'World of Difference' discusses religious expression during holidays on WPSU

As Christmas approaches, Americans begin to display differing opinions on public displays of religion. Some Americans feel that religious displays are inappropriate; while others feel that it's their right to show their holiday spirit. "World of Difference" at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, on WPSU-TV/FM will examine what is acceptable to say and display during the holiday season.

The program is a live, call-in show, and host Pamela Monk and guests will take audience questions concerning the controversy raised by holiday expressions. A few of the major issues to be discussed are whether schools may advertise a "Christmas" concert and whether schoolchildren attending a public school should be made to sing religious hymns for a concert and use religious symbols in art projects. The show will tackle the question of whether or not it is acceptable to have aNativity scene or any other religious symbols, such as a menorah, on public land. The program also will discuss if it is offensive to wish a nonChristian person "Merry Christmas."

Guests on the show will be attorney Sara Rose of the ACLU of Pennsylvania and a representative from the Alliance Defense Fund. Rose is based in Pittsburgh, the site of the landmark 1989 Establishment Clause case in Allegheny County. In that case, it was ruled that a creche scene (Nativity cradle) on the steps of the county courthouse violated the idea of separation of church and state and was inappropriate. The Alliance Defense Fund is a legal alliance that exists "to defend Americans' religious freedom," among other rights. The Alliance Defense Fund is behind a campaign called "Merry Christmas: It's OK to Say It."

The live call-in discussion will be simulcast on WPSU-TV and WPSU-FM, and can be streamed at http://live.psu.edu and http://wpsu.org online. Viewers and listeners may join in the discussion by calling (800) 543-8242. A monthly program on WPSU-TV and WPSU-FM, "World of Difference" features discussion of a variety of topics surrounding diversity issues. The program reaches viewers, listeners and Web users.

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Last Updated April 22, 2010