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LP Monday Message: Happy Holidays - May You Enjoy Religious Freedom

December 21, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty,

It's the time of year when we see "Happy Holidays!" everywhere. I know some people don't like that phrase, but I think it indicates the variety of religious practices we have in America, which in turn shows that we enjoy significant freedom of religion.

The Libertarian Party attracts people of many religious faiths, as well as agnostics and atheists. (I think it's safe to say that's not true of all political parties.) While Libertarians often disagree on religion or the meaning of life, we largely agree on the proper role of government.

>From the Libertarian Party Platform:

    We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion. (1.1)

I personally celebrate Christmas--with family, church, gifts, and great Louisiana cooking. This Christmas, I will try to remind myself about the concept of forgiveness, something I don't always do well. Putting religion aside, I have sometimes noticed that when someone harms me, if I "let it go" without having to get even, it can create a win-win situation. And sometimes others give me a free pass when I've transgressed, which I appreciate.

I sometimes notice that many Christians around me talk about forgiveness, but when foreigners harm the United States, even a little bit, they are quick to demand revenge and inflicting punishment. I think the concept of forgiveness sometimes applies well to foreign policy too.

Happy Holidays and Peace,

Wes Benedict