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Austin Cline

Celebrating a Secular Christmas

By December 22, 2013

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Many Christians believe that Christmas is inherently religious and Christian, which means that it cannot be celebrated in a secular or otherwise non-Christian manner. This is easily refuted by pointing to all the ways in which people celebrate Christmas without any references to Christianity or religion on any level. Few Christians, in fact, celebrate Christmas in an exclusively religious manner. More and more, people just don't care about the Christian elements anymore.

Laughing Santa, 1935
Laughing Santa, 1935
Photo: Hulton/Getty

Andrew Newborn writes:

Just as Halloween was usurped from Pagans and turned into a fun holiday with virtually no religious connotations, so too can Christmas be converted. The secular pieces are already there: Santa Claus, gift exchanges, food-gorging, decorated pine trees, singing and gaudy ornaments are already integral Yuletide traditions. Just make sure to put something other than an angel or a star on top of your tree, sing "Frosty the Snowman" instead of "Oh Holy Night," and you've got yourself a secular Christmas.

There have been many cries that Christmas has become too commercial as well, and while I think the gifts are an important part of a secular Christmas, there's still room to celebrate family and togetherness.

These things are universal, and I see no reason to stop celebrating them just because I'm kicking Christ out of my Christmas. Even we heathens can appreciate peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, despite the religious origins of that phrase.

The process of Christmas secularization is already very far along and there is no sign of it turning back -- ever. This bothers some Christians, but they already appropriated many holidays from the ancient pagans, so they don't have a very strong basis for complaining when the same holidays are being appropriated by broader, secular cultures today.

Unlike the pagans, though, their religion isn't being banned and they are still perfectly free to observe Christmas in as religious of a manner as they would like -- they just don't get any support or encouragement from everyone else. If they actually need that encouragement, though, what does this say about their level of religious commitment?

Comments
December 15, 2006 at 11:52 am
(1) Maximilian says:

Yes, Christmas is indeed a secular holiday. I’m not a Christian but I celebrate the secularized version of Christmas-putting lights, trees, when Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus.

With that written, saying Merry Christmas must not offend non-Christians, because it’s secular. What if a company required employees to say Merry Christmas, would it be OK?

November 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm
(2) Justine says:

Except that Christmas isn’t really about the birth of Jesus, either. The Bible describes an angel who went to the shepherds tending their flocks in the fields to tell them of the birth of Jesus. Unfortunately for Christmas, shepherds don’t tend their flocks in the fields during the middle of winter. It must have been sometime between the months of March and September. The Catholic Church only told the pagans that it was Jesus’ birthday so they could continue to celebrate the winter solstice but in a more Christian way. Since people couldn’t read the Bible themselves, there was no way for them to know otherwise. It’s much easier to convert someone to your way of thinking if it doesn’t require them to change much about their lifestyles.

December 15, 2006 at 12:27 pm
(3) Austin Cline says:

Yes, Christmas is indeed a secular holiday. Iím not a Christian but I celebrate the secularized version of Christmas-putting lights, trees, when Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus.

If it’s “really” about Jesus, then it’s not “really” secular. It can only be secular if there exist secular meanings and purposes.

With that written, saying Merry Christmas must not offend non-Christians, because itís secular.

Except that not all non-Christians celebrate it, but all Christians do celebrate at least one other holiday: New Years. Ergo, the wisest choice is “Happy Holidays” which covers everything.

What if a company required employees to say Merry Christmas, would it be OK?

It would be legal; it would not be wise.

December 15, 2006 at 4:14 pm
(4) maximilian says:

But they celebrate Christmas even in India, Japan & the Arab countries, though Christians are a minority. Hindus, Buddhists & Shintoists don’t believe in Jesus, but they still say Merry Christmas, often overlooking that it’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

They call it Christmas, simply because they want a holiday. Christmas has become secular just as Easter has. I say Merry Christmas & Happy Easter, often overlooking that both holidays are about Jesus.

