Quotes I live by:

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity"~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

"Not to know is bad. Not to want to know is worse. Not to hope is unthinkable. Not to care is unforgivable"~Nigerian saying

"I don't want you to do it because you're weak, I want you to do it because you know I'm right"~Dabney Coleman as Mark Winslow in the film Modern Problems

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Atheist Cat says Christmas is NOT the only "Reason for the Season"

Everyone knows I'm an atheist, but Christmas has become a national, secular holiday that is enjoyed with family and friends by many non-Christians, and as most of the trappings and customs are pagan anyway, I feel I "own" this celebration as much as any Christian. They don't have exclusive rights, even thought they tried to steal them hundreds of years ago and are still so insecure they have to shove their desperate "reason for the season" propaganda in everyone else's faces. They pitch a fit when people say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," because it reminds them that there are people who don't agree with them, even if the greeters are fellow Christians who are secure enough to acknowledge others and want to share cheerful sentiments while recognizing the diversity of our country. If Dec. 25th is your day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, that's fine with me. I have no problem with someone wishing me "Merry Christmas," and I usually say it myself out of habit, just like saying "dammit" when I'm pissed, even though I don't believe in anything that could carry out the damnation.

But what is it about the birth of Christ that makes his professed followers so un-Christ-like? I don't have to be Baptist to appreciate Martin Luther King Jr, I don't have to be Hindu to appreciate Ghandi, and I don't have to be Jewish or Christian to appreciate the teachings of peace, compassion, inclusion, justice, and social equality associated with the man the Greeks referred to as Jesus. If someone is truly educated and confident in their Christian beliefs, they wouldn't insist that the observance of Jesus' birthday be the dominant, or only "reason for the season," because they'd know that the date isn't even mentioned in their Bible, and it definitely wasn't late December, but described as occurring during warmer weather, probably either in the Spring or Fall. They would know that the choosing of December 25th was a deliberate, misleading act by the Christian Church to compete with and supplant existing customs and celebrations observed by followers of other religions, either on or around that date. The enforcement of Dec. 25th as Jesus' birthday was political, deceptive, often malicious and brutal, and it's sad to see that it continues to be, since it was declared by the Pope 300 years after Jesus died.

In many rural, un/underdeveloped parts of the world, babies aren't born in medical facilities and/or there isn't the record keeping we have here, so many times birthdays are estimated (this is true where my husband grew up in Mexico.) But they can still celebrate birthdays on a date of their choosing, so if Christians want to observe Jesus' birth on Dec. 25th as THEIR "reason for the season," that's their right. But don't intimidate or bully everyone else by screeching that it has to be EVERYONE's "reason," especially by demanding that the acknowledgment of anything different be downplayed, ignored, or even banned. To Christians, it should matter more that they try to live up to the teachings and concepts attributed to Jesus, not become threatened and overbearing, insisting on dominating others over an undocumentable date. Really, what's more important to Christianity, the date he was born, or what he said and did AFTER he was born?


DMF said...

I'm with you, but then I'm a cultural Christian, secular humanist, atheist. Most Christian holidays were built on top of pagan celebrations. While I am not pagan, I am willing to celebrate their traditions along with the cultural Christian ones I was raised with.

Winter Solstice being December 21/22 has always been important to me because the days start getting incrementally longer or so I tell myself. I am no fan of winter, and it also means that winter has peaked celestially, and if I can just psych myself up, spring will arrive.

P.S. color scheme is all good by me. I prefer color over b/w.

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