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Atheists and Christmas

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Narcissus, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Narcissus

    Narcissus Member

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    I don't know if there's any atheists around here :), but I have been wondering over the last few days...

    Firstly, what do you think of Christmas? Do you celebrate it at all?

    Secondly (and partly because I'm expecting the "yeah, but only as a secular holiday" type response): what's you're take on some of the hardcore Christians trying to "take back" Christmas? Do you believe that they have a right to try and do so and if not, why not?

    Thirdly, are you offended when someone wishes you a "Merry Christmas"? What do you think about:
    a) those non-Christians that are trying to replace it with "happy holidays" and
    b) those Christians that are vocally upset about those people trying to replace it with "happy holidays"?

    Finally, do you believe that this thread has any hope in hell of stopping the onslaught of political posts?
     
  2. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Good try Narc.

    This issue isn't such a big thing in Australia. The syrupy Happy Holidays nonsense and political correctness in the states hasn't really hit here despite the fact that we are well into the post-Christian era (if we ever had a Christian era???).

    Most Aussies don't care, they just love a holiday and the tradition that goes with it. Carols by candlelight are very well attended, we still send cards, give presents and get together as families.

    I can't help feeling that we have forgotten what the real deal of Christmas is, and of course, as a result it means different things for all of us.

    PS Do you want a plethora of 'Does God Exist"" posts in preference to the political sparring? :lol: :lol:
     
  3. Narcissus

    Narcissus Member

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    To be honest CW, this truly was not a fishing expedition! That last line was basically my attempt at humour.

    I really have been wondering this over the last little while so figured it best to ask. If you don't ask, you don't find out.

    Far enough that there isn't the political correctness going on, and lucky for you, really, but I still find the personal aspects (as well as the rest of the questions) interesting...

    And as far as the 'does God exist' posts go:
    a) there's no real reason for them, as I'm specifically asking the atheists about what they think about Christmas... a simple "I don't celebrate because I don't believe" is fine; and
    b) I refuse to listen to any of Daniel's posts arguments about God's existence specifically until he answers the questions I laid out to him a while ago.
     
  4. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    I am an atheist through and through, but I celebrate Christmas. However, what is Christmas? As CW pointed out above, it means different things to different people.

    For me its a time to get together with family and celebrate a fantastic time of year, summer.
     
  5. Narcissus

    Narcissus Member

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    OK, clon, so what about the other stuff? Do you think that Christians have a right to try and 'take it back', or at least be upset about it having lost its religious underpinnings?
     
  6. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem with them trying to do that Narc, as it will have little or no effect on me at all.

    Another question should be, should the Christians who lie to their children about Santa cease doing so? I am sure that lying to your kin is not in the spirit of christianity.
     
  7. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    I am in the atheist camp like Clon.

    Firstly, what do you think of Christmas? Do you celebrate it at all?
    Absolutely. I come from a background of the tree, presents, turkey and going to Mass. Nowadays I make it a family get together time as top priority, whack up a small display of ornaments (with my favorite being a small white polar bear with red & green scarf on a skateboard I got in the US) and the food & wine is spectacular. It is a sort of a childhood retrogression I can't get past and still enjoy. BTW, we haven't given presents for decades - saved for just birthdays.

    Secondly (and partly because I'm expecting the "yeah, but only as a secular holiday" type response): what's you're take on some of the hardcore Christians trying to "take back" Christmas? Do you believe that they have a right to try and do so and if not, why not?
    I am not sure what 'take back' means? Getting rid of Santa Claus and the shopping rituals everyone does? I couldn't care less what they want to do so long as it doesn't change the way others enjoy the event. Let them wear sackcloths I say.

    Thirdly, are you offended when someone wishes you a "Merry Christmas"?
    NO

    What do you think about:
    a) those non-Christians that are trying to replace it with "happy holidays"
    Don't care either way, but would go with Merry Christmas if pressed. I know plenty of non-Christians and it can be a little awkward with pushing a greeting that means nothing to them

    b) those Christians that are vocally upset about those people trying to replace it with "happy holidays"?
    That's fine too. If we tried to change a traditional greeting for a Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslims there would be something ugly happening.

    Finally, do you believe that this thread has any hope in hell of stopping the onslaught of political posts?
    Doubt it
     
  8. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Come on Lincoln, that was a poor attempt and you already know the answers but here ya go

    Firstly, what do you think of Christmas? Do you celebrate it at all?
    Yes as a secular Commercial holiday, there is no religious meaning in it for me.

    what's you're take on some of the hardcore Christians trying to "take back" Christmas? Do you believe that they have a right to try and do so and if not, why not?
    It's a religious holiday and I think it is fine for them to want to take it back. In the same vein non muslims do not celebrate Ramadan etc. However I think the truly "Christian Spirit" would be better prevailing and saying a holiday that brings family and friends together does more good in the world even if it is commerical, than leaving it to a select group.


