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The December Dilemma

$15.50 USD
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Grades 8-12     

The December Dilemma is a thought experiment that explores the ethical conflict between interfaith dialogue and the separation of church and state. It centers around the contentious issue of displaying religious symbols, particularly creches (nativity scenes), in public spaces during the holiday season.

The Dilemma:


    • Interfaith Dialogue: Proponents of the display argue that it fosters community spirit, inclusivity, and respect for diverse religious traditions. They believe that showcasing a creche in public spaces is an opportunity to educate and engage people of different faiths in a spirit of understanding and appreciation.


    • Separation of Church and State: Opponents argue that such displays violate the principle of separation of church and state, establishing a government preference for Christianity and potentially alienating or offending individuals from non-Christian backgrounds. They believe that public spaces should remain neutral and inclusive of all faiths.


Community Deliberations:

The December Dilemma typically presents a hypothetical scenario in which a community must decide whether or not to allow a creche to be displayed on public property. This scenario is designed to stimulate discussion and encourage critical reflection on the complex issues involved.

Factors to Consider:


    • Local context: The decision should be made with sensitivity to the specific religious demographics and historical context of the community.


    • Public purpose: Is the display intended to celebrate the holiday season, promote historical or cultural understanding, or solely for religious purposes?


    • Alternative options: Can the community find alternative ways to celebrate the holidays that are inclusive and respectful of all faiths?


    • Legal considerations: Are there any local, state, or federal laws that may impact the decision?


Finding Common Ground:

The December Dilemma underscores the importance of finding common ground and fostering open dialogue on sensitive issues related to religion and public spaces. By engaging in respectful and thoughtful discussion, communities can strive to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

Additional Resources:


    • National Religious Campaign Against Torture


    • Religious Freedom & Business Foundation


    • Interfaith Center of New York


    • Becket Law



The December Dilemma offers no easy answers, but it provides a valuable framework for exploring the complex interplay between interfaith dialogue and the separation of church and state. By engaging in respectful discourse and considering all perspectives, communities can strive to find solutions that promote inclusivity, understanding, and respect for all.

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The December Dilemma

$15.50 USD

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