- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Glimmer of hope
"Our schools have turned into a breeding ground for hostility towards Christmas.
"What must a young child think when her teacher tells her that it is wrong to sing about Christmas? How must students feel when their classroom is decorated with the symbols of Hanukkah, Ramadan and Kwanzaa, but there is not even a Christmas tree in sight?
"The signs everywhere are discouraging, but at least there is one glimmer of hope. We have a president who has the principles to honor Christmas for what it really is and what it should represent. When President Bush gave his speech at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, he spoke reverently about the holiday:
"'The simple story we remember during this season speaks to every generation. It is the story of a quiet birth in a little town, on the margins of an indifferent empire. Yet that single event set the direction of history and still changes millions of lives. For over two millennia, Christmas has carried the message that God is with us and, because He's with us, we can always live in hope.'
"The message of Christmas is one of hope, peace and joy. It is a holiday that can and should be embraced by all, regardless of their religious beliefs. If we continue to allow these grade school Grinches to take this day from us and our children, we have only ourselves to blame."
David Montgomery, writing on "A PC Christmas," Monday in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

Coed covens
"Syracuse University students recently lit candles in the school's Hendricks Chapel. What made this event unusual, however, was the fact that these students were members of the Syracuse University Pagan Society.
"No one objected to the event, held in the same center used by Christian, Jewish and Muslim students, according to Hendricks Chapel Dean Rev. Thomas Wolfe.
"'There is a cultural shift with college students identifying themselves less as religious and more as spiritual,' Wolfe told Fox News.
"'On campuses today, sorcery and witchcraft no longer carry a negative connotation for many students, especially girls, who are particularly vulnerable,' Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, a cultural think tank, told C&F; Report."
Martha Kleder, writing on "College Coeds Experiment with Paganism," Dec. 17 in the Culture and Family Report

'Pervasive anxiety'
"Odds are that the pulled-together young woman you encounter riding up in the elevator, emerging from the gym, or riding the subway wearing sleek professional attire but no wedding ring is struggling to meet someone to spend her life with.
"The 30-something woman of today is three times more likely to be single than her counterpart of the 1970s.
"It is this pervasive anxiety on the part of unmarried young women that explains the current popularity of such movies, television shows, and books as 'Bridget Jones' Diary,' 'Sex and the City,' and 'Cowboys Are My Weakness,' all of which feature 30-something women struggling to find men.
"In a new book, 'Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of the New Single Woman,' the social historian Barbara Dafoe Whitehead considers the challenges facing the contemporary single woman in her search for a mate, and argues that the prevailing courtship system must be transformed.
"What she found was that at the time in their lives when they feel ready for a partner, young women are at a loss as to how to find one. Contemporary young women, she points out, have been raised to seek fulfilling careers rather than husbands.
"Many women in this situation begin to feel a growing sense of panic, as they fear that their chances for the life they envisioned for themselves are slipping away."
Sage Stossel, writing on "In Search of Mr. Right," Dec. 18 in Atlantic Unbound at www.theatlantic.com

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