A Happier Holiday Without Religion.

The most pleasureful aspect of the Christmas holidays for many people is its religious meaning.  It would seem counter intuitive for them, then, to think of this time of year without focus on religion.

The holidays are stressful, however, to these same people, and many others, specifically because religious meaning is assigned to them.  I don’t recall this being specifically discussed by a television personality until this year.

NBC’s Chief Medical Editor, Nancy Snyderman, said on the Today Show, “I think religion is what mucks the whole thing up…I think that’s what makes the holidays so stressful.” Another TV personality in the discussion said religion was the only reason we have these holidays.  There is, of course, a debate about whether or not that is true.

It’s reasonable to ask what kind of stress religion brings?  That’s easy.  Just say, “Santa Monica, California.”

Santa Monica is where nonbelievers complained about all the Christian themed displays that filled up a public park there.  The City Government decided to hold a drawing to decide by lottery who would be allowed the limited spaces.  Nonbelievers won more spaces than Christians.  Complaints from Christians led to banning all displays in the park this year.

That stress caused by the religion involved continues.  Today, an article said Santa Monica should, “…began the realization….atheism is a nihilistic and dangerous philosophy incapable of making any positive contributions to either individuals or society.”

Santa Monica would be a happier place this Christmas without religion.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/nbc-chief-medical-editor-on-christmas-i-dont-like-the-religion-part-86601/

http://www.christianpost.com/news/merry-atheistic-nothingness-86422/

Join our discussion on FaceBook, Red River Freethinkers.  Thank you.

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to A Happier Holiday Without Religion.

  1. Unknown believer says:

    “Christ”mas wouldnt be christmas with out christ. It would just be mas

    Jesus is the reason for the season

  2. Kevin says:

    christmas started out as a pagen holiday. aka history channel. People worshiped a tree. I have no use for christmas. None at all. I hate to see the christmas trees go up, mostly by people who have no clue what christmas is all about. So if your a christian, why have a christmas tree. If your a non believer, why would you not worship the tree? Christmas, by christians is supposed to be when Christ was born. So why worship a tree? If your a non believer, why would you not worship a tree? My opinion, chirstmas is to commercialized. Its not about christiananity nor is it about pagenizm. Its about making a buck when you can, for big corp to let people know who rule. Do I have a “christmas tree” in my house? Yes I do, but its not without my protest, of what really is christmas about? I respect the lady of the house, but I make sure to let her know what my thought is all about. She cooks the awesome roasts, meals, so I guess she wins. Every year, I express my concerns. I will never help her decorate the “tree” but I will always let her. I cant say I am ever happy about it, and I will never say I am right. I had a previous gf, she had to have 2 trees. I explained to her the whole christmas thing, and then history channels saved me. She explained to me that everything I said, history channel agreed with me. There was only one christmas tree that year. And I even broke down to buy this already decorated tree from “big corp” walmart, for $20 bucks on clearance, dam was I glad she took it with her when she left, I may have fought to get some of my other stuff back, that she took, but I never once said a word about the “christmas tree” I am still happy she has it and I dont. The new GF is a much better cook, just saying, so that be said. sometimes one must do what one must do. Is there a woman that dont believe in christmas? If so, email me.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Kevin 3:50 Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Christmas. I’m sure there are many women who read this blog who do not believe in Christmas. It sounds like you have a nice girl friend already.

    • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

      The History Channel is not always accurate. I don’t know what program you watched, but I doubt it was that good as it misconstrues a lot.

      The meaning of Christmas is what one makes of it. The ancient meaning that once was attached to it is meaningless in a modern world. If people do not attach that meaning to an idea, then it no longer has that meaning.

      Christmas in America has little to do with religion anymore. Christmas has largely become a secular holiday that is used to celebrate family, reflect on the past year, and focus on life in general. Yes, some add an aspect of religion to it, but that is not the primary reason.

      I think it would be best if all parties just realized that Christmas has become an American holiday (much like Easter, Thanksgiving, etc). These holidays can and are celebrated by many without a focus on religion as the religion is not necessary.

      • Stanta says:

        And we welcome people who want to share them with us. That isn’t what most atheists want to do, they want to remove any religious meaning completely. And God bless you Dustin but you are doing such a good job helping them (sarc)

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Stan 5:15 “That isn’t what most atheists want to do, they want to remove any religious meaning completely.”

          You are correct in some ways. I want to remove religious meaning from mass killings like the current one. And, from violent storms, the invasion of Iraq, moral judgements about consenting adults and the indoctrination of young military personnel. I don’t want to remove it from how individuals see their lives and deaths, just from national, especially by government and government officials, interpretations of events.

        • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

          How do you know what most atheists want? Maybe they just want religion to stop being forced upon them. I’m sure you would object to Islam bein forced upon you.

          What I see is that the atheists who do voice an objection simply want Christianity to stop being forced on them. There is no reason for it. If you want to worship God and celebrate Jesus, go ahead. And if it must be done publicly, then all religions or non-religion should be free to be represented as well.

          If Cheistians are allowed to use public land to set up displays, the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, or what not should have exactly the same right. It really is an all or none issue here.

