The University Record, December 19, 1995

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Note to readers: The University Record welcomes letters from members of the University community.

Tolerance, acceptance of others' beliefs important
The American heritage Mr. Bender seems to be most concerned about in his most recent letter deploring the devaluing of traditional holidays (The University Record, Dec. 5, 1995) is this country's Christian heritage.

Others might place greater value on this country's tradition of tolerance for, and acceptance of, religious beliefs and values other than those of the majority group.

For those of us who cherish such values, giving people the freedom "not to participate" in a holiday celebration sponsored by a public university, as Mr. Bender suggests, is not acceptable. We prefer to celebrate the winter solstice, the lengthening days, the birth of Jesus, the oil that burned for eight days, and other miracles that unite, rather than divide, people in this and other communities.

Eleanor Singer, research scientist, Institute for Social Research