Saturday, December 24, 2011

On Christmas and Atheism

Once again, I know this is a running blog, but every once in a while there is something else that I find the need to write about, and this is still my only outlet.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on here, but I’m a non-believer. An atheist, if you will. I used to be really stern about it. It’s not that my feelings about a god, or organized religion have changed; they are still quite solid. However, the way that I fit that rationale into a larger context of life as an American has changed.

I do not now, nor will I ever believe in “god.” I think organized religion is misguided and down-right creepy. I will be the first in line to tell you to get your nativity off that public highway. But, what I won’t do is try to convince you that I’m right and you’re (you, being a believer) wrong. It’s a futile argument only had by people that are super extreme/confrontational on either side. All that I’m asking in return is that you do the same. Don’t worry about my soul or whatever, because depending on your specific line of belief, a myriad of things could happen when I die, or I could just die.

I found atheism by a personal search, fueled not by a super religious upbringing and then rebellion (as it is found on many occasion), but by the fact that my parents just never really brought religion into the equation. We never went to church or were baptized or any of that. I got, perhaps, a bit more religion than my siblings, being the oldest. I went to some church thing (during school hours – the horror) when I was young, and some summer church camp thingy. When I was about 8 I would pray for my family every night, out of fear, that god might smite us if I didn’t. And that’s about it. That’s my experience with religion.

As I got older, and really thought about it, I just think the whole thing is odd and irrational. I’m often caught off guard when a close friend mentions going to church, willingly, as an adult. It’s as if I forget it’s part of people’s lives sometimes. But it is, and I respect your right to believe as long as you respect my right not to.


I. Freaking. Love. Christmas.

It’s not about the birth of Christ, or immaculate conception or whatever. To me, it’s about family. Spending time together, eating delicious food, gift giving, decorations, fun movies, Santa Clause etc. Every year people get all pissed about how Christmas has become commercialized and blah blah. We’ve lost the point of it and what have you. Spend a few days with your family and friends, enjoy them, be kind, buy them stuff. Why is that so horrible?

Plus, in a favorite atheist strain, Christ wasn’t even born in December. Early Christian leaders moved the celebration of his birth to coincide with the pagan solstice celebration to aid in conversion. (Much in the same way that FDR made Thanksgiving the 3rd Thursday in November in the hope that people would take off Friday and go shopping – to boost the economy.Imagine that). Since winter happens to be one of my favorite seasons, I just consider my celebrating christmas bringing the whole thing full circle.

So, to all -  Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or whatever. 

Being an atheist doesn’t mean you have to give up family celebrations, or days of recklessly eating cookies, or cheesy movies about family, love and hope. Take the Christ out of Christmas if you must, or the stick out of your ass, and just let me have my celebration.

1 comment:

ally speirs said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm always the odd one out. Lol. Doesn't mean I'm going to hell if there is one