Au contraire, I actually think that if a company requires employees to say Merry Christmas, it’ll incr. business. If there are companies which have this policy, please inform. I would rather have a company require employees to say Merry Christmas & Happy Easter.

December 15, 2006 at 4:47 pm
(5) Austin Cline says:

But they celebrate Christmas even in India, Japan & the Arab countries, though Christians are a minority. Hindus, Buddhists & Shintoists donít believe in Jesus, but they still say Merry Christmas, often overlooking that itís about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas is only “about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ” if that’s what you actually celebrate and commemorate. Otherwise, it’s about something else for you.

Au contraire, I actually think that if a company requires employees to say Merry Christmas, itíll incr. business.

Yet you said before it would be wrong to force employees to say it.

December 15, 2006 at 4:52 pm
(6) JayFTL says:

I’m not a Christian, but I don’t care if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. I’m not Jewish, but I don’t care if someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah. I’m not Black, but I don’t care if someone wishes me a Happy Kwanzaa. I politely respond with a “same to you” or Happy Holidays or sometimes Happy Yule(tide) and go on with my life. I suggest others do the same.

November 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm
(7) jdmxrain says:

Just wish we could have an alternative name to it, I do not like the “christ” in christmas.

December 18, 2008 at 12:49 am
(8) Adam says:

I’m not a religious person and I absolutely love Christmas, I like spending the time with my family and giving and receiving (guilty!) gifts. I don’t see why the title really matters, it’s just a label, and since I got nothing against Christians, calling it Christmas seems fine by me.

December 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm
(9) Tom Usher says:

Secular Christmas is an oxymoron. Christ=anointed. Mas=festival. Christmas is solely coming together in celebration of Jesus’s birth.

The paganization of Christianity — the choice by the Bishop of Rome called Pope Gregory I, was a huge error. (See: Augustine of Canterbury.) It opened the door for all the confusion we see around this issue, which otherwise wouldn’t even exist.

Gregory wasn’t the first or the last to paganize Christianity. One may also successfully argue that real Christianity is that which is without the borrowing and co-opting of things pagan. Also, one may successfully argue that what was considered pagan in the eyes of the Jewish religion from which Christianity sprang, in a sense, had not been properly interpreted (that is had been improperly excluded from consideration). In other words, the real Holy Spirit was, and remains, meant for all (at least those who may receive). The question then is what is that Spirit. How do we speak of it?

Peace,

Tom Usher

December 21, 2009 at 4:00 am
(10) Ammi says:

Please join the Facebook group Celebrate Wobs this year for a secular Winter festival!!!!

December 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm
(11) John says:

Merry Christmas Austin,
May you one day receive the precious gift that Christ offers you.
John

December 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm
(12) Boz says:

Leprosy?

December 23, 2009 at 11:19 pm
(13) PManitok says:

Merry chrismas everybody… I know it’s misspelled but that’s what it sounds like, people don’t say Merry Christ mass anyway.

Happy holidays John, may you get the curtain of faith lifted from in front of your eyes someday.

December 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm
(14) Junker Joe says:

Many Christians believe that Christmas is inherently religious and Christian

As an atheist, I also believe that Christmas is by definition a religious holiday and by definition a Christian holiday.

which means that it cannot be celebrated in a secular or otherwise non-Christian manner.

I don’t see how this is true. Clearly there are secular traditions that people observe in their celebration of Christmas, but that doesn’t change the underlying holiday, nor detract from Christians’ religious traditions.

Latkes and presents are secular traditions that some (myself) use to celebrate Hanukah (a fundamentally religious holiday), even though I don’t believe in any gods. That I celebrate a religious holiday using only secular traditions doesn’t affect the underlying holiday. I recognize that the holiday is religious in nature and choose to celebrate it because I like some of the traditions of my family history. Other people may have other reasons for celebrating religious holidays, even though they don’t subscribe to the religious reasons for the holiday.

This is easily refuted by pointing to all the ways in which people celebrate Christmas without any references to Christianity or religion on any level.

That some people choose to celebrate a religious holiday with secular observances does not refute the claim that a particular holiday is fundamentally religious. I would venture to say that most religious holidays have associated secular traditions that anyone can adopt without affecting the underlying holiday.

Few Christians, in fact, celebrate Christmas in an exclusively religious manner.

Few anythings celebrate any holiday in an exclusively religious manner.

More and more, people just don’t care about the Christian elements anymore.

That many people have adopted secular elements of Christmas celebration doesn’t affect the fundamental definition of Christmas.

The process of Christmas secularization is already very far along and there is no sign of it turning back — ever. This bothers some Christians, but they already appropriated many holidays from the ancient pagans, so they don’t have a very strong basis for complaining when the same holidays are being appropriated by broader, secular cultures today.

The underlying Christian holiday of Christmas isn’t being appropriated by a broader secular culture. The secular traditions that are associated with Christmas celebration are being adopted by common secular culture. I don’t hear many non-Christians talking about baby Jesus and immaculate conception. Rather, they talk about mistletoe and reindeer.

Indeed, when the Christians adopted Pagan traditions and holidays, they incorporated them into “new” Christian holidays. In the same way, Christmas can never morph into a secular holiday. However, its secular traditions can be appropriated into a broader secular holiday – Wintertide or perhaps Decembrus?

Unlike the pagans, though, their religion isn’t being banned and they are still perfectly free to observe Christmas in as religious of a manner as they would like — they just don’t get any support or encouragement from everyone else. If they actually need that encouragement, though, what does this say about their level of religious commitment?

It goes without saying that Christians are free to celebrate Christmas religiously (in a society with religious freedom) and secularly (is that a word?). The corollary, of course, is that any of the rest of us are also free to incorporate any of the secular or religious traditions of Christmas into whatever celebration we see fit. Even if every non-Christian person, including atheists, would choose to put up a Christmas tree and top it with a glowing latke, it still wouldn’t change the fundamental nature of Christmas as a religious Christian holiday.

December 25, 2009 at 10:40 pm
(15) Austin Cline says:

As an atheist, I also believe that Christmas is by definition a religious holiday and by definition a Christian holiday.

Then I expect you can show how.

That some people choose to celebrate a religious holiday with secular observances does not refute the claim that a particular holiday is fundamentally religious.

This assumes that there is some “essence” to a holiday that is above and beyond how people actually celebrate it ó something akin to a Platonic “form” for the holiday. I expect you can demonstrate that this is the case.

If you can’t, your entire argument/position is undermined. You have committed yourself to the position that “Christmas” is defined independently of what people actually do, how they behave, and what they believe ó that “Christmas” is “Christian” and “religious” no matter what anyone does or thinks. That’s a pretty dramatic and strong assertion which requires significant support to be considered credible.

It’s analogous to claiming that there is some essence to “Christianity” which defines Christianity and which is true no matter what actual, living Christians do, believe, etc. I’ve rejected and argued against this as nonsensical many, many times. I’ll do the same with Christmas: it’s a human invention serving human needs and had absolutely no existence whatsoever outside human behavior and customs. Ergo, it has only that “essence” or definition which humans give it, and thus cannot be “inherently” religious or Christian.

December 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm
(16) Junker Joe says:

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t believe one can “unring” the Christmas bell. More generally, I believe that even as definitions and interpretations evolve over time, they may add layers of understanding but they do not alter the underlying original definition. In the case of Christmas, the religious underpinnings are a necessary component to a full and complete definition.

There was a time, not too long ago in the course of human history, when Christmas was celebrated essentially by Christians (and closeted atheists) in order to mark the birth of Jesus of Nazareth – a big part of the Christian theism. The historic definition of the Christmas holiday is fundamentally theist.

