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← Christmas should be for everyone, atheists included

Christmas should be for everyone, atheists included - Comments

hypnoticbob's Avatar Comment 1 by hypnoticbob

"I'm an atheist, and I love Christmas because it's so furry." Let's all wag the dog by the tail shall we? I'm all for bright lights and social congress, but to be honest, I'd rather the Christians take back their holiday; Santa Claus and all. If it's bright lights and socializing we endeavor for, it seems to be a pretty easy feat to accomplish, but I 'd rather do it without the manger and babe, the angels, or any of the other mythology, except if in the background scenery.

It seems to me a perfect time in Britain, if not in America, for a new morphology of Christmas into something more secular. The modernity of the near neo-Santa Claus seems to have accomplished part of this, but in my opinion it has not gone quite far enough.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 04:16:23 UTC | #568655

WonderNerd's Avatar Comment 2 by WonderNerd

I've been celebrating a secular christmas since i was born, and then when I got older Jesus had to stomp all over it. It was Pagan holiday, then a Christian one, why not a secular one now? It works for me, as long as I still have the right to not put a nativity scene in my house, and the crazies can't put one a school or other inappropriate place. Forget the baby Jesus, we can enjoy sharing gifts, food, and family. (Although actually, I'd much rather celebrate Darwinmas on February 12th, because Christmas clearance sales turn what was once a $100 into 40% off, buy one get one free. That makes buying kids everything they want so much easier).

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 04:37:41 UTC | #568657

glenister_m's Avatar Comment 3 by glenister_m

Admittedly I wasn't raised in a particularly religious household - and its totally atheist now. My parents sent me to sunday school for a little while, and took us to a christmas mass once - and never bothered again. My mum is still very proud of me in that after reading a children's bible I was given, concluded that it was all b.s., and I've been an atheist ever since.

On that note, I would still be very surprized if I'm a minority, in that as a kid Christmas was not about Jesus, but about Santa, christmas tv specials, turkey dinner with relatives/friends, and especially presents on christmas day. Say what you like about the commercialization of christmas, but some of my fondest childhood memories are of the g.i.joe's, dinosaurs, and microscope I received, and the effort my parents went to make it a magical day. On that note, once I was old enough, I went out of my way to do some nice things for others on christmas as well.

As the line from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" goes: "So shines a good deed in a tired world."

Christmas is for anyone who wants to celebrate it, and whichever way they wish.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 05:51:01 UTC | #568664

hypnoticbob's Avatar Comment 4 by hypnoticbob

As the line from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" goes: "So shines a good deed in a tired world."

Christmas is for anyone who wants to celebrate it, and whichever way they wish.

Agreed.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 06:29:16 UTC | #568671

beanson's Avatar Comment 5 by beanson

happy x-mas to all

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 07:12:24 UTC | #568675

SoHelpMeReason's Avatar Comment 6 by SoHelpMeReason

Best link ever.

---->Christmas should be forced on everyone.

And there's the reason why. Click, check it out. I thought it was hilarious. And we get mentioned too.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 07:15:39 UTC | #568676

Peter Watkinson's Avatar Comment 7 by Peter Watkinson

To Everybody on RD.net,

Molts d'Anys (Many years)

Peter

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 07:26:25 UTC | #568678

mmurray's Avatar Comment 8 by mmurray

I love Christmas. Despite being an atheist who was brought up as a Muslim, Christmas is a religious festival I have totally embraced, midnight mass and all.

Why would an atheist go to midnight mass ? Does he believe in transubstantiation, the resurrection, the birth of Christ from a virgin. Presumably not. So why lend support to all that rubbish by adding to the numbers at Mass so the Chuch can crow about them the next day. I wonder what he says when the congregation have to respond ? Does he join in the praise of God ?

What about a bit of integrity ?

Bah humbug.

Michael

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 07:44:26 UTC | #568681

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 9 by Jos Gibbons

This guy had a perfect opportunity to mention the real reason for the festivities isn't religious. He wasted that. Though I've yet to read the Guardian comments, we can be confident his detractors will have more arguments with which to object because of the opportunity-wasting.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 09:10:22 UTC | #568686

Felis catus's Avatar Comment 10 by Felis catus

I went to see the Mass in the church where Hasus was buried (is it really?)and it was so boring. no festival, no tree, no lights, NO SANTA. wat's the point? I went all over Jerusalem old city to try and find some santas. NO SANTAS. why? those christians are really into Jeses. no pagnic charicters. they don't even force thier people to go shoping!

