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Christmas Controversy & Opinion Visit Defend Christmas.com Presented by Defend Christmas, this forum covers the difficult topics of the season -- from the famed and fabled War on Christmas to church and state debates to using the star or the angel on the Christmas tree. Modern Christmas celebration has it's complications -- schools are divided, some Christmas light displays are too much, some even argue that it is better to call it a "holiday" tree. Some merchants won't even say "Merry Christmas"! Where there is controversy, there is insanity. Even in Christmas.


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  #1  
Old 11-23-2009, 12:42 PM
LodgeRich LodgeRich is offline
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Atheist Ponderings on Christmas

Hello friends,

Well the season is closing in, and I'm excited as all get out.

Yet as the season closes in, the hype around "The Christmas Wars" amps up.

I am relatively new to this board, but I wanted to pose some questions that have bugging me. Namely, the legitimacy of the "War on Christmas."

I'm an atheist. My wife is an atheist. I'm comfortable with my beliefs, as I'm sure most believers are comfortable with theirs. So I'm not out to convert or offend anyone.

I celebrate Christmas, more than most Christians I know. I love everything about it, from the aesthetic lights and shopping to the more altruistic ideas of giving, peace and joy.

So my question is: What is this "War on Christmas?" Is it simply a media hype creation of minor disagreements? Or is it a symptom of an underlying conflict between believers and non-believers?

I like the diversity of these boards, all points of view seem fairly well represented, so I pose these questions to all points of view.

If you are a non-christian and celebrate Christmas, why? Do you get offended when someone says "Merry Christmas?" Are the media representations of non-believers accurate?

If you are a believer, does it bother you when a non-believer celebrates Christmas? When someone says "Happy Holidays" to you, would you rather them say "Merry Christmas?" Have you ever been reprimanded in any fashion for saying "Merry Christmas?"

My intention is not to offend anyone here, but there seems to be some real stimulating debate possibilities as to the ramifications of diversity and I'm trying to get a pulse of how the sane individuals feel. Especially since the board seems overrun with sane, rational, overall good people.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:59 PM
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I am a believer and it does not bother me when non believers celebrate Christmas. We each have our own outlook on the holiday, and that's okay. BTW, it also does not offend me when someone says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". At least they've made the effort at some sort of good wishes.
I look forward with interest to seeing other replies from other points of view.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:46 PM
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I am a Christian and not because I was raised in this or any way to be a believer or a non-believer but because I choose to believe.

To be honest I never heard of a war on Christmas until joining MMC, funny right I read the paper and all I just never realized it was a war. I do believe it is a media hype just like everything they do. Nothing can be what it is everything has to have drama added, that is the worst.

Now I took this question right out of your post...
If you are a believer, does it bother you when a non-believer celebrates Christmas? - You know I am not sure how I feel, on one hand yes, I mean the whole reason we celebrate is that Jesus was born and if you are an Atheist, you do not even believe in God, right? Or am I worng there, I don't really know what the real meaning of an Atheist is. But, on the other hand, I love how you say you like the and celebrate the part of giving peace and joy. These two are a huge part of this season, and who am I to say you should celebrate in your way or how you believe, shame on me. How can my view be so limited, and so with this in my heart I say no I do not mind who celebrates Christmas or why they do, just so long as they do and their reasons are pure, and true.

When someone says "Happy Holidays" to you, would you rather them say "Merry Christmas?" - Yes, I do not like the phase "Happy Holidays", maybe a long time ago it had a different reference but today it has a whole different feeling, one that I do not like. I go to church every Sunday, I give time during the year collecting for those that do not have, I believe in God, and would like to be told Merry Christmas, by those who know me. If you do not a smile goes a long, long way, if you want to wish me well ask if I would mind, I'll tell you. Once, I was delieving for Meals-On-Wheels to a lovely Jewish lady, who wished me a "Very Happy Rosh Hashanah" just like that, I smiled and said thank you, I hope yours is now a little more joyful too. When one says something like this it is never to offened it is with the greatest of love and peace in their heart, so accept it is what I think weather you Celebrate it or not, it wasn't meant to offend, it was meant with the greatest respect, love, and peace.

Have you ever been reprimanded in any fashion for saying "Merry Christmas?" Yes, I have, and it hurt, for as mentioned above it was not out of disrespect but with the utmost respect and I told this person that, and why I felt that way, she said she was sorry but was just fed up with it all, I can't say I understand, but said I respect her opinion.

