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An atheist at Christmas

Discussion in 'Christmas Controversy & Opinion' started by sublimesting, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. sublimesting

    sublimesting Twinkle Light Checker Merry Forums Member

    So, I don't believe in any organized religion. Honestly I'm not sure if there is a god or not but if there is I really can't see how he'd make one religion correct and the other religion's wrong and exclude so much of mankind. That's kind of my main problem with seems illogical.

    That being said I celebrate Christmas! To me a true Christian probably shouldn't put up a tree and do many of the things they do as those are really pagan rituals. But it's for this reason why I think everyone SHOULD celebrate Christmas. I think it's for everybody whether you are Christian or not. To me it's a celebration of humanity being more kind to each other, taking time out for others. A time for forgiveness, and friendship. A time for families and friends. A time to relax and take it easy and enjoy the simpler things in life like watching Rudolph with your children (or alone), going for a car ride to look at lights, baking cookies, Christmas shopping, warm fires, wrapping presents, decorating, snow (if you're lucky enough), listening to Christmas music on the radio, etc.
    Everyone can partake in this!!!!
    But I also don't begrudge anyone celebrating the birth of Jesus and putting up a Christmas tree or manger in the town square with angels and shepherds etc. I also don't get offended when they add a menora (sp) to the mix...the more the merrier!!! I say call it what it is, it's Christmas, not SParkle Season or winterfest or what have you. To paraphrase Scrooge's nephew: I have never profited by Christmas but it has done m goo dand will do me good and to that I say Merry Christmas to you all!!!!
    Ddeby, Lynn68, carrhem and 16 others like this.
  2. joyful

    joyful MMC Emeritus Member MMC Emeritus Member

    Christ Mas celebrates the birth of Jesus. Granted a lot of "tradition" is mixed in with the celebration but it does not take away from the true meaning.

    Also, I am a Christian, I have a relationship with Jesus, that is the difference.
    And I put up a tree, I do not "worship" my trees, they are just decorations in my home.

    Christmas is in the heart. It's what each individual carries in their heart. A time set aside to celebrate the miracle and God's love for us.

    Jesus was born in a manger; He is the Son of God; He is our grace; our redemption; He is the sacrifice that took away the sins for those who truly believe. Was He born Dec. 25th? No, it was most likely in the fall months according to the Jewish festivals but never the less, God came in flesh to reconcile and provide a way for us. That's what I know and may peace be with you.

  3. Jeff Westover

    Jeff Westover Chief Santa Tracker MMC Founder Santa's Elf Kringle Radio DJ

    We have discussed this at length over the years here. But I wholeheartedly agree with you -- Christmas is for everyone.

    I would encourage you to study the origins of Christmas, especially when it comes to the idea that Christians adopted pagan symbols and traditions. A lot of people assume -- even Christians -- that Christmas doesn't pre-date Christ, and yet, the Old Testament clearly does. Consider the words of Messiah, commonly performed each Christmas, "...and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace..."...those words are from Isaiah which are, of course, from the Old Testament.

    That begs the question...where did the "pagans" get their traditions?

    Of course, ancient thoughts and origins are one things.

    Contemporary feelings, spiritual exploration, etc are quite another. Many are the reasons for one to chose atheism over other belief systems. That's a personal thing.

    But Christmas, for whatever reason you celebrate it, is celebrated here and ALL are welcome. I hope EVERY point of view is explored and shared. That is part of what makes Christmas such a part of our lives here.
  4. Christmasstar

    Christmasstar one Crazy Canadian ! MMC Lifer

    what they said!
    HollyJolly, Ryan, brittd19 and 7 others like this.
  5. Maureen

    Maureen Merry Forums Super Administrator MMC Lifer Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award

    We had quite the debate on this very subject - check it out HERE!
    HollyJolly, Ryan, snowflake22 and 4 others like this.
  6. xmastidings

    xmastidings Santa's Mentor MMC Lifer MMC Donor

    I do believe in christmas, Jesus Christ and I also believe in the spirit of Santa Claus. I celebrate those things in my heart, and pay that respect to all in kind by example thru my daily life by trying to be a good person, father, husband and friend. I also know in my heart, that I love to decorate, put up thousands of lights, watch Charlie Brown, the Grinch, Scrooge, sing "I'm Mr. heat Miser....", and laugh my butt off when Chevy Chase says, "Bing crosby tap dancing with Danny....," etc...

