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12/1/2006 - December 2006 Newsletter

December 2006 Dear Friends and Supporters, Liberal commentators of all sorts, along with politicians like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, support freedom of religious expression, but only privately. Do they really think if religious people keep religion only in the church and home, it will make a difference? In truth, if religious expression is permitted in the public square, it will engage the culture. If it is not, the culture dies for lack of values. Consider the problems of sex, drugs, money, and self-gratification. Their influence is obvious in advertising and media. Yet, there are restrictions on this expression in public schools, government buildings, and even self-imposed restrictions by commerce. Have you noticed this year’s Christmas M&Ms ads? Except for one with “Hanukkah,” none have a religious Christmas sentiment. But be not totally dismayed. Last year’s clamor has encouraged Wal-Mart to return religious Christmas themes. We hope others to follow the example. Christmas, more than any other time, brings this religious freedom to our attention. Christmas has been a religious holiday for most of us and our forefathers. America has recognized it as such. It does not matter that “holiday” is derived from the words “holy day.” This secularized term is used to avoid saying “Merry Christmas,” which is the singular term for acknowledging the meaning of Christmas. Why be surprised at the nature of Christmas in recent years? It is the natural progression of a “mortality” we have permitted in our laws, policies, practices and leisure activities. This month’s SLI newsletter contains “A Christmas Memo” first published in January 2005. We have had a number of requests for it and we are proud to publish it again. Additionally, we are providing some guidelines on Christmas rights. If you are having a problem with religious freedom because it is Christmas, or if you know someone who is, please let us know. We will be glad to help. We apologize that some of you received our November publication late. Starting a new method sometimes has glitches. We believe it is now corrected. We hope you find the new format more beneficial. Finally, we provide an explanation of how SLI operates and why your support is necessary. On behalf of the Southeast Law Institute, I wish all of you a very blessed and Merry Christmas. Yours very truly, A. Eric Johnston

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