This Christmas, Expect Nativity Scenes To Have “Friends” Nearby.

My impression is that each year, more secular groups crowd into publically owned property  formerly used exclusively to display the Christian manger scene.  These new displays have atheist themes and those of other religions.

What I wish is these displays on public property would be educational.  For example, it would be helpful for Christians to illustrate the pagan origin of Christmas day.

It was the pagans, and whatever preceded them, who put a religious twist on winter solstice.  Eventually, Christians came along and decided to push aside the soltice crowd and insert their own religion in its place.

Nearly every institution takes Christmas day off.  In nonChristian countries, like Japan, they take long holidays after New Years.  There are Christians who say that when nonbelievers take Christmas off they are being inconsistant or hypocritical.  It seems to me they are doing what people seem to have done forever, celebrating soltice and/or the new year.

Now, I don’t think Christians should feel guilty about stealing winter soltice from the pagans.  Neither should stores that greet shoppers with “Happy Holidays” be labeled guilty for not making reference the Christmas.  It is all just part of social change that takes place over the centuries.

It would be wise if groups like churches didn’t spend too much on their nativity scenes.  The Crystal Cathedral in California spent so much money on live camels and donkeys a few years ago, they could not pay the bill.

Maybe Christian and nonChristian groups could join together and simply wish people, “Happy Holidays”.

75 Responses

  1. H.P.Drifter


    The Christians will always feel guilty, no matter what, even if they have to invent something to feel guilty about. It’s part of the christian package they give for christmas every year


    1. H.P.D. 3:13 “The Christians will always feel guilty, no matter what, even if they have to invent something to feel guilty about.”

      When you think about the bizarre notion newly born babies are sinners, it like making up something to feel guilty about.

  2. entech

    A few years ago at the school my wife taught at, a school with a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, a primary school with kids up to about 12. The school always did its best to be inclusive, encouraging all nationalities to learn the local culture as well as the local language while retaining all that was good about their origins.
    The kids learned a lot about each other and the world the others came from, had to hope they kept a lot, enough to make racism and bigotry very difficult.
    The Christmas story was played out and the Turkish parents joined in quite happily, one of the big jokes was about two Muslim girls squabbling over which one should be Mary in a nativity play and the chatter turning to whether it should be Mary, Maryam, Maria or Miriam.
    Although the teachers treated it as a bit of joke most of them realised there was no real contradiction here. It is an item of faith for all Muslims that Jesus was born of a virgin called Mary, not so for all Christians.

    1. Jinx

      Entech, how wonderful, you made my day! I swear, kids have the answers to a number of social and political conflicts…..little squabbles but in the end it all works out with no harm to anyone, no bombs or declarations of war, and every one counts whether you agree with them or not.

  3. H.P.Drifter

    Really sad children have to grow up to be adults and have all the adults cram all that BS down their throats before they are able to fight back. What a wonderful world it would be.

    We don’t celebrate any holidays, but for those that do, wouldn’t it be nice to have a secular and educational holiday without all the adults screwing things up fighting over petty stuff, like who gets to display what where. And the merchants cooperate as well, instead of pounding the airways with who has the bigger the sign for 50% off. Get it before Christmas and save.

    For us we treat every night like it Saturday night, no need for Holidays, we stay home eat a good dinner laugh our heads off (the wife does great imitations of people in general) go to bed early (the best part) and not have to worry about getting hit by drunks or druggies roaming the highways with out anything to do.

    Happy Holidays

    H.D.P and small army

    1. josh

      Wow, sounds like a great time….., Bet your kids are going to really appreciate you someday. I can hear them now. My A!@@#$ dad never let us have christmas. It’s sad how some parents use their childrens love against them in order to manipulate them into their warped way of thinking.

