The Point of it All - A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors
Charles Krauthammer
Contributed by Jerrold Mcmenamin
Chapter 11
Summary

Chapter 11: Church and State

Krauthammer begins by comparing the American Revolution to that of France. He emphasizes on the way the French people had the ambitions of abolishing religions from their country to the extent of drawing their own calendar that would remove Sundays from existence (Krauthammer 179). The author also mentions the change in the American way of life where religious practices and symbols have become a separate entity from the state. Further, the author talks about Christmas and Hanukkah. It seems that people are constantly fighting to remove the essence of Christmas as they think it makes the minority groups uncomfortable. Although the majority of Americans are Christians, the author cannot stop wondering about the issue of the people pretending that Christmas is not an important holiday, despite its religious meaning.

In addition to that, Krauthammer discusses the current issue of hospitals asking people their religious preferences. He sees this as a way the hospitals use to protect themselves in case the patient dies during hospitalization. According to the author, religious intolerance is a common notion in America today since people do not want any religious exposure outside their religious beliefs.

Analysis

Here, Krauthammer is trying to unravel the issues surrounding religions in the US and around the world. His first approach of mentioning the French Revolution is a way of showing his readers that the US is not so badly off when it comes to religious tolerance and intolerance. From there, he embarks on talking about the changes observed in religious practices over time and the way the US is changing. It is clear that the nation has separated religion from the state and one cannot put up religious symbols in public places. At this point, the author is trying to make a plea for the unreasonable changes occurring everywhere in the US.

He uses Christmas as his example since it is a major Christian event and it affects the majority of the US citizens. He sees the demeaning actions taken against Christmas as absurd as they make the holiday somehow meaningless. Apart from that, he identifies it from the federal list of holidays as it really exists, and he is trying to show that people should concern themselves in making the holiday a public celebration. This goes with the singing of the Christmas carols, something usually identified with the holiday. Essentially, Krauthammer is appealing to the people who feel uncomfortable with other religions so that they can reconsider their decisions.

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