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In The Spotlight How Should Atheists Deal With Holidays?


nivek
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I would encourage anyone with an interest in things "afffffIIeeeeeessssSSt" check out Cline's spot on IntARWeBb. Man has some great insight and posts some decent discussable items.

 

kevinL

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How Should Atheists Deal withHolidays?

Holidays can serve to form a connection to your own past by evoking memories of past celebration. Holidays can form and reinforce connections with the friends and family with whom you celebrate. Holiday events can also create connections across an entire society as people develop parallel experiences which forge subtle bonds. Rituals and celebrations, as longas they are not empty of personal meaning, can be worth preserving.

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There is an article in that batch that talks about saying grace before eating but stops short of suggesting a decent substitute. I know that for myself, I am always feeling an awkward gap before meals when my wife and I do not pray. I don't in any way want to pray, but I feel like there should at least be something there. Idk. I'll post anything good that I find, but any responses would be appreciated too.

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I see no real reason for atheists poo-pooing Christmas just because it's Christmas. To me that's about as pointless as fundies poo-pooing Halloween. Neo-pagans aside, you don't really believe in ghosts and goblins and stuff, do you? Even Richard Dawkins does Christmas, for "family reasons." And if atheists started poo-pooing on Halloween because it's based on "irrational beliefs of a primitive (Hibernian) culture" I'd tell them to get fucked, because Halloween is a blast.

 

That said, if you come from a fundie family, I could see the problem. Going home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter could be a real bitch of a motherfucker, I reckon.

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I see no real reason for atheists poo-pooing Christmas just because it's Christmas. To me that's about as pointless as fundies poo-pooing Halloween. Neo-pagans aside, you don't really believe in ghosts and goblins and stuff, do you? Even Richard Dawkins does Christmas, for "family reasons." And if atheists started poo-pooing on Halloween because it's based on "irrational beliefs of a primitive (Hibernian) culture" I'd tell them to get fucked, because Halloween is a blast.

 

That said, if you come from a fundie family, I could see the problem. Going home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter could be a real bitch of a motherfucker, I reckon.

 

I hate xmas because it reminds me of the insanity I had to go through as a kid. It reminds me of the fact that the majority of the country are xtians, and every year at xmastime the xtians start screaming about putting christ back in xmas, which further drives my memories home.

 

I hate xmas. Bah humbug!

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I think atheists everywhere should cut loose and enjoy the holidays! :woohoo:

 

Make ‘em your own!

 

atheistprayer.jpg

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I wouldn't poo-poo another atheist for celebrating Christmas- whatever reasons they have are fine- but I find no attraction in celebrating it myself.

 

My family attached so much religious meaning into when I was growing up (going to xmas eve service, reading Bible stories, praying together) that it would be hard for me to celebrate with them without something turning into an issue. It's much more peaceful for me to spend the day like any other than to go through that stress.

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I still participate in the gift exchange and visiting family/friends, but I refuse to go to church.

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I love Christmas and still celebrate it, partly because all of my family is religious, and partly just because I have such fond childhood memories of it. I don't even mind a few occasional religious references. I see them as myths and traditions associated with the holiday, sort of like the whole Santa Claus thing.

 

I do hate Easter though. Last year I didn't even know it was Easter Sunday until some time that afternoon.

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Guest ephymeris

We don't do anything religious for christmas. The only thing that really changed for me is that I threw out all my religious christmas tree ornaments (there werent many to begin with) and my tree decorations are all nature inspired. Like I have a lot of ornaments that are animals or decorated pine cones and such. I feel like I'm celebrating the change in season

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I see no real reason for atheists poo-pooing Christmas just because it's Christmas. To me that's about as pointless as fundies poo-pooing Halloween. Neo-pagans aside, you don't really believe in ghosts and goblins and stuff, do you? Even Richard Dawkins does Christmas, for "family reasons." And if atheists started poo-pooing on Halloween because it's based on "irrational beliefs of a primitive (Hibernian) culture" I'd tell them to get fucked, because Halloween is a blast.

