Back in college, I thought I was tremendously clever one year when I sent out hand-calligraphed cards that read: "May the holiday season fill your soul with the spirit of bloody guerrilla warfare against the forces of religious homogenization."
My goal was to emphasize the dual irony that, while Chanukah celebrates a military victory against those who would strip us of our Jewishness, many people lump it in with the Christmas message of "Peace on Earth".
I don't think we can joke about that irony any more. The events of the past decade have reminded us of how easy it is for people to delude themselves into thinking that God wants them to kill.( Some thoughts on defending our conscience. )
And so we walk a tightrope. On the one hand, Chanukah is essentially about maintaining our distinct religious identity, and not being "like everyone else" --- not by force, and not by persuasion. But there are dangers in letting that strong religious identity turn into such certainty in our faith that we would sacrifice others for it.