PDA

View Full Version : Atheists Whine Over Christmas.



Gingersnap
12-10-2009, 11:06 AM
Atheists at Christmas: Eat, drink and be wary

Atheist activist Val Woelfel, 47, decorates her Christmas tree at her home in St Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. She likes the tree tradition despite their rejection of religion.

By PATRICK CONDON
Wednesday, December 9, 2009; 5:17 PM

MINNEAPOLIS -- Angie O'Neill recently moved into a new apartment complex for seniors and she's trying to make new friends. But Christmas is a tough time of year for an atheist.

"All the planned activities at this time of year revolve around the church," said O'Neill, a retiree and an atheist for decades.

O'Neill sought an escape this week, joining a group of her fellow nonbelievers for a weekly "Atheist Happy Hour" at a suburban Mexican restaurant. The group, Atheists for Human Rights, is active year-round but takes it up a notch this time of year with a Winter Solstice party, a charity drive and good attendance for the weekly gathering at Ol' Mexico.

For one thing, it's a chance to share coping techniques during this most religious time of year. They range from the simple, like warning about certain stores that blare religious Christmas songs, to tougher tasks like how to avoid certain topics with certain family members. These atheists describe adjusting some customs to make them their own, like Nancy Ruhland, a pharmacist who sends out Christmas cards to friends and loved ones - but makes sure to find ones without a Christian message or subtext.

Even as they chafe at the omnipresence of Christmas, many of the atheists here are quick to stress their belief in the pagan roots of a yearly celebration near the winter solstice. Before Christianity and other organized religions, many cultures would mark the point where days started getting longer again with a "festival of light" that included parties, gift exchanges, even placing trees in homes. Some of those rituals were religious, but usually in a polytheistic way.

"What we're celebrating this year is the promise of the sun returning. That's S-U-N, not S-O-N," said Bill Weir, a retired marketing executive from Plymouth.

"Then the Christians stole it," added Marie Alena Castle of Minneapolis, the 82-year-old founder of Atheists for Human Rights and an atheist activist for two decades. It's a season of celebration for the Jewish faith as well, with Hanukkah.

Still, none of the atheists interviewed for this story expressed a wish to be left out of Christmas entirely.

"Food, we like. Presents, we like. Seeing family, we like," said Val Woelfel of St. Paul, an aspiring archaeologist. Woelfel, 47, and her boyfriend, Bjorn Larsen, 32, planned to erect a tree in their living room: "Sacred trees are an ancient custom. It's pretty, it smells nice and it's pagan," Woelfel said.

Atheism is an intellectual rejection of religion, superstition, and "folk" customs involving imaginary beings or events.

You cannot call yourself atheist and simultaneously support "pagan" customs. 21st century atheists cannot in good conscience celebrate the highly predictable and well understood phenomenon of varying day lengths as though these things were unusual, unique, or even worthy of comment. Would they also "celebrate" the first freeze every year?

I have no problem with atheists not celebrating Christmas, Ramadan, or Halloween. Feel free to eat a TV dinner and watch reruns of 'Rambo: First Blood' on December 25th. Just don't whine about the rest of us doing our 'superstitious" thing and then attempt to include yourself in equally superstitious customs and celebrations in the name of tradition or paganism. Tradition and paganism are two things that all atheists should reject if they are intellectually honest.

WaPo (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/09/AR2009120902165.html?hpid=sec-religion)

expat-pattaya
12-10-2009, 11:16 AM
I'm an athiest. I like Christmas. No, not happy holidays, or merry December. Merry Christmas. I in no way feel threatened or oppressed by the fact I live in a predominately Christian society.

And, I like family time. I like, just celebrating. If others are doing it for Christ OK with me. I'm just having a good time.

