Friday, January 1, 2010

Atheists At Christmas

My friend Melinda asked me if I would write a post on Atheists at Christmas time, so Melinda, this one's for you. Atheist definition: 1. Someone who denies the existance of God. 2. The position that deities do not exist.

Christmas is a tough time for atheists. They are left out of all the merrymaking, as most activities revolve around the church. But I'll remind you that it's not only atheists who don't celebrate Christmas. Among others who don't are our Jewish friends and Jehovah's Witnesses. Christmas can be hard for these people, because they feel left out of everything and sometimes even shunned, but they cannot force themselves to celebrate something they don't believe in. Some send Christmas cards, but find ones without a Christian message. Most atheists believe in a yearly celebration with pagan roots that is near the winter solstice. It celebrates the point where days start getting longer again and the return of the sun. Before Christianity, many cultures would celebrate this with a festival of light that included parties, gifts, and yes, even trees in their homes. Sacred trees are an ancient custom. They are pretty, smell good, and are part of nature. Some atheists claim that Christians stole the tree idea from them. My picture shows atheist activist Val Woelfel decorating her winter solstice tree in St. Paul, Minnesota. So they do have their own winter celebration. Many atheists join in on their families Christmas celebrations to some extent, because they like to get together with families and have fun as much as anyone. But when it comes time to go to church or pray, they stay behind or are silent. I read an interview with one atheist who said that after death, the best he could hope for was just complete non existance, like before he was born. I imagine it is hard to live with no hope in or of anything, especially as one gets older. To think that all we are or all we have is here and now. No light at the end of the tunnel, just dark. But I do believe that if we search for the truth with a sincere heart, it will be shown to us. We live in a wonderful and fearful world filled with many things we cannot understand. To me, to believe in things we cannot see takes a kind of magical thinking. So for these ones, I wish for the true answers to their questions, for peace, and to believe in magic once again.

"Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ...without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ." Eph. 2:12


SquirrelQueen said...

Interesting post. When I lived in Alaska my circle of friends were of many faiths, and non faiths. At least once through the holidays we would have a party that was a mix of all of our religions.

Sandra said...

sadly, there are many who particpate in Christmas, giving and receiving gifts and welcoming Santa that are not Christians and that includes many atheist i am sure. good post, ginny

Stephanie V said...

Hi Ginny. I apologise for the deletion of your comment. Reference to my 'hubby' was potentially embarrassing - not a man. I appreciate your coming back and re-commenting on the birds. Thank you.

CAT said...

You wrote: "... Jehovah's Witnesses. Christmas can be hard for these people, because they feel left out of everything and sometimes even shunned."

I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and I feel neither left out nor shunned, nor is the Christmas season hard for me.

My beliefs are based not on traditions or doctrines of man (Matthew 15:7-9; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18), but on Bible truths, so I am very happy to avoid all the excessive traffic and crowded shopping places, the extra expenses and time consuming stresses of buying and displaying decorations in and around my house, and the ever growing list of people I "must" gift each year.

Instead, I give meaningful gifts to friends, family members, and co-workers at many times of the year, and I often and regularly enjoy wholesome parties and other get-togethers with other Christians of like beliefs.

Christmas is indeed a pagan celebration which was put in place by the Romans in the 3rd and 4th centuries to entice the Christians to join in their yearly "birthday of the sun" celebrations. Please do some research on "Saturnalia" and "Mithra" and note all the similarities to our present day Christmas traditions.

Thanks for listening.

Ginny said...

CAT are you out there? I've tried your blog, but it seems unavailable to click on. If you read this, can you let me know how to write to you? I'm the blog writer here, Ginny

CAT said...

Where on your website do I click to privately reach you? (Putting my contact info on public blogs is not a good idea.)

Ginny said...

Cat!I hope you find this. My e-mail address is :