I don’t read that you dispute this claim. Rather, my understanding of your position is that because many people now celebrate Christmas in a secular way and utilize secular traditions to celebrate even when they also celebrate religiously, our definition of Christmas should evolve/is evolving (go, Darwin?) into a secular understanding of the holiday.

My position is that acknowledgement of the religious origin of Christmas is fundamental to any complete understanding of the holiday – and that anyone who celebrates Christmas, whether with a nativity scene and midnight mass or with only presents and hot cocoa, should recognize that they are marking a holiday that is at its core a religious celebration regardless of their specific celebratory traditions.

This doesn’t have to do with a belief that there is something fundamental about the word “holiday”, but rather something fundamental about our understanding of the historic origins of a particular holiday under discussion.

In the same way, I don’t think that it is possible, or desirable, to strip away historic meaning from a symbol. Symbols carry baggage – that is what makes them symbols. We reappropriate and redefine symbols all the time. Yet in order to understand a “symbol” such as Christmas, one cannot take away the religious origin. In order to understand the symbol of the Christmas tree, one cannot strip out the Pagan origin. The origin and current societal meaning are integral to each other.

For example, secular traditions such as gift-giving in the winter. When a present is called a “Christmas or Hanukah gift”, however, it does assume some of the baggage of the religious symbol. If I send someone a present and “Happy New Year” card, that gift does not assume any religious baggage.

December 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm
(17) Austin Cline says:

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t believe one can “unring” the Christmas bell.

Why not? Christmas today is already radically different than it was 100 or 200 years ago and changes seem to be happening faster than ever. Christians themselves are responsible for the secularization of the season, eliminating most of the religious holy days that were once celebrated until now only Christmas itself is left ó and can be easily observed without doing anything the least bit religious.


More generally, I believe that even as definitions and interpretations evolve over time, they may add layers of understanding but they do not alter the underlying original definition.

Yet that has already happened: Christmas was once a time for sober reflection and penance, not joy and celebration.

In the case of Christmas, the religious underpinnings are a necessary component to a full and complete definition.

To whom? The “definition” of Christmas does not exist in some external, platonic realm. It is created by what people do with Christmas. It is what people make of it, nothing more and nothing less.

My position is that acknowledgement of the religious origin of Christmas is fundamental to any complete understanding of the holiday

One can also say that acknowledgement of the pagan origins of so many aspects of the hoi day are fundamental to any complete understanding of the holiday ó where “compete understanding” involves understanding its history, development, impact, etc. However, none of that “compete understanding” is necessary to actually observe the holiday, as demonstrated by how little most Christians have known about the pagan origins of Christmas ó or even of their comprehension of how it has changed in just the past couple of centuries.

and that anyone who celebrates Christmas, whether with a nativity scene and midnight mass or with only presents and hot cocoa, should recognize that they are marking a holiday that is at its core a religious celebration regardless of their specific celebratory traditions.

You are conflating “origins” with “core,” and that’s not legitimate. The “core” of Christmas is whatever people make of it, regardless of the pagan and Christian history. The “core” of Halloween is neither pagan nor Christian unless people want to celebrate it that way.

In the same way, I don’t think that it is possible, or desirable, to strip away historic meaning from a symbol.

Symbols’ meaning are only ever what people assign to them, thus symbols’ meanings change all the time. As an easy example, witness how the “meaning” of the Swastika has been altered.

Symbols carry baggage – that is what makes them symbols. We reappropriate and redefine symbols all the time. Yet in order to understand a “symbol” such as Christmas, one cannot take away the religious origin.

Once again, you are conflating two separate issues: religious origin and religious nature. No one is suggesting that Christmas doesn’t have a religious history. It’s just that history is not destiny, and thus the religious history of Christmas does not entail that it must always be a religious holiday. The pagan origins and history of various aspects of Christmas did not cause them to always remain pagan; the Christian origins and history of various aspects of Christians will not cause them to always remain Christian.