Maybe because I was raised Christian I don't feel like anything is shoved down my throat. No one has tried to drag me bacl to church. Or burn me as a heretic. I want that 75 year old cross to remain on Federal land. I don't CARE if a student says "thank god" when he passes a tough math quiz :eek:

I think the majority of athiests are people who were raised by parents in one of the primary religions and simply find they can not believe. Period. Speaking for myself it doesn't mean I cast judgement on those who do - nor do I wish to be a grump during Christmas. So there. Screw you I can play too even if I am an athiest :D

Gingersnap
12-10-2009, 11:33 AM
I'm an athiest. I like Christmas. No, not happy holidays, or merry December. Merry Christmas. I in no way feel threatened or oppressed by the fact I live in a predominately Christian society.

And, I like family time. I like, just celebrating. If others are doing it for Christ OK with me. I'm just having a good time.

Maybe because I was raised Christian I don't feel like anything is shoved down my throat. No one has tried to drag me bacl to church. Or burn me as a heretic. I want that 75 year old cross to remain on Federal land. I don't CARE if a student says "thank god" when he passes a tough math quiz :eek:

I think the majority of athiests are people who were raised by parents in one of the primary religions and simply find they can not believe. Period. Speaking for myself it doesn't mean I cast judgement on those who do - nor do I wish to be a grump during Christmas. So there. Screw you I can play too even if I am an athiest :D

But you aren't whining about religion while eating the crumbs from the religious table, either. That's my point. If atheists want to participate in the social activities that collect around religious observances, fine. Just don't tell the rest of us how oppressive we are AND invite yourself to the party. ;)

NJCardFan
12-10-2009, 12:18 PM
These people whine about Christmas because Christmas means happy, fun times and they can't have any of that.

FlaGator
12-10-2009, 12:31 PM
I have never come to grips with the fact that they don't believe in God but it bothers them that others do? I'm not labeling all atheists like this because I have a few atheist friends who could care less that Christmas is based around the birth of Jesus. They go to Christmas parties and other Christmas events. To them its just the time of the year to buy and receive presents and eat some free food. If God doesn't exist then why care what believers do during the holidays? If you go to a Christmas party it doesn't mean that you are condoning the Christian faith.

noonwitch
12-10-2009, 12:40 PM
I love Christmas, but I am not an atheist. I know a lot of people who are not christians that love the Christmas season-my jewish coworker loves it. She loves the food and the music, and the parties. She believes in celebrating with her friends all fun holidays, even if they aren't the ones she was raised with.


Some people are just unhappy and feel the need to drag others down with them.

It is difficult to love the holidays, if you've lost someone you loved recently or you feel alone in the world. There is a lot of pressure to be happy this time of year, and if you are not feeling it, christian or not, it's a difficult time to get through.

enslaved1
12-12-2009, 01:42 AM
These people whine about Christmas because Christmas means happy, fun times and they can't have any of that.

DINGDINGDINGDINGDING!!!! Give the man a cigar. And that's without digging into such theological quandaries as having a hope for the future.

djones520
12-12-2009, 02:08 AM
There was a large Christian movement in England, and America, that sought to outlaw Christmas. From the 1600's through the 1800's, Christmas was largely viewed as a Catholic aberation created by the Pope and really had nothing to do with Christianity as a whole. At times it was even outlawed to celebrate it in some of the Colonies.

Attacking Christmas is by no means a new venture. It's just being done by people who don't have a religious stake in it this time.

megimoo
12-12-2009, 07:57 AM
Atheism is an intellectual rejection of religion, superstition, and "folk" customs involving imaginary beings or events.

You cannot call yourself atheist and simultaneously support "pagan" customs. 21st century atheists cannot in good conscience celebrate the highly predictable and well understood phenomenon of varying day lengths as though these things were unusual, unique, or even worthy of comment. Would they also "celebrate" the first freeze every year?

I have no problem with atheists not celebrating Christmas, Ramadan, or Halloween. Feel free to eat a TV dinner and watch reruns of 'Rambo: First Blood' on December 25th. Just don't whine about the rest of us doing our 'superstitious" thing and then attempt to include yourself in equally superstitious customs and celebrations in the name of tradition or paganism. Tradition and paganism are two things that all atheists should reject if they are intellectually honest.

WaPo (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/09/AR2009120902165.html?hpid=sec-religion)

But they're not and never have been !