      1. Wolfy32

        One of my best friends, who grew up in the same brain washing church background as me…. Right wing pentecostal evanglical fanatics. Has decided he wants his kids to decide what to believe in for themselves. They still exchange gifts and stuff for christmas and do some decorating, but, he doesn’t allow them to go to church and doesn’t want them brainwashed by churches.. If when they get to be adults, they decide they want to be muslim he’ll support them, or if they want to be hindu or christian. However, He wants them to decide because they feel it’s something important to them, not because he forced it down their throats.

        I feel that way too. If God is truly an all powerful God he’ll reveal himself to those kids as time goes on and direct them toward Christianity. If they don’t choose anything , or want nothing to do with religion he’d support that as well.

    1. entech

      Interesting that all that blond hair and blues crept in. The best estimates are that Yeshua would have looked more like Yasar Arafat.
      That is the additional irony coming from my 3:48, the two girls wanting to be Mary were Semitic just like the original.

    2. Simple 10:32 “I am particularly fond of the nativity scenes with caucasian figures.”

      Me too. To make the scene really authentic, people should plant a U. S. A. flag by the cradle.

      1. Jinx

        Can’t recall where there is a painting? statue? of the Black Madonna…. Maybe Poland or Warsaw? I have to look it up.

    3. Jinx

      Simple, Lol! Never noticed when I was a little kid but by the time I was around 10 or 11 and had some geography & social studies behnd me, I started wondering about that and after 59 years on this earth I know cultural bias when I see it. My right wing fundamentalist catholic sister tried to start an argument with me with he belief that Jesus was not a Jew but a catholic!!! Faith makes one believe in the damndest things.

      1. entech

        Be tolerant Jinx, try and remember that your invisible friend is yours and yours alone and can be anything you want. 🙂

  4. H.P.Drifter


    As usual you are wrong about everything, I am older all my children are middle age, and have children of their own. Just like a Christian rushing to judgement sticking their noses into everybody else’s business, you don’t know shit from Shinola (shoe polish).

    For over thirty years I put up a fresh christmas tree and decorated the tree and put away the ornaments every year. I did that because I wanted to give the children freedom of thought and let them make up their own mind later.

    I never objected when someone wanted to go to church or do yoga or study some other life philosopher. Because I did that, all of my children and their off spring are well adjusted adults and young people. Obviously your parents didn’t get the message.


  5. H.P.Drifter


    One more thing, when you are man, when you throw away reason and accountability, what do you have? Answer is a Christian


    1. josh

      Ha. I’d say us Christians are the ones that are accountable and reasonable. Christians are accountable. We believe in individual responsibility and accountability for our actions. That’s something that you liberal atheist anything goes with no accountability crowd do not. Don’t accuse anyone of sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong because you freely invite others to comment when you air your dirty laundry in public.

      1. Wolfy32

        Christianity is not accountable nor responsible.. I’m surprised others missed this, then again, there’s no point in arguing with logic with one such as yourself. Sadly, Henry almost seems logical compared to you… Anyone heard from him recently?

        Anyways, Christianity is quite the opposite of personal responsibility and accountability. God forgives me of everything!!! Yaaay!!!! Next sunday, yeah, I might have done a few bad things.. Ooops!! Sorry God!!! Please forgive me again!!! Thanks man!!! You’re the best!!! See you next week!!

        And on and on and on…. My parents hated catholics because once confirmed, they could do whatever they wanted, drink, party, have sex, go to movies in theaters, and dance, gamble, and so much worse, without having to ask forgiveness. Because they could do whatever they wanted, all their future sins were forgiven once confirmed…

        My mom just last night said “I suppose Catholics believe in Jesus, Maybe?? I’m not sure, I know they pray to Mary, I wonder if they actually believe in Jesus or not? ”

        Heh, either way, both catholics and christians have ways of dealing with “removing Sin”. Making one no longer accountable or responsible for their sins….

        Athiests are probably more accountable than Christians, because they realize they have to live with all their mistakes, there’s no one to remove the mistakes, so, they’re more careful to make less mistakes!

