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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Dec 18, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, it is important that students and teachers are aware of their religious freedom when celebrating the holidays both in and out of the classroom. To learn more: FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


As the school semester winds down to Christmas break, it’s important to take a look at all the ways students might exercise their religious freedom in celebration of the holidays.

First, schools can celebrate “Christmas” just as easily as they can celebrate “winter.” Doing so provides an educational perspective of world history and the effect of religion upon culture.

Schools can also deck the halls in Christmas decorations. Decorations can further the cultural and religious heritage educationally important to the holiday.

Third, schools can include Christmas-themed artistic expressions in school plays. As long as its presented in an objective manner reflecting the traditions of Christmas, it’s just fine.

It is fine for students to wish one another “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” and even hand out gifts significant to their religious tradition.

As they can throughout the year, students can also reference their faith in school assignments, class discussions, and private speeches during the holidays. The First Amendment is not suspended during the Christmas season.

And, finally, school employees can discuss their religious, holiday traditions outside of their official roles as educators. This means teachers can attend Christmas parties and religious gatherings outside of work without fearing the loss of their job.

With that, perhaps the best way to conclude is merely to say: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and best wishes for a happy new year to all our students.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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