• A letter to all Atheists waging war on Xmas

    by Gary Huerta

    Dear Atheists,

    I understand this is a particularly stressful time of year for you. Kenny G is pumped into every public place. Trees are decorated. Lights are twinkling. People are shopping. The air is filled with the smell of mint, chocolate and cinnamon. If there were an actual hell, this would most likely define it.

    As someone who does not believe in the vindictive, judgmental, prickish God of the Christian faith myself, I can understand the angst and loathing you feel from November through January. There really is no escaping all the, “Merry Christmas” shit, is there?

    That said, I often wonder why it is that you become so aggressive in your anti-Christmas tactics. It seems that every year, you express some outrage because the president has a Christmas tree or protest some city wanting to put up a nativity scene. Seriously, who cares?

    Does it really compromise your disbelief in God if a huge part of the population wants to call this time of year Christmas? Do yourselves a favor. Make your lives easy. Take a cure from the nihilists and blow the whole affair off.

    Consider this… your insistence that Christmas not be celebrated is no different than others insisting it should be celebrated. Both sides are trying to inflict their wills on one another. So who is right?

    The answer is neither.

    But here’s the difference. You are fighting a war you cannot win. Think about it. Do you think protesting the public display of a nativity scene or protesting the use of the word, “Christmas” is going to affect change? Dream on.

    We all know Christmas is a holy day for those who believe their actions here on Earth are subject to examination by some higher authority. But they aren’t the only ones celebrating. To a huge cross-section of people, Christmas merely signifies the time of year when we buy needless items, over-decorate mantles, and guzzle bourbon-laced eggnog with friends and family. For half the population, it’s a common term for an event, much like Kleenex is a common term for tissue.

    Is it really worth arguing about? Personally, I don’t see the point. I have no ties to the Christian world except for my love of Jesus juice, yet I celebrate Christmas and use the word liberally at every turn. I use it to describe the tree I ritualistically put in my house and the lights I drape on the shrubs outside. I celebrate the Eve and open gifts on the Day. But it doesn’t mean I worship a Christian God. It means I believe in sharing a little good will towards my friends and loved ones in a manner that is familiar to most of the civilized western world.

    To that end, most of my friends who are Jews even celebrate Christmas in some form or another. Even Neil Diamond cut a Christmas album, and he’s about the biggest non-Christian in the entertainment industry.

    While I can’t speak for Jews, I suspect their participation is not a rejection of their own faith, but most likely a desire to be included in the fun and festivities everyone else is celebrating. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? Do Atheists have some kind of fundamental problem with people wanting to offer tokens of affection – or dare I say, “Christmas” presents?

    Like I said, I get that the whole red and green festooned season is shoved down your throat. But Atheists are not being picked on or singled out. Frankly, it’s shoved down everyone’s throats. By the time New Year’s rolls around, even the most devout religious fanatics are happy to put their decorations in storage for another year. It’s just part of the deal. You overdose on Christmas and then you spend the next 11 months in Yuletide detox.

    Of course, if you do realize waging war on Christmas is a futile effort and you are doing it with no other intention than to raise the ire of Christians, then please disregard all of the above and continue with the diabolical plan! Because there really is nothing funnier than seeing Christians come unglued at the notion of having to refer to their beloved tree without the word, “Christmas” in the name. No one does righteous indignation like a Christian. And watching them turn beet red, go ballistic and rant and rave at the notion of having someone tell them it’s more politically correct to say, “Happy Holidays” instead of, “Merry Christmas”?

    Well that’s pure genius!

      • Butinwhatway

      • December 9, 2012 at 5:39 am
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      If everyone just concentrated on helping one another instead of bashing their beliefs, this world would be a much better place!!

      Just think if atheist think there is no GOD then why dont they spend their time helping other people rather than spreading hate?

      Oh yea, How does a christian tell you to go to hell.
      Answer: Ill Pray for you..!!

      • Matt Najmowicz

      • December 9, 2012 at 11:18 am
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      Gary is always on point, every freaking week. Love this bro!

      • Bill Kern

      • December 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm
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      Just a bit of clarification – many Jewish folk participate in Yuletide events not from a sense of missing anything and wanting to be in on it, but merely to express the joy and peace that should prevail. The season is somewhat of a respite in the politics and strife that usually occupies our media. Since G-d is viewed as the same for both faiths by Jews, and that practicing Judaism is to do good rather than evil, it is a common wish at this time of year. Whether one believes or not, people hopefully want peace regardless.

      • Maya North

      • December 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm
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      Oh my, you’ve found out my stinky little secret. I just *love* watching the maniacal branch of Christianity come unglued over having to say the word ‘holiday.’ It’s freaking hilarious. But it’s also true–this railing over Christmas by atheists (or anybody else, for that matter) is not only pointless–it’s futile. I am the converted Jewish adopted daughter of an atheist Jew (that’s a mouthful!) and while the constant hammering of the music gives me a facial twitch, I love the rest of it. I love the lights, the scents, the food–oy vey! Gingerbread! So sue me 😉

    • Loved this, Merry Holiday Season Gary.

      • Carolyn

      • December 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm
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      I am an atheist but have no problem celebrating Christmas or telling people to have a Merry Christmas. I love giving gifts at Christmas but realize that many times these gifts could probably have better use giving to others that are a little more needy. We have (and I love) the traditional Christmas decorations with a tree (although ours this year is a bit more non traditional as half is coming out of a portal-looking area from the ceiling and the other half is coming out of a portal from the floor), stockings gift giving etc. Just because I don’t believe in God or Jesus doesn’t mean I don’t love the festivities and the getting together with families. It’s generally a great, fun time of year.

    • Loved this column. My daughter identifies as Jewish (from her father’s side) and celebrates every holiday she can.

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