 

That said, if you come from a fundie family, I could see the problem. Going home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter could be a real bitch of a motherfucker, I reckon.

 

I hate xmas because it reminds me of the insanity I had to go through as a kid. It reminds me of the fact that the majority of the country are xtians, and every year at xmastime the xtians start screaming about putting christ back in xmas, which further drives my memories home.

 

I hate xmas. Bah humbug!

 

I'm with you; especially when the decorations are in the stores by mid-October and you are having to suffer through Christmas carols while trying to find a Halloween costume.

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I see no real reason for atheists poo-pooing Christmas just because it's Christmas. To me that's about as pointless as fundies poo-pooing Halloween. Neo-pagans aside, you don't really believe in ghosts and goblins and stuff, do you? Even Richard Dawkins does Christmas, for "family reasons." And if atheists started poo-pooing on Halloween because it's based on "irrational beliefs of a primitive (Hibernian) culture" I'd tell them to get fucked, because Halloween is a blast.

 

That said, if you come from a fundie family, I could see the problem. Going home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter could be a real bitch of a motherfucker, I reckon.

 

I hate xmas because it reminds me of the insanity I had to go through as a kid. It reminds me of the fact that the majority of the country are xtians, and every year at xmastime the xtians start screaming about putting christ back in xmas, which further drives my memories home.

 

I hate xmas. Bah humbug!

 

I'm with you; especially when the decorations are in the stores by mid-October and you are having to suffer through Christmas carols while trying to find a Halloween costume.

 

And wintertime is my favorite season! I love the cold weather (when we have it) the clothes I can wear, etc. The fact that the xtians try to take this time of year over is another reason xmas angers me so much. It's not their season, but they try to steal it every year...

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I think Xmas can be a good holiday even for those who do not believe in baby Hayzeus. Christmas is championed not by angels but by Santa Claus and his reindeer. The biggest losers at xmas are the xtians who worship Jesus X on Xmas. A day off is a day off and I am never too concerned over why the day is a day off, except for maybe Columbus Day (A bigger dork that never deserved a holiday anyway.)

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A day off is a day off and I am never too concerned over why the day is a day off, except for maybe Columbus Day (A bigger dork that never deserved a holiday anyway.)

 

That's actually one of the things that annoys me. I wish that my days off didn't have to be on holidays. Traveling around Christmas or Thanksgiving is the worst. I'd much prefer getting the 8-10 scheduled holidays as personal days that I could take when I wanted.

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Austin Cline has lots of good info. Thanks for posting the links, niv. :)

 

To be perfectly frank the winter holidays for me are more about food, family, and getting to chill out for a few days than anything else. Other than that I haven't been that into them for years. It just seems like a lot of effort and time and obligation, plus this year since my household has had its 4th job loss in 2 years we're broke, so nobody's getting anything other than good wishes from us for Xmas.

 

Really my favorite winter holiday is New Year's. No religious significance to it, lots of drinking and partying and fireworks, and you get to stay up late and kiss people at midnight. Totally my idea of a great holiday. :woohoo:

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I take solace knowing that these christians are actually participating in pagan rituals all throughout christmas. Love them or hate them, the ACLU has a compilation of where all these different christmas symbols came from. Whether it's the Christmas tree, which stems from the pagan worship of the tree specifically the evergreen because it reminded them that life endures even during hard times during the bitter cold winter when everything is dead that new life is just a few months away or from Santa Clause, originally a dutch man named Sinderklaas or something like that who was able to fit chimneys because he was so tiny and was not a jolly fat man at all. Hell even some of the reindeer (Comet and Cupid) are named after pagan deities. Just think of it as people coming together to celebrate your family and the people you love whether you agree with them on religion or not. I will never stop celebrating christmas, it's not really a christian holiday anyway, they just hijacked it.

