An Atheist Defense of Christmas
December 11, 2012 1 Comment
Recently there has been a lot of news coverage about a “War on Christmas”. This is nothing new, there has always seemed to be some sort of non-existent war going on between Theists and Atheists. I am openly an atheist, but I still get excited about this time of year. It really is a great time of the year, everything changes for the better. Think about how much the winter would suck if we didn’t have the holidays to look forward to. There just seems to be a different type of excitement this time of year that is inexplicable.
Being raised in a Catholic household the idea of Christmas still gets me excited. It’s not the belief in “my lord and savior being born” its the overly marketed and commercialized version of Christmas I have come to know and love. Yes its commercialized, yes its all about marketing, and money, and selling things to get businesses out of the red. Blah Blah Blah. Yes I get it, Christmas as we know it is completely devoid of any religious symbolism and its all about big business. So what!?!?! Christmas is fun, giving presents, getting presents, snow, cookies, candy, Christmas movies, Christmas lights. It’s all a lot of fun and regardless of your beliefs its is a happy time of year. It is something to look forward to, its a part of the year when you reflect about how bad the whole year was and then you can pretend that it will get better the next year.
There are Grinches out there who would stop at nothing to see Christmas come to an end. Unfortunately there are Atheists out there who think that nothing good can come of Christmas and would like all of us to be depressed all the time. Being an atheist myself I don’t agree with this at all. I don’t care what people believe, just so long as it doesn’t bother me or tell me what to do. So if you want to celebrate Christmas by all means go ahead. If you want to hate Christmas by all means go ahead it’s not my problem, because even though I don’t know why I am getting one, I will be the first person in line to buy a Christmas Tree.
To be fair there is a war on the Holidays. The one thing about Atheists is, they certainly don’t discriminate.
What is this war?
Everyone is so quick to attack the Atheists for trying kill Santa or use a fire extinguisher the menorah but no one wants to listen to what they have to say. The point is the Atheists have a very valid point.
The Atheists are trying to establish a principle. They believe that religious symbols should not be displayed at, in, or around government buildings. For example according to the Constitution displaying a nativity scene or a menorah in front of a government building goes directly against the first amendment. Some people may say its an exaggerated interpretation of the Constitution, but in my opinion it couldn’t be clearer. The first amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. That means that government at any level can’t promote or prohibit anyone’s practice of religion. Displaying a nativity would be promoting or “respecting the establishment” of a specific religion.
The Atheists are absolutely right. However, there are some people who scream and yell about how laws against gay marriage and abortion, grounded in the personal religious beliefs of the legislators aren’t right or proper; but it’s perfectly ok to put a nativity scene in front of a statehouse. It’s ok to have the atheists on your side but when they start attacking Santa Claus, that’s where the line gets drawn. Ironically Santa Claus is allowed because although he represents the Christian holiday, he is still a secular symbol, just don’t say St. Nicholas.
So the Atheists aren’t out to kill Christmas they just don’t want the wrong principles set. Just because government buildings can’t display symbols of Christmas doesn’t mean Christmas is going to all of a sudden die. Still I think the atheists needed to stop!! Who cares? It’s not hurting anyone? Atheists are so quick to say to theists, “if you don’t like it, or you don’t want to see it? Don’t look at it”. Well the same reply can be used here, if you don’t like the religious symbols, don’t look at them. Now I know this is going to be confusing, but I can’t say that the Atheists are wrong. They aren’t wrong. I guess if my life was a little worse than it is now, and I was a little more miserable as a person I would be out there with them and their signs, but I love Christmas, and the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.