  3. Ed says:

    Well …ho, ho, ho. Sounds like Kevin has a whole lot of reasons to be unhappy. But his unhappiness pales to the entire community of Santa Monica, CA who would all evidently be better off without religion. I bet one can find a church in Santa Monica just like many in Fargo. They serve meals to the homeless and give financial support to their mission, they provide funding for missionaries to assist with the education and medical needs of less fortunate countries, and help support many of the local charities like YWCA, providing shelter for abused women and their children. I could go on and on because when you roll up all the things that religion does in Fargo Moorhead – it’s alot. For someone to say the community is better off without religion or churches? Even if you are an atheist, you wouldn’t stand a chance debating a jr. high debate student on this subject. Ask the Somali families who have been provided homes, food and other relocation assistance by Fargo congregations how they feel about local “religion.” Go to the homeless shelters and ask some folks how they feel about the financial support from area churches that really keeps their doors open. Ask those who have helped beat substance abuse or alcholism how the feel about the support they received from “religion.” It’s most often where they hold meetings. Whether you go to church or not, or believe or not, this is very sad commentary. It is quite evident where the real unhappiness is…..

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Ed 5:54 Good post. Taking religion out of Christmas, or reducing it, is a different issue than eliminating churches. Churches do lots of goods works. So do lots of other organizations. I wish churches paid property taxes.

  4. Wanna B Sure says:

    “Santa Monica would be a happier place this Christmas without religion”.
    I think Saint Monica would disagree.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Saint Monica’ father and son both had many girlfriends until they got “religion”, (a saying loaded with many opportunities of misunderstanding and abuse).

  5. Michael Ross says:

    I’m with Scrooge: “You keep Christmas in your way, and I’ll keep it in mine.”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 2:50 That Scrooge, gotta love him. :)

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        until you get to the last chapter.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Currently, there is a Jon I. Hoping for a Jon II. As in the story, it could happen overnight. Bet they even have a big goose waiting for you down at Hornbachers Jon.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Wanna 4:12 “Hoping for Jon II”.

          I’d have to think about that. First, you tell me Scrooge changes his mind, not good. Then, that Tiny Tim guy. I have a feeling he turns into a little hellion after they eat the goose. :)

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon;; Not me telling you of the change in Scrooge. It’s in the Narrative. Re. Tiny Tim; Your speculation isn’t in the narrative either , and is simply wishfull thinking on your part. Do the Freethinkers give encouragement to young boys for misbehaving?

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Michael; Read the last chapter of “A Christmas Carol”.—Please; “It was said of him that he kept Christmas very well”. There was Scrooge I, and the book ended with Scrooge II . Most people seem to forget that.

      • Michael Ross says:

        No, I haven’t forgotten that. Keeping Christmas as we each choose is a principle that applies to communities as well as individuals and churches. If the people of Fargo want a manger scene in Island Park or for that matter a 10 Commandments monument at city hall then I don’t believe a small handful of objectors have the right to tear those things down as they have done. If you keep Christmas by running up you credit card, buying things people don’t need, that’s you business. I prefer the Christ-given formula for keeping Chistmas:
        Matthew 25:
        35‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          I can agree with that on principal, but the Advent, the Christmas story, along with the Easter story, is about that which enables/ encourages the behavior we admire. “The cause, and the effect”.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          “Because He first loved us”; 1 John 4:19-21.

  6. dan says:

    Jon,

    Do you believe that the people of Newtown Connecticut would agree that they would be better off without religion tonight? I’m sure the gunman would..if he were still alive. There are more important things in life than spending it behind a computer attempting to convince people that they would be better off without religion. How about trying to convince people that murder is wrong. Wait, there is already a document that already spells this out but it’s terribly religious and we can’t have that. No, we’ll just continue to watch children being carried out in body bags and accept the fact that the tem commandments got it all wrong. We’re all just pieces of meat with nothing to look forward to except for an after life of nothingness. Just venting, getting tired of seeing children being murdered.

    • Avatar of Dustin White Dustin White says:

      I have to say that using a recent tragedy in order to try to further your theological ideas simply is distasteful, and should have no place in civilized discussion.

      As for murder being wrong, the ten commandments weren’t the first to say that. The idea that murder is wrong has been put forth by nearly every civilization that we know of. Every law system that we can track down, starting with the ones before the Ten Commandments, make the same statement: do not murder.

      Children being murdered has nothing to do with taking religion out of the public, and to even suggest such is shameful and intolerant. How many religious individuals have killed children and the like? History is full of it, and to turn a blind eye towards that, but then use a recent tragedy to support your narrow view is just ridiculous.

      It is truly at times like this, that I feel shameful to even call myself a Christian when others would be so rude and uncaring as to use a tragedy to demonize others. It is exactly that sort of view point that will only lead to more hatred, and more death.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      dan 4:45 “..would be better off without religion tonight? I’m sure the gunman would..”

      Hold on a second, my friend. You seem to be saying the gunman was an atheist. You have no business whatsoever saying that. How do you know he was not a Christian killing people because Jesus told him to? Others serial killers have said they heard such a voice.

      I have just as much information about the gunman as you do, which is none. So, I’d suggest before you start making stuff up about the religous views of the gunman you reflect on the possibility you may be wrong. Your reaction is typical of some Christians, I’ll name a couple, Pat Robinson and Jerry Falwell. They immediately blamed “gays and liberals” for 911.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Jon; Like you I am remaining silent on that terrible incident in Conn. until all the information is in, and that may take a long time. I do see an understandable defensive stance by you in the implied intimation that atheism was a part of it. That isn’t proven. Now you may begin to understand the insult received by many in the community when you aim some of the same types of unfounded accusations at them. Think about it please.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Wanna 4:38 “Think about it please.”

          Have I blamed any mass murders or 911′s on the Christian faith? If I have, I apologize, which is what Dan should do.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; I’m referring to the many broad accusations/ inferrals you attribute to Christianity on many and varied subjects. Too many, and too often to be specific.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Jon; Re. my 4:38; “…Same TYPES of unfounded ACCUSATIONS”… (Plurals).

  7. Henry says:

    “A Happier Holiday Without Religion.”

    Not hardly. Merry ☧mas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>