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I hate xmas because it reminds me of the insanity I had to go through as a kid. It reminds me of the fact that the majority of the country are xtians, and every year at xmastime the xtians start screaming about putting christ back in xmas, which further drives my memories home.

 

I hate xmas. Bah humbug!

What about celebrating Newtonmas instead, in honer of Isaac Newton being born on December 25th? We could hang up Newtonmas trees and decorate it with monkey ornaments in honor of Darwin and give everyone free copies of Origin Of Species as a gift!
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I enjoy family gatherings & gift-giving during the holidays. My husband is xtian & I like celebrating xmas with him, but I also just enjoy hanging out with family & friends, sharing time together. :woohoo:

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Guest sixidahos

I'm an atheist now and I love Christmas. I even enjoy an occasional nativity pageant for the quaint nostalgia. It's like watching The Wizard of Oz. We all know there really aren't Witches that fly brooms or scarecrows who can talk. The best part of Christmas is that people listen to old types of music that they'd otherwise never hear. You gotta love Bing Crosby and all that swing stuff going on. Besides, Christmas is the only time I can decorate my home to look tackier than a vegas showroom...and get away with it.

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I don't care for xmas for lots of reasons. I had some person shit happen on xmas which tainted it. There's all the xian crap. I hate that xmas starts before Halloween.

 

It just seems the whole thing is setup to manipulate other people. You have to figure out (or just agree beforehand) on how much to spend. Then do the shopping and all. And if that doesn't work out it always seems to go poorly. I was just never into getting gifts, I liked gifts don't get me wrong but they didn't/don't consume my life, but people would get mad if I wanted something...I don't know...not "good enough" or something. But I would get the expensive things on my own since those aren't gifts to ask for and everything left was cheap. They'd act like I was cheating them.

 

Also it's stupid I'd have to wait 3 months for something. It's a stupid game. Fine for kids but for adults it's plain stupid. If you want to buy me a gift then I need this...today. If you can only buy it for me on December 25th, when you know I'm also buying you something in return, then fuck it. Lets just buy what we want for ourselves right now and forget xmas. It's lame. If baby "jesus" wants a gift he can wish one up but for us to exchange gifts as his proxy is stupid.

 

I say we move xmas to August 1. No reason for that date. Pick another if you like. If people still want to for through 3 months of shopping, travel thousands of miles to hang out with family and trade those gifts then great. Leave xmas to be only for baby "jesus" day. Nothing happens except church for those who wish to go to church. But I doubt people will want to separate the two things. Baby "jesus" without gifts is lame. And giving gifts without that stupid baby excuse? Well, maybe some other time.

 

mwc

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  • 2 weeks later...

That said, if you come from a fundie family, I could see the problem. Going home for Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter could be a real bitch of a motherfucker, I reckon.

 

My family attached so much religious meaning into when I was growing up (going to xmas eve service, reading Bible stories, praying together) that it would be hard for me to celebrate with them without something turning into an issue. It's much more peaceful for me to spend the day like any other than to go through that stress.

 

I come from a very fundy family, and Christmas has always been thoroughly religious and very focused on the "real meaning" of the holiday. Having just recently deconverted, I feel SO uncomfortable thinking about going though all of that this year. And that's why my husband and I are considering skipping Christmas entirely and staying home, 1000 miles away from our families. (Yes, we're cowards!)

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I come from a very fundy family, and Christmas has always been thoroughly religious and very focused on the "real meaning" of the holiday. Having just recently deconverted, I feel SO uncomfortable thinking about going though all of that this year. And that's why my husband and I are considering skipping Christmas entirely and staying home, 1000 miles away from our families. (Yes, we're cowards!)

My wife is kind of religious, but doesn't know much about the bible, theology, etc. She likes to decorate for holidays however.

 

This year looks like a good year. We have Santa, snowmen, presents, trees etc. on our windows (yes, before Thanksgiving). Last Easter though, she put up a Nativity scene. Yep, Easter.

 

Oh, well, I love her regardless. Even when she forwards me the prayers she gets in her email.

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