I went with my class of music-hystory (I'm a music student) to see the Mass in Abu-gosh church. we saw all some raicist signs on the walls that helped me get into the spirit of the Xmess. the gay couple were asked not to hold hands inside the church.

maybe where the guy died is too sad. I wanted to go to where he was born, the Bet-Lehem church. can I? no there's a border. or is it? it's not. do the chitians all over the world knows (or care) that in the holy place where their god was born is under an occupation? what a nice why to CELEBRATE. everybody killing everybody but 2000 years ago some god was born and then people killed him.

guten shabes. (get me out of here)

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 09:55:38 UTC | #568691

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 11 by AtheistEgbert

Fine, just don't call it Christmas. Once you call you Christmas, it's self-defeating, as that's religious. Call it Holidays or something, whatever.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 11:15:36 UTC | #568701

BroughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 12 by BroughtyBoy

Seems to be a lot of humbug here today. If Christmas did not exist I suspect we would have to invent it - a tradition of family gathering and goodwill can`t be all bad, and besides, theres the excitement and wonder that the kids experience. Its a largely secular festival anyway, so lighten up out there.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 11:50:45 UTC | #568706

Tyler Worthwell's Avatar Comment 13 by Tyler Worthwell

I just recieved "The Selfish Gene" and I can't wait to read it.

AtheistEgbert, It's part of our history and culture now whether you believe in it or not. Should we change the names of all the religious events? How about "SecularHoliday01" etc?

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 11:50:59 UTC | #568707

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 14 by SomersetJohn

I'm a sour faced old curmudgeon usually, but I want Crimbo left alone for everyone. Us non believers can have a party with the family, the xtians can surrender their reason to jebus, and I'm sure the prophet followers can join the profit followers at this time of year.

Let everyone have one festival that everyone can celebrate in their own preferred fashion, and take whatever they enjoy from everyone else's, be it the giving of gifts, the music, the fancy baubles on the tree or whatever.

Everyone together, even for only a day, is better than everyone apart.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 11:58:08 UTC | #568712

SmartLX's Avatar Comment 15 by SmartLX

Re: #11 by AtheistEgbert, I don't think it matters if the name Christmas gets lodged in the lexicon and forever rules the season. Four days of the modern week are named after Norse gods and one after a Roman god. This hasn't helped in the slightest to sustain belief in any of them.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 11:59:55 UTC | #568713

HughCaldwell's Avatar Comment 16 by HughCaldwell

Christmas is good for the economy. Certainly, it's good for shopkeepers and manufacturers. Abolish the season of unnecessary expense ? Think of China and its economic importance to the world.

Even changing the name is a ridiculous notion. It's a great brand. Throwing away the name recognition makes no sense.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 12:04:42 UTC | #568714

kshaw's Avatar Comment 17 by kshaw

Jehovah's witnesses do not celebrate Christmas because it is Pagan ,just a thought,if you want the truth.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 12:10:19 UTC | #568717

mmurray's Avatar Comment 18 by mmurray

Comment 11 by AtheistEgbert :

Fine, just don't call it Christmas. Once you call you Christmas, it's self-defeating, as that's religious. Call it Holidays or something, whatever.

Or call it Chrismas or Christophermas.

Michael

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 12:13:03 UTC | #568718

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 19 by AtheistEgbert

Perhaps the eggnog has gone to the atheist's heads. And so I'll humbug some more(how does A Christmas Carol make any sense?). Perhaps in a thousand years, non-religious people will still be travelling to Mecca on a Haj, because it's tradition right?

Christians hijacked both Saturnalia and Yuletide, pagan festivals, and so if you want tradition, then let's celebrate Saturn and find a scapegoat to sacrifice, or perhaps we should burn a log to Odin, because it's tradition right?

Tradition is a stupid argument. Let's make it a secular holiday season or festival and call it The Holidays, or The Winter Holidays or whatever, so that everyone can join in, like Jews and Muslims or Pagans or whomever, no-one is secluded. Because of course, anyone who is secluded is a Scrooge.

Rant over.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 12:18:06 UTC | #568720

BroughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 20 by BroughtyBoy

And a Merry Christmas to you too Mr Egbert.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 12:39:20 UTC | #568727

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 21 by El Bastardo

Comment 11 by AtheistEgbert :

Fine, just don't call it Christmas. Once you call you Christmas, it's self-defeating, as that's religious. Call it Holidays or something, whatever.

Couldn't agree less.

The language evolves, just as gay once meant happy, then meant homosexual, and now is starting to mean uncool (deal with it). In fact, cool as another example, how often do people use the term "cool" and have any reference to the temperature?

The language is littered with words that have remained the same whilst their meanings have changed.

You can have Christmas without Christ, most people even pronounce it Chrissmas, not Christmas, and that's fine. Call it what you like, a rose by any other name....

Call it what you like really, the point is for people to get together and share some time with each other , enjoy the life they have, think of those who have past, and generally cheer the fk up and chill the fk out.

Now if you will excuse me, this Atheist is bringing his Protestant wife and his two sons (one agnostic, one too young to care) to his Catholic Mothers house to eat too much and drink some whiskey.

Whatever you call it, Christmas, Reasonmas, Solstice, or Saturday, have a good one.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 12:49:18 UTC | #568729

mellifera's Avatar Comment 22 by mellifera

I decided a long time ago to ignore Christmas. For most people it's either a Christian holiday or a greedy gift grab, and I had no interest in either. Nor in all the work that leads up to it, for the inevitable disappointment. It's a day that doesn't live up to its billing: there is no peace on earth, no special goodwill toward men. It's just another day. I hate how it's billed as a day that is somehow different from all others (did you hear that echo, Jay?), as if people will behave differently because of a number on a calendar.