    I myself, well, don't know what I am or classified as. I was sent to a Catholic chuch when I was a Child, I was baptized, made my first holy communion and was confirmed. However, during that process my parents never went to church nor practiced that faith. My grandparents were southern baptists and my grandmother was an minister but I didn't practice what they preached. Sort of, I went thru the motions and didn't understand what I was doing then.

    As an adult, I find that I still don't understand all the goings on with the Catholic church and nor do I follow their rules or believe all that is necessary, so I don't go to church. So then, what does that make me I ask; does that make me a bad person? Maybe a bad Catholic, I just don't know?

    I do believe in my heart and soul that there has to be a God above, an afterlife. There must be something greater awaiting us when we pass on.... I don't know, this may sound crazy, but, this life as we live it, just can't be all there is, there just has to be something greater that us.. we are just too complex to be just a random thing to just happen????

    I guess, I am still trying to find my way, but, I do believe in all the above.... and as far as someone not believing, well to each their own.

    You know, it's like Politics, as a conservative/ tea party person, I'm not going to change the way I feel and the same is the way about a staunch Liberal, they won't change their point of view or the way they feel... Point is, we all have opinions, beliefs, traditions, etc... and they will not always be the same, some things are just best left alone and everyone will hopefully respect each others point of view....
  7. Billy Battles

    Billy Battles Santa's Doppelganger MMC Lifer MMC Donor

    As many of you on here know I am an Agnostic. I have debated religion on here many times. Even questioning Jesus Christ's existence. I do not have a problem with Christmas trees and Nativities ect... on public grounds. I say celebrate Christmas for what ever reason that is special with you. What makes Christmas so special to me is that with having a rough childhood all my best memories are of Christmas.
  8. Classic Christmas

    Classic Christmas Eggnog Chugger Merry Forums Member

    Christmas has such an interesting history. Indeed, the Church adopted the pagan practice of celebrating the solstice around December 21. In addition, many pagans celebrated the birth of Saturnalia, guessed it...was born of a virgin birth, at a very humble place, and was sent to save mankind.

    Far be it from me to question how and why God does some things; but I do not see the story of Saturnalia in any way falsifying the story of Jesus' birth. So much history pre-Jesus was a history foretelling His arrival. Why would it be so hard to believe far-away cultures heard bits and pieces of the story of a coming Savior, and they simply added local rites and lore that fit into their cultural setting?

    As I said, far be it for me to question God. :)

    Now, I believe in God, and also believe His Son, Jesus, is the Savior promised to mankind. But as a history teacher, I very much enjoy learning about the reasons behind what we do as mankind. And, it is true the Church adopted many practices that pre-date Christ in creating Christmas as we more or less know it.

    The Church didn't mind celebrating in the bleak midwinter, but the drunkenness and general carrying-on did not sit well with the Church, so it added a religious theme to the celebration of Saturnalia, every December 25th. And most Religion and Church historians, both secular and non-secular, agree Jesus was most likely born between April and June.

    I am not in the camp of those who believe Christmas has become too secular, and doesn't focus on the meaning of the season enough, only because it was not an overtly-religious holiday to begin with. On a personal note, would I like to see a more religious focus at this time of the year? Yes. However, I feel God does not anger at the sight of people gathering together and having fun and expressing love, in some way. Our Christmas may be imperfect, but it is not without its value, even if it of a mostly-secular nature.

    But the history of Christmas has been an active one, to be sure. It has been outlawed at various times. And there has always been associated with it the claim the 'reason for the season' has been lost. There are various writings dating from the 15th Century that talks about a longing for the Christmas of the past, a 'simpler time'; yet because it is so easy to look through the lens of Presentism (the belief the time you are on earth is specially unique, and like none others beforehand), we believe Christmas has lost a certain something that either cannot be recovered, or if it can be recovered it will be very, very hard to do so.

    Good news! Pretty much every generation has felt that way! Even Dickens' longed for the Christmases of the past, which is a big reason he wrote "A Christmas Carol"; and here we are today, looking at the Christmas created by Dickens as one never to be recovered ...yet he felt the same way in his day and age.

    What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

    Ecclesiastes 1:9

    Merry Christmas :dance:
  9. Daniel12days

    Daniel12days MMC's Animation Historian MMC Donor MMC Premiere Member

    Somebody I can relate with, finally.

    I myself celebrate Christmas despite being Athiest, and I too agree that anything can be celebrated any time!
    Lynn68, HollyJolly, Ryan and 5 others like this.
  10. judesmama

    judesmama ...and Noel's mama, too! MMC Lifer Christmas Crew

    Glad to have you Daniel. No matter what your beliefs, you are welcome at MMC. We just love to spread the joy!
    HollyJolly, Ryan, snowflake22 and 3 others like this.
  11. HollyJolly

    HollyJolly Mrs. Claus' Executive Assistant MMC Lifer MMC Donor

    I'm one of those who thinks whatever brings you to Christmas celebration is perfectly fine.

    I am not one of those who perceives a "war on Christmas". I'm also not one who believes there is a war on religion. I do think that there is a LOT of intolerance on both sides of these issues and that intolerance makes some bristle and lean too far in the other direction and express themselves in equally intolerant fashion. No camp is best judged by its zealots. I just can't see spending my time focused on the zealotry of others. It isn't the reason for my problems, nor is it the solution. Some people aren't happy unless they're unhappy...or have someone or some group to blame for them being unhappy. I just decided a long time ago not to sweat them.

    All that said, I'm kind of digging "sparkle season!" :notice:
  12. Coen

    Coen Merry Forums Elf, 2nd Class MMC Premiere Member

    I hear you. I am an atheist myself, but I enjoy Christmas and hold nothing against people who incorporate the birth of Christ into that celebration. In fact, the yearly service at Kings College is a sure thing for me every Christmas Eve on BBC2 and this year I have also visited another choir that performed in my own city.

    The history around Christmas and rituals adopted by the church is an interesting one for sure. However, overall I agree that Christmas is a feast that is best celebrated by everyone with peace, love and family as it's main pillars. May everyone add to that for their own Christmas celebration what they will :)
  13. HollyKing

    HollyKing Merry Monarch of Yuletide MMC Premiere Member

    Well... I'm a Pagan. I celebrate Yule and Christmas. That said, my decorations at work include a manger scene, a menorah (Hanukkah), a kinara (Kwanzaa), a Yule log (Yule), a Christmas tree (which I consider to be a secular Christmas thing), and a bunch of Christmasy action figures - Charlie Brown, Charlie-in-the-Box, Rudolph, Sam the Snowman and the Grinch. I'm hoping someday someone will do figures from Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol and it wouldn't exactly hurt my feelings to have Krampus peeking slyly from behind the tree!

    Bottom line: I respect everyone's beliefs so long as they extend me the same courtesy.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
    Lynn68, Ryan and snowflake22 like this.
  14. Jeff Westover

    Jeff Westover Chief Santa Tracker MMC Founder Santa's Elf Kringle Radio DJ

    Looks like you've got your bases covered!
    Ryan and snowflake22 like this.
  15. HollyKing

    HollyKing Merry Monarch of Yuletide MMC Premiere Member

    Well, actually I could add more if I just had the space!
    Ryan and snowflake22 like this.
  16. Winter_Worlock

    Winter_Worlock Cryo-Sorcerer MMC Premiere Member

    Holly, as soon as I saw the name, all I could hear in my head was:

    And, same here. About as eclectic as they come. My holiday festivities are all "a little of this and a little of that." And I'm perfectly fine with whatever holiday blessing somebody wants to give. God, Allah, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Cthulhu, or a simple Happy Holidays, and I'll say "Thank you, and the same to you."

    As long as everyone can be respectful, I see no reason for anyone to be getting into fights over the little details. The core intent behind all of it is positive energy and warm feelings during the coldest and darkest time of the year.
    Lynn68 and Jeff Westover like this.
  17. HollyKing

    HollyKing Merry Monarch of Yuletide MMC Premiere Member

    Cthulhu... hmmm... have you ever heard the albums A Very Scary Solstice or An Even Scarier Solstice? Highly recommended for followers of The Old Providence Spook.

    Merry Cthultide!
  18. Lynn68

    Lynn68 Santa Clausologist MMC Lifer

    Even though I don't follow any religion at all, I have no issue with anyone who does. That being said, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I celebrate it because it brings my family together, I love a nice tall Christmas tree, and all the decorations. I enjoy wrapping presents, and sipping on hot cocoa when it's snowing out. To me, Christmas is just the most magical time of the year!
    Dudley likes this.
  19. KimB

    KimB Merry Forums Elf, 2nd Class Merry Forums Member

    I attend a VERY liberal Catholic church. All are welcome. At Christmas, we get Muslims, Jews, atheists, and christians from many denominations. We have a huge party after Mass and everyone is encouraged to join it!

    I think Christmas brings out the best in people and that's why it's so popular and so loved.
    Christmasplease likes this.

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