        1. josh

          You’re wrong as usual. Shows how little you know about us christians. We are forgiven for our sins, but we still have to live with the consequences of them. We still have to make earthly amends. We accept responsibility for our actions. We just ask GOD to forgive us for not living up to his expectations. We do our best not to repeat those sins but being human and imperfect we often fail. At least we have remorse which is more than you atheists can say.

        2. Catholic Dad


          Can you please let you Mother know that yes, we do believe in Christ. We do not believe that Mary is divine, like Christ. However, we do ask Mary to intercede for us to her Son, Jesus Christ. We can like everyone else go directly to Christ. Since, Mary, is the Mother of God, we do hold her in very high regard.

          Repentance is not a easy thing, especially the sacrament of reconciliation. There is a period of self examination, and confessing, also making a statement of not trying to commit that sin again. Here is a link

          Even if you are “without God”, try to think of it as saying sorry to another person – and meaning it. My hope is that you will have a better understanding that it is not a easy thing.

          1. Wolfy32

            I know Catholics believe in Christ. Trying to tell my mom Catholics aren’t evil is like trying to tell a weed to not reproduce.

            After all, if anything Catcholics are the founder of Christianity, all break offs are only possible as a result of catholicism in the first place.

            I don’t know all the rituals, however, it seems to me like trying to put a science behind dealing with human emotion. Similar to going to a therapist / or counselor to talk through significant issues in life.

            So much of Christianity is centered around emotion that I came to wonder if spirituality and emotion are one in the same?

            When evangelists invoked the holy spirit, i began to wonder… Since when does man have control over something as powerful as the holy spirit? Something didn’t jive. Numerous speakers would “invoke the holy spirit” And the best way to describe it is everyone wanted to believe in the holy spirit so bad, that they all focussed on bringing up certain emotions. It was an emotional drug. Sort of like the opposite of anti depressants. Make everyone incredibly sad over their lives and make them feel horrible for existing, then revivie them – invoke dopamine and seratonin within the brain, by some how saying the holy spirit has been invoked and God’s with us now that we’ve cleansed ourselves?

            I can do the same thing without extremes in emotions and without feeling crazy, by seeing a counselor or a well trained counselor. I don’t need to be brought to the verge of being suicidal for how evil I am, and then bumped back up to being ecstatic I’m alive to overcome any wrongdoings.

            I don’t believe God wants that for us either. I can’t imagine why he’d want a bunch of dramatic emotional zealots for followers.

      1. H.P.Drifter


        Ordinarily I wouldn’t even bother answer some one like you,(you are crazy, calling Mohammed a pedophile on a forum like this), (You need mental health help, hope you get it)

        I want the good Christians on this blog to know that when I said when you throw away reason and accountability, I was specifically talking about you not Michael. Wanna Be, CD or anybody else ( not even Eric).

        The whole purpose of this blog is enlightenment the sharing of ideas in a civil forum. You Josh defy the norm, unfortunately there are many people just like you out there that give Christianity a bad name. And between the name calling, the hypocrisy in what you say, the meanness of your attitude, Christianity is going to take a fall.

        I am not an atheist, I am looking for enlightenment just like every body else on this forum, I have sure even Christian social services have counselors that can help you. Maybe CD or Michael can recommend someone for you to see. You need help only a professional can give.



        1. josh

          As usual your only response to any argument is insults. thus indicating that you find my arguments valid. Check your history. Mohammed was married to a 6 year old child. If you don’t think that makes you a pedophile I guess you’ve got bigger issues to deal with. I’ve yet to see one comment from you based upon any form of reason. The only thing you seem to be capable of is verbal violence. You certainly aren’t any christian by my definition. By the way. Have you helped out that homeless family yet?

        2. josh

          One more thing the whole purpose of this blog is for Jon Lindgren to attempt to destroy the christian faith. I’m here to defend it. Why are you here?

