It is December 1 and it is time for the festivities to begin. Each year I try to post things about the so called “Christmas Holidays” (for non-Christians it is Winter Solstice or a different holiday, such as Yule). I like to post this article, not only for people in the US, but for those in other countries who may find US culture to be very different, hard to understand or just plain strange—such as Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas itself. –SJ Otto
It is December, encroaching on Christmas in this country, and as much as I love this festive season, I have to put up with those who have deemed themselves holy crusaders to try to keep Atheists and similar views out of this holiday season.
Some time ago people here realized that Jews don’t celebrate Christmas so some people began trying to include Chanukah in these holidays. In some cities, as in
there are a lot of Jews. There are menorahs and many people say “happy
Chanukah.” New York
There is also the newer holiday called Kwanzaa. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966, as the first specifically African-American holiday. According to Karenga, the name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda yakwanza, meaning "first fruits of the harvest", although a more conventional translation would simply be "first fruits".
A few years ago I studied Druidry and after a couple of years of hanging out with other pagans, I decided to go back to a more humanist approach to spirituality and I adapted the doctrines of Epicurus. Epicurus did not deny the existence of god(s) but decided that gods take care of gods and humans need to take care of themselves. He also told people we should learn not to blame everything on gods. ‘If your house is crushed by an earthquake it isn’t the anger of the gods, you built your house in an earthquake prone place.’ And he didn’t believe in an after-life.
was actually the December holiday that was taken over by the early Christians. Many of the old symbols are still used—such as putting a tree in the house and decorating it.
I’m sure many atheists celebrate these holidays as well. So why then do some Christians get so angry if non-Christians want to celebrate the holiday? Why the blatant hatred against all of us by conservative Christians?
For example, a few years ago I saw an article in the Huff Post where the president of a Kentucky creationist museum told Fox News that Christmas was a “time to take on the atheists” who used their free speech rights to doubt the existence of God;
“Well, it wouldn’t be Christmas without someone complaining about Christ,” Fox & Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck told Creation Museum President Ken Ham, noting that atheists had put up a billboard in Time Square which suggested that Christ was not needed during Christmas.
“You know, the atheist who are a very small minority in the population have been trying to impose their religion of atheism on the culture now for quite a while,” Ham explained. “You know, getting Bible, prayer out of schools. Christian symbols out of public places.”
And the most infuriating statement from this person was;
“I mean, what’s the atheists’ message? There is no God? When you die that’s the end of you? So everything’s just meaningless and hopelessness?”
Why is it that if we don’t believe in god and a religion that focuses on god being more important than anything else we are “meaningless and hopeless?”
I am a Maoist first and an Epicurean second. Either way, I believe that people come first, not gods and not the afterlife. Why then are people like me accused of trying to put doubt about god in people?’ Don’t these Christians have enough faith in their own beliefs that they can stand it when some says “I don’t believe that?”
It is obvious that Ham does not really know what atheists believe, because he has raised the question ‘what do they believe in?’ I notice he didn’t bother to ask an atheist, he just assumed.
Kansas the town of wanted to revive the old Mayor's Christmas Party and rename it
Winter Holiday Party to be more inclusive. The town’s folks
threw a hissy fit and the mayor changed the name back to Christmas. Salina
Again the idiot from Fox said;
“The atheists are only a small part of the population,”
said. “And really, it’s that minority,
less than 2 percent of the population, that seem to be having such say in our
culture, in imposing their anti-God religion.” Hamm
I’m not trying to promote anything—I’m trying to celebrate some holidays. I’m part of the culture of this country whether this fool likes it or not. He can’t erase non-Christians and atheist from this country.
I like celebrating the Winter Solstice and I get to do all the fun stuff, such as decorating a tree, putting lights on my house, toasting with wine, and giving a few gifts to close friends. My spirituality does not come from a god. It comes from within those who share my beliefs. That works for me and I plan to stick with that.
Have a Happy Winter Solstice! —Or Christmas/ Yule/ Saturnalia, etc!
The following movie clip is a great satire of TV commercials:
UHF Movie CLIP -
Commercial (1989) Spatula City
Jethro Tull BBC Promo Vid for Solstice bells 1976
This is a classic I play each year: