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