I really do not care if they want to display a symbol, it doesn’t offend me. But I just don’t understand why they would feel the need to display their tree of knowledge during this time of year. Whether you like it or not, Christmas and Hanukkah are a religious holiday and this holiday takes place in the December. And while watching Fox and Friends this morning about this topic, Margaret Downey, president of the Freethought Society kept asking the priest if he felt intimidated.
The same question can be brought back to Atheists. Do you feel intimidated? With Christmas being a religious holiday why do you feel the need to push away the Christian aspect of the holiday? Why try to infringe on a Christian holiday while naming your symbol something that is also rooted in Christianity?
NikkiDecember 3, 2007 at 6:45 pm
In my opinion, the atheists are very intimidated by Christians. I have talked with someone who is an atheist and they seemed to be very upset at the simple mention of God. If they don’t believe in God, why does that seem to upset them? And I wasn’t “pushing” my beliefs on her, I simply mentioned in a blog of mine that I was a Christian and she basically said that I had better not try to “push” my beliefs on her (which I had no intention of doing).
I am so thankful that I live in a very conservative part of the country where the school still puts up a nativity and no one makes a fuss about it at all.
JennDecember 4, 2007 at 12:45 am
While I might not be labeled a Christian, or belong to any one religious organization, I would not by any means call myself an atheist. I do believe in something, just not in any one organized religion. That being said… I do have the tendency to call Christmas, Present Day… simply because that is what it has turned into for most people, even religious ones. Any of my good “church going” friends tend to care more about the presents than about a religious holiday. Now the really interesting thing is what exactly are you celebrating at Christmas? Most people, even religious ones, tend to have a misconception about Christmas as a religious holiday.
jayDecember 4, 2007 at 10:20 am
So….Santa is the god of which religion?
MandaDecember 4, 2007 at 10:26 am
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminalsâ€”murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave.
So even the story of Santa Claus has Christian tying / undertones into it.
Calamity JaneDecember 11, 2007 at 4:49 pm
Atheism IS a religion. For a religion that claims not to believe in God, they spend an inordinate amount of time hating Him.
jayDecember 11, 2007 at 5:44 pm
Sold what he had and gave it to the poor, eh? Haven’t heard of a Christian doing that in a while. We’ll just glide over his own persecution of pagans during that time as an ironic example of what goes around comes around.
To the question at hand…Atheists don’t hate gods anymore than they hate Santa Clause or Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. However, we do find it amusing for grown adults to believe a myth with such ferocity that they feel threatened by any single person not sharing their fantasy.
MandaDecember 11, 2007 at 9:45 pm
Sorry Jay, but I do not see anyone on here that is threatened by anyone or anything.
SeanDecember 18, 2007 at 12:11 am
Some information for you all:
Christmas was originally the celebration of the birth of the new year – its origins are pagan and can be traced back at least 4 thousand years (long before Christianity). Do some research on Marduk & Mithra.
Romans later combined a compendium of pagan celebrations and myths in to one celebration called Saternalia.
During this festival, business was prohibited, schools were closed and all people (including slaves) were considered equal. Gift-giving, feasting and singing were all part of this festival. Priests carried wreaths of evergreen (A symbol of eternal life – Winter was dark and associated with death. Evergreens survived this).
Do some research on Saternalia, Feast of Juvenalia (honouring the children of Rome), Feast of the Kalens (Newyear/Janice – good luck gifts, abundance of food, generosity, good will to all men, evergreens decorated with candles, bowls of laurel).
During this time, the Sun was at its lowest ebb (death of the Sun – a few days later, the Sun was risen or resurrected). Do some research on the Winter Solstice.
Research the births of Attis, Horus and Mithra (the god of the Sun) – the birthdays happen to be the 25th of December.
The nativity scene which Christians hold dear was also plagiarised – this originated in Zoroastrianism.
Mistletoe – Celtic Druids, Germanic Godess Freya (Fria), Greeks/Romans and mistletoe.
Scandinavia: Yule (wheel – annual movement of the Sun) – celebration of the solstice. Yule log, Yule tree.
Stone/Bronz age: Cernunnos, Horned God – Cernunnos is considered perhaps the first Santa Claus. The sacred horn was considered a symbol of good, until Christians later used this as a template to depict the devil. The shaman who worshiped this god had a great knowledge of herbs & medicine. Up until the sixteenth century in the UK, households employed these people as healers and midwives. They were also known as witches and were later slaughtered by Christians. They were also known as the little people – this race of early Europeans were smaller than modern Europeans. In the UK, superstition and myth eventually saw them become Elves (Santa’s helpers), Fairies & Goblins. Scandinavia – bringer of gifts, a tiny Yule goblin (chief of the little people). His clothes were all red and he wore a pointed hat and had a little white beard.
Odin – gave cash to the poor. Freya – Rode a sleigh pulled by stags. Gave gifts to the good, punished the bad.
The Church (Pope Julius I: 337-352CE), not being able to rid themselves of Saturnalia (because it was so popular) adopted all the pagan festivals and tried to claim it as their own – a ploy to ease the transgression of countless pagans forced to convert (and compete with Mithraism). Pope Julius also plagiarised the birth date of other mythological godmen long preceding Christianity and gave this birth date to his god myth man (Jesus). The day Pope Julius I declared Jesus’s birth date was the day Christians stole Christmas – they are in effect worshiping theft of/and paganism! Before this date, Christians had no Christmas or birth date for their saviour (who – like the Mithric Sun, Attis and Horus – died and was resurrected…hmmm).
