Editorial: "Workplace understanding without 'Secret Santas'"

December 18, 2001

Source: The Providence Journal


On December 18, 2001, The Providence Journal featured an opinion piece by Dr. Doug Hicks "Workplace understanding without 'Secret Santas.'" It began: "The best debates about religious diversity take place beside the water cooler in the December-holiday season at the office." Further, "September's terror has forced Americans to take a fresh look at themselves. They have discovered that the victims in New York and Virginia were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and nonreligious. Although the angry aftermath left a Sikh and a Muslim killed while people harassed Coptic Christians and Hindus and desecrated their houses of worship, most Americans are not hostile -- just confused. Broadening religious diversity in America makes the December dilemma worse. ... So, how should Christians -- the dominant influence -- act during this season of unusual religious confluence? ... There are no simple answers to the December dilemma, but a fresh perspective could help. Religion isn't a problem to be solved or avoided. A lesson Americans learned this fall is that religion -- in its diverse forms -- provides rich resources to anyone seeking comfort and mutual understanding."