December 26, 2009 at 6:19 pm
(18) PManitok says:

Thinks Junker Joe is a theist trying to write as an atheist defending religion or christians, still if he really is an atheist he’s not doing a very good job of it.

December 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm
(19) Dave says:

Christ’s Mass… Unless you change the name of it, it is religious, and Christian, and always will be no matter how many “atheists” give each other presents on Dec. 25th… Even if YOU change what YOU call it, when we Christians celebrate it, it’s still going to be “Christmas” and still going to be religious and still going to be Christian!

Merry CHRISTmas!!! :)

December 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm
(20) Austin Cline says:

Christ’s Mass – Unless you change the name of it, it is religious

To the same extent that Thursday is still Thor’s Day and thus a pagan day.

I’ll bet you still use the name “Thursday” without it being pagan. Things change.

Do you actually go to Mass on Christmas? If not, then don’t be surprised when commercial culture strips out all the rest of the religious elements.

December 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm
(21) Dave says:

Those Pagan religions are history and the word Pagan is even nothing but a vague reference to the “types” of non Christian celebrations (because Christianity didn’t exist yet, duh) not a specific Pagan religion… Christians are here today celebrating as Christians, and as long as we are NOBODY can strip ANYTHING out of it… You can’t tell me I’m not celebrating Jesus’ birthday because I am no matter how much you or anyone else secularizes it just so you don’t feel guilty for liking Santa and presents and claim some right to celebrate. As long as we Christians continue to celebrate Christ, Jesus will never be stripped from our celebration. You can celebrate Santa Day all you want, PLEASE ENJOY… the more you do the more chance we have to remind people about Christ and the real reason for love and giving and celebrating! Bring on the commercial culture, that won’t stop us from going to Mass, and you are ridiculous to think that popularity of a holiday would stop Christians from believing in their savior or celebrating his birth on that Holiday. (Holiday=holy day) This is the big dance, my friend… The true Christians and good Christians are never going to let go of this religious celebration no matter how much you wish we would or think we should or think it can be “stripped” just because Wal-Mart is having a sale! Enjoy the Holidays, my atheist friend… and Happy Birthday Jesus! :)

December 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(22) Austin Cline says:

Those Pagan religions are history and the word Pagan is even nothing but a vague reference to the “types” of non Christian celebrations (because Christianity didn’t exist yet, duh) not a specific Pagan religion…

Actually, they were specific celebrations that Christianity adopte.

Christians are here today celebrating as Christians, and as long as we are NOBODY can strip ANYTHING out of it…

It’s Christians who already stripped out most of the religious aspects.

As long as we Christians continue to celebrate Christ, Jesus will never be stripped from our celebration.

It’s out for everyone else.

You can celebrate Santa Day all you want, PLEASE ENJOY… the more you do the more chance we have to remind people about Christ and the real reason for love and giving and celebrating!

FYI, you don’t need Jesus or Christianity for love or giving.

Bring on the commercial culture, that won’t stop us from going to Mass,

Most Christians don’t go to Mass.

and you are ridiculous to think that popularity of a holiday would stop Christians from believing in their savior or celebrating his birth on that Holiday.

Since I never made that claim, who’s being ridiculous?

December 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm
(23) Matt says:

I think Christmas is very much more secular than it is Christian. Some people would say that if you don’t go to church, have no belief that Jesus influences anything you do in life but still celebrate Christmas that you are “picking and choosing” what to like about religion, which is absolutely not true.

I feel awkward when times come around Christmas where i must sing Holy carols in order to not offend friends, which i do not mind. I feel a bit awkward to be singing about something i do not believe in, but for the most part Christian and non-Christian peoples can partake the celebration of Christmas harmoniously.