I often wonder why in the US this is so ugly an issue as really we are suppose to be able to have our own belief and have no ramifications from the Government, yet people think it is OK, and I am not just refering to Christmas, I am refering to all Religous celebrations. I think if those who would cast hurt and pain would just open their hearts, their minds, look at this big, huge world and see that just because we believe in something different it doesn't make us all different. I know this is a dream, but as someone once told me sometimes all it takes is one person to turn the tide, so I keep trying to educate and let the kids at our center know there are many different types of beliefs and none are wrong, none are right, it is what you hold in your heart.

What I know is that Atheist did not destory my Churches Navtivity, nor do I think it was just teenagers being silly who vandilized the Coram Jewish Center. Or, that little boy in the town next to me who right after 9-11 was beaten so bad he has never been the same, just because he "looked" different. No, these are the real "Wars" we should focus on, not some Media Hype of some group who does't want to see a Nativity Scene on the lawn of the town hall, they have every right to protest as do the people who believe it should be there, so go ahead and debate it but we all need to open our eyes to the real pain and suffering around us, not some silly stuff, that well really isn't going to help those who go hungry tonight, or those who are hurt weather by words or actions tonight. Human or animal, doesn't matter we need to stop the pain, what really matters comes from our hearts and well we all need to face this, and when I say all I do not mean here at MMC, I mean as a world, and I too do not mean to offend anyone at all.

OK, so I guess I will get off my soap box... Sorry if I hurt anyone who reads this post.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:15 PM
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Yes, there is a "War on Christmas", however it isn't as simple as an "us versus them" debate.

The War On Christmas is used to drive broader political agendas and proof of that is seen in it's seasonality. It only is debatable, offensive or media worthy at this time of the year -- in June the world at large, pro-Christmas or not, could care less whether or not Christmas is on the school calendar or if the state capitol will have a "Christmas" or a "Holiday" tree.

My personal observation is that several perspectives (conservative vs. liberal) use it politically when it is opportunistic for them to do so. So it really isn't a "war" -- more like a seasonal photo op, if you will.

"Real" folks, in my ongoing dialog is running this website and several others, tend to be far more respectful, tolerant and cheery with each other when it comes to Christmas than the media hypes it all to be. I'm yet to meet a non-believer who is actually offended at the phrase "Merry Christmas" or a believer who gets bothered by "Happy Holidays".

The War on Christmas isn't really a war at all -- except by those who get hot and bothered when it gets them on TV.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:37 PM
Wenceslaus Wenceslaus is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
It only is debatable, offensive or media worthy at this time of the year -- in June the world at large, pro-Christmas or not, could care less whether or not Christmas is on the school calendar or if the state capitol will have a "Christmas" or a "Holiday" tree.
Could not care less?
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Wenceslaus View Post
Could not care less?
LOL, kinda changes the meaning of that sentence doesn't it? Yes could NOT care less...
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:21 PM
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Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated around the world. Over 160 counties celebrate Christmas. It has legends, traditions, stories, songs, special decorations and foods. There are movies and specials on TV in abundance. Gift wrap, ginger bread, candy canes, stockings and mistletoe all bind together to make it a magical time of the year.

Just because the name "Christ" is in the title "Christmas", does not mean just Christians celebrate it. The holiday is loved by people of many faiths, and those who do not profess to any faith.

I think we need to focus on what this time of the year means to us personally. And have fun with it!!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:55 PM
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For anyone who knows me on here knows I am Agnostic.

The reason I think I am so into Christmas is because when I was a kid Christmas was magical. I haven't have the easiest life, and I am not complaining because I know there are people who had worse. Probably 90% of my good memories as a kid revolve around Christmas. It was magical.

I also am a big fan of peace and love and there seems for the most part people tend to be better version of themselves during the season.

I couldn't care less if somebody says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, even though I say Merry Christmas. I don't see why people get offended to me it's like saying "have a Great Day" except they are singling out a particular day or period of time.

As a non-Christian I do not take any offense to the Nativity on public property. I also don't care if they put the 10 Commandments in court houses. I think it is funny that my girlfriend who is Christian is against both. I am however against prayer in schools.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:54 AM
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I am a Christian, and I don't get offended when anybody celebrates Christmas, or does or doesn't say Merry Christmas. I feel that there are good and bad in all people, there are extremes on both sides. As a Christian, it is my "job" to try to bring people to Christ for salvation. It is not my job, however to force that belief on others, I only teach the Gospel to those that are receptive to it, otherwise it is a waste of time and only angers the other person. One thing that we all have in common is that we are human, we all have faults and we aren't perfect.

People were face to face with Jesus Christ and didn't believe in who we is, so it isn't a shock that several thousand years later people don't believe.

I have known Christians that don't celebrate Christmas just because Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th. Plus the day chosen for Christmas has pagan origins, so people don't celebrate it for that reason. I say to each his own, but don't try to make me feel bad for celebrating Christmas.
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