          1. josh 4:14 “..the whole purpose of this blog is for Jon Lindgren to attempt to destroy the christian faith.”

            Some parts of the faith have this fundamental problem. It is the advance of information and technology.

            If the story(s) surrounding the faith, birth, resurrection, etc. had just been claimed to have happened 100,000 years earlier, it could be claimed the sands of time had covered all evidence so it is not possible to refute these claims. But, the same technology that allowed the faith to live this long, preservation of the written word as opposed to oral history, also works against it. There are other written records that dispute claims made in the Bible.

            Then, there is carbon dating and seemingly unlimited amounts of money available to digs. Christians have money for digs, so does the secular community. Christians have not found much to legitimise their claims, secular digs have been more successful. There is not, for example, any sound archiological evidence of a settlement where and when the Jesus birth was supposed to have happened.

            Many scholars maintain the Bible stories were not intended by the writers to be taken literally. The literal take on the Bible is a more recent invention.

            I like to think my blog is for passing along information like this, not for “destroying the Christian faith.” But, readers are free to make of it what they will. Glad to have everyone here.

  6. Michael Ross

    I have never been offended by “happy holidays” “seasons greeting” or any other expression of good will this time of year. In fact I never gave it a second thought. Neither should secularists take offence at Merry Christmas”. Its all says the same thing.

    1. entech

      I can agree to that, I usually say “seasons greetings” or something similar but never argue about what people prefer.
      A funny thing happened at my (Jewish) doctors a couple years ago at this time of year, a Jewish patient was leaving as I arrived and his parting remarks were, “happy Hanuka, have good Christmas”.

    2. Michael 1:34 “In fact I never give it a second thought.”

      Neither do I. I don’t think secular people in general pay much attention either. The issue comes up over the question of using public property for advertising a religion.

      The thing is, there is virtually no chance any of the story depicted by the manager scene ever happened. There was never a “decree” that people return to their home area, there was no prophecy of a virgin birth, no virgin birth, no wise men, no camels and all the rest. Better people who want to pretend all this happened not push it on to property shared by people who don’t care to pretend.

        1. josh 2:33 (I corrected your typo, I make so many myself. I wish the software allowed posters to edit their own posts but it is left to the administrator, which is me. If you ever want something corrected just mention it in another post.)

          “It’s been clearly documented and verified in the Bible and by the Church.”

          That’s how believers and skeptics differ. I’d like to see some documentation outside the Bible coroberate with what the Bible claims to have happened. In the case of the government directing people to “return home”, there are lots of government records and commentary of that time surviving, but no mention of such a huge requirement. The author(s) made up that requirement to “return home” to conform to the Old Testament. That is, the author had to find some way to place Jesus “born in Bethlehem”, so he made up the journey.

          Your use of the word, documented, is different than mine.

          1. entech

            It must be true, its in the bible and god wrote the bible. So God said it, that proves it and I believe it. 😆

            Jon, do you think Emily has a young brother?

          1. entech

            Michael you know Jon’s qualifications are in different field. Irrelevant to the reason for this blog. It is mostly in “creation science” that people with unrelated qualifications and/or cornflakes box degrees that are put up as experts and supposedly given credibility by using titles.

    3. I found a 1906 post card that proudly declared “happy Xmas”. As we all know that phrase has been used for a very long time, but the “war on Christmas” crowd has been harping on that phrase as evidence that society is Xing out the Christ in Christmas. Pays to know history, as always.

      1. Wanna B Sure

        Realist: Not so fast. X= Greek letter for Chi. A device known as a Christogram. An accepted representation of Christ for over 1000 years. See also Chi Rho. Yes, it indeed pays to know history.

          1. entech

            For most of the fourth century AD, Roman society was a curious mix of the traditional pagan and the official state religion of Christianity. The first sign of Christianity to appear on Roman coins was not a cross, the most important symbol of modern Christianity, but a device called the Christogram or the chi-rho symbol.

