‘Tis the season of celebration. The landscape of our everyday lives is transformed with the glow of candles, jingle of bells, fragrance of pine and spice, wrapping paper and ribbons, feasting, and festivity. There is a touch of magic and miracle in the air.
'Twas the night before the holiday, when all through the house
Every creature was stirring, even the spouse;
Tossing and turning, sleepless with fear,
In hopes that there will be no family drama this year;
Though some observers argue that we live in a “secular age,” religion remains central in many Americans’ lives. More than half of us describe ourselves as “religious” and worship regularly in churches, temples, and mosques, mostly churches. The number was even larger in previous generations, and, in truth, far more grew up “religious” than not. For most of us, religion was a positive influence in childhood: a set of beliefs, a way of seeing the world, and a pattern of ritual that offered meaning, comfort, and community. But for some, religion proved a source of trauma.