So I ignore it, and breathe a sigh of relief when it's over. And occasionally, I think it would be nice to run off to Israel for the month of December, just so I didn't have to work at ignoring it.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 13:28:28 UTC | #568732

drhat's Avatar Comment 23 by drhat

I celebrate Yule here in Denmark. The fact that it is pretty much a carbon copy of christmas with a tree, santaclaus, religious singing, and all that jazz, is irrelevant. Everyone in Scandinavia calls it Yule.

For Yule, I received the hardback copy of "The Greatest Show on Earth" - I don't care what anyone thinks, I will keep celebrating my Yule this way, for the same reasons I celebrated it as a kid, because its a social event with a lot of family joy, comfort and feelings of compassion, and most importantly - Good Food and Presents!

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 13:40:15 UTC | #568738

HughCaldwell's Avatar Comment 24 by HughCaldwell

I think it would be nice to run off to Israel for the month of December, just so I didn't have to work at ignoring it.Comment 22 by mellifera

Sorry, you won't be able to avoid the festive spirit. You'll run slap bang into the Hanukkah holiday season.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 14:09:28 UTC | #568747

Blaine McCartney's Avatar Comment 25 by Blaine McCartney

Comment 23 by drhat :

I celebrate Yule here in Denmark. The fact that it is pretty much a carbon copy of christmas with a tree, santaclaus, religious singing, and all that jazz, is irrelevant. Everyone in Scandinavia calls it Yule.

For Yule, I received the hardback copy of "The Greatest Show on Earth" - I don't care what anyone thinks, I will keep celebrating my Yule this way, for the same reasons I celebrated it as a kid, because its a social event with a lot of family joy, comfort and feelings of compassion, and most importantly - Good Food and Presents!

Hear hear! I've taken to calling it Yule/Yuletide lately purely because "Christmas" is essentially the same save for the stomach-turning nativity performances (The British Broadcasting Corporation/BBC springs to mind).

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 14:30:56 UTC | #568755

mellifera's Avatar Comment 26 by mellifera

Comment 24 by HughCaldwell :

I think it would be nice to run off to Israel for the month of December, just so I didn't have to work at ignoring it.Comment 22 by mellifera

Sorry, you won't be able to avoid the festive spirit. You'll run slap bang into the Hanukkah holiday season.

We celebrate Hanukkah, so that's fine.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 15:54:28 UTC | #568767

LuminolBlue's Avatar Comment 27 by LuminolBlue

A sense of belonging is far deeper in the human mind, and I do not believe it necessary or even mandatory to attribute religion to this sense. Religion is an extremely miniscule part of a greater picture in the evolution of morality, sense of belonging, and the celebration of togetherness.

As a child, I used to get very excited about Eid, especially the first Eid, which comes right after the month of Ramadan. The first Eid is the equivalent to Christmas; gifts are exchanged, friends and families get together, and so on. As I grew older, I slowly relized that it doesn't take much to come together. I used to think that Eid was a fundamental part of this sense of togetherness, boy was I wrong. :-)

Evolution is a beautiful thing, it has given us the necessary tools to appreciate one and other and to come together as a global family without any of the mythological junk from either of the world religions involved.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 16:00:32 UTC | #568769

scotsman2010's Avatar Comment 28 by scotsman2010

Comment 19 by AtheistEgbert :

Perhaps the eggnog has gone to the atheist's heads. And so I'll humbug some more(how does A Christmas Carol make any sense?). Perhaps in a thousand years, non-religious people will still be travelling to Mecca on a Haj, because it's tradition right?

I have to disagree, unusually, with Egbert.

Many things about Christmas obviously don't make sense for an atheist but you don't need to believe the original story to continue to enjoy the cultural trappings of Christmas. Similarly, kids can still have fun with the traditions of Halloween without believing in witches.

If people continue to enjoy the Christmas traditions then they'll go on for a while yet. I guess the people will decide.

Going on a "Haj" seems a bit different because of the time involved. Don't see that continuing when you could possibly have e.g. a fortnight in Tenerife for the same money. I would take Option 2.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 16:37:58 UTC | #568778

scotsman2010's Avatar Comment 29 by scotsman2010

Comment 21 by El Bastardo :

Call it what you like really, the point is for people to get together and share some time with each other , enjoy the life they have, think of those who have past, and generally cheer the fk up and chill the fk out.

Very well put. This would have made an excellent TV Christmas message!

A sincere Merry Christmas/Whatever to all!

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 16:46:05 UTC | #568779

green and dying's Avatar Comment 30 by green and dying

My family is non-religious but we call it Christmas and we sing carols and joke about the baby Jesus. I have lovely memories of primary school Christmases with carol-singing in the cold for charity and a carol service/nativity play in the school hall or in a beautiful old church. It has never been literal for me and it makes no difference. Christmas IS for everyone who grows up in this culture, whether they're Christian, non-religious or of another religion. There's no reason at all that you have to believe in the myth to enjoy these traditions.

Sat, 25 Dec 2010 18:05:40 UTC | #568788