            … where the rho was superimposed with a cross, and then again in the fifth century by a cross alone. It is possible that people were initially unwilling to use the sign of the cross because of the shame attached to crucifixion, which was reserved for the execution of criminals. This link disappeared when the first Christian emperor Constantine the Great replaced crucifixion with burning at the stake. He claimed to have been converted in 312 by a sign from God on the eve of battle. It is most likely that the sign Constantine had in mind would have been the chi-rho symbol.


            The curse of an inquiring mind, can’t help noticing the reference to crucifixion being changed to burning at the stake. So many things remained the same when the magisterium changed.

        1. Wanna, you missed my point. I was trying to point out that the X had been used for many years as an alternative acceptible name, and that it isn’t a new invention intended to put an X on Christ like the conservative right would have you believe. Or maybe i’ts just Sarah Palin wanting us to believe that. 🙂

          1. Wanna B Sure

            realist: Both ends of the spectrum mis-use the “X” either by ignorance, or design. One end wants to X out Christ, (I have been told that by advocates of it, and the other wants to make an issue where there isn’t one. Up to the early 1900’s, many people knew the “X” connection to Christ, while these days, most don’t know, or indeed care. This makes them vulnerable to the BS of both sides.

    4. Wolfy32

      Heh…Wow… That kinda stuns me.. Much of your arguements sounded similar to the drivel my parents give… Never question anything and just accept what all pastors and preachers say as fact.

      My parents take a strong offense, having to call it out whenever Happy holidays is said in tv shows, commercials, etc.. Then they go into a rant about how the world is doing away with Christmas and destroying it by using happy holidays…

      I used to be like them and wonder why everyone is trying to destroy Christmas… I had a pretty narrow minded and very judgemental view of the world then.

  7. H.P.Drifter


    Love to get you on You Tube, I am sure you would go viral over night, why stop with this Forum.


        1. josh 7:49 Helped that homeless family yet?”

          josh, I think no one responds much to this snarky post because there is no point in getting into an argument, “I’m more of a saint than you.” Just to speak to it a bit, my wife and I as volunteers sort cans at the food pantry several days a week–maybe she puts in 20 hours. She volunteers at an art place several other ours. I’ve spent a lot of hours doing development work at the food pantry. The last couple of days, I’ve worked on finding a parent in a deep religious group someone to link up with because her son it gay and she can’t mention it in the group, even though she knows two other couples have gay kids but they stay in the closet about it.

          Now, I do some of this, but I don’t claim Freethinkers do more than anyone else. I don’t do enough. I don’t think churches, either, do enough for families with gay children. Just my thought.

          1. josh

            Just pointing out John that the hypocrite H.P.D, who made previous comments about how us christians do nothing for our community, has no response when I pointed out to him what christians in the FM area do for the underprivileged. I’m asking him an honest question. What has he done for our community?

          2. josh

            Christians help all children. Saying a child is gay doesn’t make them anything such. What will that child be when their 18 and not being confused by adults. Christians see a hungry child. We don’t decide to help them based upon labels.

          3. josh 10:52 “Christians help all children.”

            I wish I had written down the number and stories I know where Christian parents locked their gay teenagers out of their home. I would modify your statement to say, “Most Chrisitans help most children.” The ones that dump their gay children make it necessary for more secular people to repair the damage.

          4. entech

            Josh @10:52 “Saying a child is gay Christian doesn’t make them anything such. What will that child be when their they are 18 and not being confused by adults.”

            There you go a little editing and you have something everyone can agree to.

            I don’t agree with Dawkins on a lot of things but when he talks of back ground and birth being the main factors in a child’s religion I do agree. If I see a child in India, raised by a devout Hindu family it would be wrong to say that he/she was a Hindu child, more a child raised to have Hindu thoughts.
            John Locke, who had such an influence on the American Founders, postulated that the original state of a child’s mind was a blank slate waiting to be written on. So by your reasoning you were not yourself a Christian until you were 18, unfortunately by that time the slate had been filled with Christian thoughts that there was no room for anything else.

