Christmas: A War on Atheists?

There seem fewer articles this year about the “War on Christmas”.  Happy Holidays receives fewer complaints.

And, this is as it should be because the Christian faith has no business claiming ownership of this time of year.  This season was celebrated long before the Christian faith came into being.

The rightful “owners” of the holiday season are those of older religions or secular groups who only celebrate the Winter Solstice.  This time of the year has traditionally been about the shortest day, not bowing down to something or someone.

One group we know about who celebrated this time of year before Christians were competitors, pagans.    They, of course, do not have exclusive rights either because other religions preceded them.

The secularization of Christmas began long before Happy Holidays. I listened to a radio station play ”Christmas” music the other day.  Maybe one out of five tunes had anything to do with the religion.  “I’ll Have a Blue Christmas”, “Daddy Don’t Get Drunk this Christmas”, “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” were played,  songs pagans would enjoy, too.

My advice to Christians would be to lighten up on the “Happy Holiday” complaints and be thankful for the huge amount of religion that remains.  There still is, after all, a national holiday named, “Christmas Day”.  No other religion or non religion has made a marketing coup like that one.

We who have not seen evidence there was a birth of any god figure on December 25, or any other date, enjoy the season more with less religion.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/former-minister-we-atheists-love-this-time-of-year-like-everyone-else/2012/12/05/1eaac96a-3f0d-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_blog.html

Join the discussion of this on FaceBook, Red River Freethinkers

(For any local folks who would like to meet Freethinkers, our annual Solstice Potluck is this Sunday, Fargo Public Library, 1 PM, Fercho Room.)

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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8 Responses to Christmas: A War on Atheists?

  1. entech says:

    Amazing how those old druids in Britain, and other groups in Northern Europe noticed that the years started to lengthen and the weather improve at about the same time. Observation over years showed that it was the exact same time and so they built stone monuments. artifacts designed so that the sun’s rays reached a certain spot to signify the end of winter. Not one of them had heard of Jesus, but it was a great time for a celebration. If you were trying to start a new religion you would be mad to miss out on an existing affair. Different traditions have a “New Year Festival” at this time, others take a different milestone, not the solstice but the equinox, spring, when the long winter can be seen to be over, flower start to flower etc. The moon played an important part in early cultures, predicting which nights were best for the hunt etc. so that had to be incorporated which is why the lunar New Year in the East changes year to year and why passover must be on a full moon, the second full moon after the equinox.
    Long traditions have festivals and like Christmas you would be mad not to incorporate them into your new scheme, any one wonder why the messiah was born on a different day each, year – how do you calculate Easter.

  2. Avatar of Grandma Grandma says:

    oohhhhh……. And the Xmas trees — another great pagan tradition (German) I really enjoy.

    • entech says:

      Tannenbaum, a little German song about a Christmas Tree, it is amusing that it uses the same tune as the one that is something about the “workers flag is deepest red” can’t quote anymore as I only know the vulgar version.

  3. Michael Ross says:

    “Christmas: A War on Atheists?”

    Pity the poor pagans. Atheists are a part of this Nation of Victims. You too have a seat at the table of America’s pity party.

  4. entech says:

    Cartoon in my local paper (yes Henry the pinko rag). The caption read:

    Jesus is the reason for the season.
    (So now you know who to blame)

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