St.Nich was a failed attempt by the early church to jump on the Christmas bandwagon. About the only thing Nich gave Christmas was the stocking on the mantle piece. Oh! and the following absolutely insane story is supposedly true (lol) “He went for a meal at an inn and found three young boys who had been killed and pickled – he brought all three back to life.” People actually believed this – talk about gullible. In the 15th century, Spain conquered Holland and introduced Nicholas. Here, he became Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) and all the traditions of Christmas from Wodan (Odin/Freya) and countless others were plagiarised and became attributed to him.
Old Father Christmas (Not to be confused with Santa Claus or Nicholas – he/they came much later) originated in the UK. He resembled old father time and wore a green hooded cloak and a wreath of holly, ivy or mistletoe.
I guess I could post a lot more on Christmas and it’s origins – I’ll stop here. For the most part, Christmas is pagan – Christians plagiarised this holiday (just like they did their religion – much of Christianity came from Judaism (obviously), Attis, Dionysus (God of wine – he turned water into wine. Jesus turning water in to wine appears only once in the NT – it has long been acknowledged as a plagiarisation from the Greek Dionysus), Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Aten , Maat and the Hammurabi.
That said, I think we should all be able to celebrate Christmas regardless of the stance we take on the existence of God, Gods or Goddesses. It is after all a time for good will to all men (See Saternalia).
Should atheists have their own tree? Why not, what harm is it doing? – this tree can be open to all regardless of our beliefs.
Should atheists celebrate Christmas? Why not, its origins are meant as a celebration for birth of a new year.
Its origins and content are pagan and not Christian – if atheists can’t celebrate this time of year, why should Christians? (who were also once called atheists by early Romans)
Jenn said “While I might not be labelled a Christian, or belong to any one religious organisation, I would not by any means call myself an atheist. I do believe in something, just not in any one organised religion.”
Well, I’m an atheist (one who lacks belief in a God) – but I do believe the universe exists (well, it’s “something” – but it isn’t a god). I just don’t attribute the universe to some God myth man or Goddess woman that was invented by a bunch of people who didn’t know any better. By the way, you can believe in “something” and be an atheist – that “something” isn’t necessarily a God is it.
Would you attribute the existence of an Island to a volcano god? No – because you understand islands are created via volcanic activity. Expand on that..would you attribute the universe to a myth man God?…
Calamity Jane said “Atheism IS a religion. For a religion that claims not to believe in God, they spend an inordinate amount of time hating Him.”
Jane, how many gods or things don’t you believe in? Do you believe you can walk on water or walk off a bridge and float in midair? No? Do you believe in Wodan? No? Wow! – you must have an awful lot of religions. How on earth do you get time to practise them all? If atheism is a religion, bold is a hair color. Also, atheists don’t hate your god – we just don’t believe it exists. It would be silly hating something that doesn’t exist, wouldn’t it.
What does get many atheists down is the constant rhetoric (like what Jane has posted) and the constant vilification of atheists by theists.
I get sick of being told I’m evil and immoral by theists. I’m sick of being told I’m going to burn in hell (Gehenna – former rubbish dump outside of Jerusalem. Criminals and waste were burnt there. Fires were kept ablaze by adding brim stone (sulfur). I’m sick of hearing I need to be saved. I’ve sick of hearing distorted views of science and history. I’m sick of reading news stories of people of religion committing atrocities on a daily basis – anything from child abuse, priests crucifying nuns (thinking they are demon possessed) to the hanging of some poor gay or whipping of some poor rape victim. Throughout all of this, the religious hypocrites call atheists evil and immoral..if I didn’t laugh, I’d cry. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying atheists don’t harm others. We all have our black sheep – although I don’t recall reading any news stories of atheists whipping rape victims for Allah, crucifying nuns for Jesus or stabbing people for believing in the evident evolution.. Of course, if theists stopped trying to impose their views on others (not all do), and stopped vilifying other social groups with their lies and propaganda – atheists would have fewer reasons to respond to theists. We’d all get along much better.
Lastly, Manda wrote: Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians,
Manda – don’t get roped into the whole “Romans ruthlessly persecuted Christians” business. Much of it is BS! It wasn’t as wide spread as often claimed (much of it is propaganda). Romans were highly tolerant of many religions. During the first two centuries, early Christianity benefited because of the Roman empire’s tolerant policies on religion. If anything, it was Christianity that introduced intolerance of religion into the Greco-Roman culture. This intolerance then resulted in Romans persecuting them. During the fourth and fifth centuries, Christians did nothing but persecute and slaughter pagans. The following 15 centuries, Christians did nothing but slaughter pagans, Jews and countless other non-believers. As little 300 hundred years ago, atheists were executed in the UK (Some places in Europe were still executing non-believers as little as 200yrs ago) – from then on, they were imprisoned in the UK up until around 1842. I believe the last to be imprisoned was George Holyoake.
The persecution Christians suffered during the first couple of centuries was nothing compared to the suffering they inflicted on others.
Thanks for your time Manda. Hope you have a happy Christmas.
PS…You don’t have to publish this – I just felt like posting the above info (use it if you want – take it in and research it). Nice theme by the way.
Mrs. MecomberDecember 21, 2007 at 4:35 pm
After reading your sensible article, I wish you had been on Fox News to refute the atheist.
Atheism makes no sense. If the world had no meaning, we never would have discovered that the world had no meaning. C.S. Lewis