          5. josh

            Entech. By your logic then kids that think they’re homosexual are being programmed to be so by their parents or others. By the way there’s no need for anything other than christian thought it covers everything.

          6. entech

            Josh where on earth are you coming from, that statement is the most outlandish distortion I have ever seen.

            My 1:04 am merely picked up on your 10:52 pm to say that it is wrong to say a child is a Hindu child, or a Muslim child or even a Christian child and especially not a homosexual child. A child is a child and only needs general guidance and not brain washing to allow it to develop and make up its own mind about religious belief, similarly, at some time the sexual orientation will become apparent.

            Where did you get the idea that someone can be programmed to prefer the sexual company of their own gender, it is most likely that good Christian parents and people like yourself would, if they had the thought that there may be a homosexual element in a child’s make up, attempt to program it out of them – with a big stick if needed.

            By the way there’s no need for anything other than christian thought it covers everything. if you set your self as some kind of example that I would suggest that almost anything else would cover everything better.

  8. josh

    Wow! You’re really living in the dark ages if you think that parents try to beat a supposed “homosexual element” out of them. I think you get your ideas of what christians are from the liberal hollywood atheists and media. People can be programmed to do whatever others want. It then takes years to straighten out those screwed up people. Christianity is not programming, it is showing the true path to enlightenment to our children.

    1. Wolfy32

      Josh, heh, what if everyone thinks their religion is the true path to enlightment? I’m sure children growing up in India around Hindu temples and churches also grow up believing they are on a path of true enlightment. Asian Tao religion, mideast muslims, and many others, all the followers believe very devoutly (to the death) that their beliefs are the true path to enlightment! So…. I’m curious what makes your path the right one, other than because the bible says so or you say so..

      These are rhetorical questions. Please don’t answer them, because I already know what you’re answers will be.. It’ll be a highly selfish answer stating that you’re right. No one else could possibly be right. All those that died in the name of their religion died for nothing. Only those inquisitors and catholic armies that tried to defeat the evil heathens and died enmasse in battle trying to eradicate islam from the world by killing all the muslims… Only the true christians willing to kill and die for their religion are on the right path… Well, in today’s age, it’s gone from killing those that disagree with them to judging and condemning those that disagree with them.

      Even though God is supposed to be the true judge not humanity…

        1. entech

          How do you know this for certain?

          This is the sought of huge claim that really does need real and huge proof. I have yet to see anything more than barely plausible in the way of proof.
          There are possible arguments for the existence of a creator, to begin you only need to look around and see the universe around, some call it creation.
          If you wish to argue that this creator has a fetish about creating things called man and creating them in his own image, again you have the start of a case, look around you there is a universe populated with mankind.
          We still have a long way to go from a couple of possibilities to the God of Abraham, nothing to say this entity if such exists is any God described by any of the monotheisms. This is before the really hard work begins. The leap from a possible creator to a personal creator God is very big, the next step, the step to a trinity and all the luggage that goes with it is absolutely huge, and, even ordinarily huge is nowhere to be found.

          But if it makes you happy then peace and good luck with that.

        2. josh 11:23 “Everyone is given the opportunity to come to Jesus.”

          I don’t think this could possibly be true. Could you change to become a believer in a Hindu god? I doubt it. If people cannot believe in a particular god, I don’t see how that can be changed at the drop of a hat.

          A few years ago, we had a young scientist speak at a Freethinker meeting. He is a devout Hindu. I remember toward the end of his presentation he said something like, “Unlike other religions, ours can be proven by sceintific methods. It is true.”

          Does he have “the opportunity” of changing? I think that door is closed to him. I think the door for you to change to his beliefs is closed.

          That everyone can change to conform to orthodox views is just other myth from the Bible like walking on water.

Comments are closed.