PoliCon
12-12-2009, 08:12 AM
There was a large Christian movement in England, and America, that sought to outlaw Christmas. From the 1600's through the 1800's, Christmas was largely viewed as a Catholic aberation created by the Pope and really had nothing to do with Christianity as a whole. At times it was even outlawed to celebrate it in some of the Colonies.

Attacking Christmas is by no means a new venture. It's just being done by people who don't have a religious stake in it this time.

Puritans are little better than atheists. Self righteous gits in both cases.

FlaGator
12-12-2009, 08:23 AM
Puritans are little better than atheists. Self righteous gits in both cases.

I felt the same way until I read the book "Among God's Giants" by J. I. Packer. It puts them and their beliefs in a whole new light. I have since read many of the works by some of the more noteable Puritan Writers (Owen, Edwards, Baxter, et al) and have found their doctrines not to be self-righteous but more in line bettering themselves in the eyes of God and living a life that was pleasing to God. This is not to say that there were those among them that reveled in a holier than thou attitude but it was less common among them than it is within today's ministries.

PoliCon
12-12-2009, 08:35 AM
I felt the same way until I read the book "Among God's Giants" by J. I. Packer. It puts them and their beliefs in a whole new light. I have since read many of the works by some of the more noteable Puritan Writers (Owen, Edwards, Baxter, et al) and have found their doctrines not to be self-righteous but more in line bettering themselves in the eyes of God and living a life that was pleasing to God. This is not to say that there were those among them that reveled in a holier than thou attitude but it was less common among them than it is within today's ministries.

That would be all well and good except that collectively they engaged in the practice of forcing their ideas of betterment onto everyone.

Gingersnap
12-12-2009, 10:29 AM
That would be all well and good except that collectively they engaged in the practice of forcing their ideas of betterment onto everyone.

Keep in mind that they came here specifically to create new societies governed by various kinds of Christian doctrines. At that time, they had the grants and permissions from the European royal houses to do what they did. The traders, adventurers, and merchants were pretty much just riding on the coattails of the Separatists for a couple of decades.

MrsSmith
12-12-2009, 03:06 PM
It is impossible to FORCE anyone to have a relationship with Christ. Forced conversion is only possible for religions that depend on actions.

PoliCon
12-12-2009, 06:37 PM
Keep in mind that they came here specifically to create new societies governed by various kinds of Christian doctrines. At that time, they had the grants and permissions from the European royal houses to do what they did. The traders, adventurers, and merchants were pretty much just riding on the coattails of the Separatists for a couple of decades.

Not everyone on the mayflower were separatists interested in an utopian vision. in fact - they only accounted for HALF the passengers on the Mayflower.

Gingersnap
12-12-2009, 08:55 PM
Not everyone on the mayflower were separatists interested in an utopian vision. in fact - they only accounted for HALF the passengers on the Mayflower.

Yeah, I mentioned those people. The passenger list isn't as important as the Compact - a Compact established because those secular people decided almost immediately that since the landing site was changed, the patents didn't bind them to the original purpose of the colony. In essence, the non-religious people wanted to run riot.

The Compact was governmental but it was also explicitly religious. And the Mayflower wasn't the only Christian colony experiment by any means. Like it or not, a Calvinistic flavor of Christianity animated most of the original Colonists. The Catholics were busy enforcing their version of Christianity in the Southwest and up in Canada as well as parts of the Deep South.

At that particular point in history there was no touchy-feely version of Christianity anywhere in the world. It was all didactic and intrusive. That's why imposing 21st century ethics and morality on non-21st century actors is so pointless.;)

Rockntractor
12-12-2009, 08:58 PM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/Is_Your_Housemate_an_Atheist__by_Li.jpg?t=12606694 92

Gingersnap
12-12-2009, 09:09 PM
"Seeds of Satan". LOL!

Rockntractor
12-12-2009, 09:54 PM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/bizarro_atheists.jpg?t=1260672862

Rockntractor
12-12-2009, 10:05 PM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/atheists-no.gif?t=1260673458

FlaGator
12-13-2009, 08:00 AM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/bizarro_atheists.jpg?t=1260672862

Now that's funny.