    Thirdly, are you offended when someone wishes you a "Merry Christmas"? What do you think about:
    a) those non-Christians that are trying to replace it with "happy holidays"
    It has become a commercial and secular thing now, and I don't even think twice when people say that, I am not offended in anyway. Merry Christmas is just a well wish like "Have a good one"

    b) those Christians that are vocally upset about those people trying to replace it with "happy holidays"?
    Fine by me, either way is the same, it just seems pretty unchristian to not want to include everyone.

    Islam is a far more inclusive religion from what I understand
     
  9. Narcissus

    Narcissus Member

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    MB: by 'take back Christmas' I don't necessarily mean getting rid of Santa and shopping and so on... it's more a 'movement' in North America where certain people are really pushing the religious aspect, more than trying to take anything away from it. Not necessarily telling people that they can't celebrate it if they're not Christian, but maybe trying to 'remind' them that it wouldn't be around if it wasn't for Christ :)

    clon: as far as Santa goes, well, I am sure that lying to your kin is not in the spirit of humanity itself and/or plain old respect. Christians lying to their children about Santa are just as 'bad' as non-Christians lying to their children about Santa...

    As far as I'm concerned, I don't have a problem telling my kids about Santa because (and here's where I'm going to probably be laughed at) as far as I'm concerned, Santa is real. That is to say, the 'essence' of Santa and what he represents is very real.

    When I learned chemistry at school, I wasn't thrown completely in the deep end... I was taught originally about atoms and how different charges get shared about. By year 12, what I was taught in year 7 was absolutely ridiculous, but on a certain level it was still correct.

    That's how I view Santa: of course what I know now and what I knew then is totally different, but on a certain level they're still the same.... how do you explain to a little child that for some strange reason, overall, everyone gets a little happier at Christmas? That people start to be kinder, gentler and friendlier? That for some strange reason people stop being greedy fcuks and actually act like they are a community? How do you explain to your kids that watching them opening presents actually makes you forget about the rest of the **** going on in the world, and that that exact feeling that put that exact look on their face is what, in reality, the entire world should be feeling and should be helping each other to feel each and every day?

    To me, that is what Santa is. Now, my kids won't understand that for a long time, so for now I want to essentially teach them a feeling and give them some insight into what wonderment, amazement and joy can do to their lives.... hopefully so that they will go on to give that feeling to someone else.

    Can I teach them that without 'lying' to them about Santa? Most likely, yes. But when they grow up, would they have those memories that they can look back on and think "hey, that's what it felt like when anything was possible"? Probably not...
     
  10. Narcissus

    Narcissus Member

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    I really don't get what you're saying about Ramadan. Are you saying that it's strange that non-Muslims do not celebrate Ramadan, or maybe that you would celebrate it if it become more commercial? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth here, I'm just really confused by those last two sentences...
     
  11. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Not saying it is strange that they don't I am saying that we haven't hallmarked that holiday and mass popularized it, it has stayed as a religious holiday, and I have no problems with Christians wanting to take their religious holiday back
     
  12. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    The materialistic spend at Xmas time has a lot more to do with the real meaning of Christmas than the pious BS that passes as Xmas church services in most churches on the day.
     
  13. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Mrs Narc obviously does the Christmas shopping mate!!! I suggest you take a trip to the Mall around Christmas time Narc.
     
  14. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    My 6 year old barrelled up to the Shopping Centre Santa in front of a large line of his peers and loudly announced "you're not real" much to my wife's cringing embarassment and the mortification of the children and parents in line. :dance:
     
  15. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I always taught my kids that Santa was a game that we played. They still leave a beer out and a carrot and water for the reindeer and they are 20, 17 and 15.

    It did get them into trouble at school when they told other kids it wasn't real but I didn't want them to have to relearn what was true and false, especially as Christmas is an important celebration for us!!
     
  16. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    I find that very disappointing. A kind of persecution of others who don't hold your same beliefs. :naughty:
     
  17. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Revealing truth to lemmings is a kindness.
     
  18. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    no it's not at all Matabele it is robbing children of a magic that all children should experience
     
  19. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I don't think it is necessarily magic to believe something and then find out you have been duped later on by adults. Where does the line stand between what you put your trust in and what you don't?

    The old adage comes to mind: Some people will believe in anything; others will believe in everything.

    I have heard it all now - Dan the expert at parenting (from a Christian perspective of course) :lol: :lol: :lol: :lie:
     
  20. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    3 months of Drae made him an expert CW.
     

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