • Catholic Churchin The New World Catholic Churchin The New World Catholic Churchin The New World During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church played an all-encompassing role in the lives of the people and the government. As the Dark Ages came to a close, the ideas of the Renaissance started to take hold, and the church\'s power gradually began to diminish. The monarchies of Europe also began to grow, replacing the church\'s power. Monarchies, at the close of the Middle Ages and the dawn of the Renaissance, did not so much seek the guidance of the church as muc...