Please, please! Don’t convert light into darkness, and darkness into light. Chanukah is not about “religious freedom” at all. It’s about a very violent insurrection led by what people today would call “fundamentalist” “extremist” theists against the atheist tyranny of the dominant secular culture of the time.
We celebrate because the fact that we won miraculously, along with the other miracles, shows that our G-d is real and all other belief systems, most importantly the Greek culture of hedonism and humanism, are wrong and false.
(If the Maccabees had heard someone advocating the secular concept of “religious freedom”, they would have … not dealt with him kindly. If they would have heard someone going so far as to misrepresent the festival commemorating them as if it stood for this modern-day secular value, they would have been outraged and furious.)
“Religious freedom” is in effect moral relativism, which is morally corrupt, nonsensical, and the very antithesis of everything this festival stands for.
Chanukah is about miracles, which demonstrate the Truth of Hashem. The message of the festival is therefore that He is truly real, and therefore our lives should revolve exclusively around serving and worshiping Him, even if that means sacrifice. It follows that secularism is empty, false, detrimental, and evil, and must be vehemently opposed.
If one examines the various Jewish festivals and considers which is the most relevant to our day and age, I believe the conclusion is clear that it is Chanukah. The challenges and struggles of then are so strikingly similar to those of today that it should send chills running down one’s spine.
Thus, the message of Chanukah for our times is simple but supremely demanding. Secular humanism, along with all its sundry modern political manifestations—liberalism, feminism, etc.—represents the mortal enemy of the Jewish people, and ultimately, with the help of Hashem and with our personal and group sacrifice, we will prevail.