However, i think the feelings towards these two group’ beliefs must be neutral. For example, i do not believe that Jesus or God exists, but i don’t go about proclaiming it or preaching it. Just as my college roommate (true Christian, church every Sunday) does not constantly try to convert me to Christianity. Really i think that is the current problem between religious and non-religious groups, Atheists feel the need to call themselves Atheists just for the fact. I don’t call myself an Atheist, i just live my life. You cannot dwell or debate on something you apparently do not believe.

To me Christmas has MOSTLY secular values:
-family harmony
-distanced from bad experiences
-looking past previous bad experiences with friends/relatives
-celebrating the season change from fall to winter and all the tasks/activities that come with it
-cooking warm meals with seasonal foods/spices
-exchanging gifts with true thought behind them

December 21, 2011 at 1:23 am
(24) Rhea says:

“Those Pagan religions are history”

Umm…you have never heard of Neo-Pagans? There are at least a million or more people out there who practice neopaganism and Wicca out there. I am Roman Reconstructionist and we celebrate Saturnalia.

So don’t say pagan religions are history. The holiday traditions around Christmas, like giving gifts and making merry, are at the core, pre-Christmas Roman religion. Call it pagan or not. But there are people in the world still of those faiths, even if we are a small number.

December 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm
(25) Lauren says:

Thank you for a thoughtfully written article, Austin! Every year I am told by at least one Christian that I am not allowed or able to celebrate their holiday because I do not believe in Christ. It just happened today, in fact.

Peace and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

December 24, 2011 at 7:06 am
(26) Ronnie says:

Very interesting reading all around. I love to learn new things…it never gets old. (pun intended)
I am a Christian who celebrates Christmas and Easter on the days historically set aside for them. I don’t always celebrate my birthday on its correct date either. If My birthday falls on a Wednesday, I wait till the weekend to go out to a nice dinner with my family to celebrate it. It doesn’t detract from the meaning or purpose of the celebration. It is widely believed that Jesus actual birth was sometime in the spring.
We have the freedom to celebrate any holiday we choose. The Bible syas the word of God will not come back void, so even this discussion is beneficial in spreading the message of Christ. I am not offended by the secular aspects of “religeous” holidays or the fact that non-Christians partake in the celebration. Jesus didn’t just hang out with “religeous ” people. In fact, he made it a point to hang out with those who were not claimants of religeous following. It was the religeous leaders who were largely the problem.
Jesus has changed my life by my acceptance of His gift of salvation. (we exchange gifts in remembrance of that gift)
Our purity before God is not because of our “good works”, but by the blood sacrifice of Jesus which covers us. “With his stripes we are healed”(The candy cane)
And so on…

If you celebrate Christmas and you are not a Christian, then I hope that you will one day SOON accept Jesus Christ into your heart. If you are a Christian, pray for those who aren’t, don’t lash out at them for not celebrating Christmas your way. John 3:16 Says NOTHING about celebrating Christmas. The change must come from within one’s heart, not from the manner in which he celebrates a holiday.

Merry Christmas to ALL of you. I wish you the best blessings from heaven and pray that you see Jesus this season.
Fellow Christians…do some catch-up reading in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13.

You are all now added to a prayer list.

December 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm
(27) Austin Cline says:

You are all now added to a prayer list.

Since you presume that others need you to pray for them, I guess you won’t mind if we presume that you need the rest of us to do your thinking for you.

December 24, 2011 at 11:05 am
(28) Lewis Wetzel says:

The problem with the reasoning of people who boast that slowly but surely Christ is being cut out of Christmas is that the dimmest light utterly vanquishes all darkness. The darkness is not winning, the Light of the world already won as soon as He came on Christmas. What is happening is that those people are squeezing their eyes tight shut against the Light and then claiming that their inability to perceive it is some kind of victory against it. The proof of their error is their anger when the Light seeps through even their tightest-closed eyelids and embarrasses them with its existence. So, if your eyes are open to the glorious Light, Merry Christmas! Joy to the world, the Lord is come! And if your eyes are squeezed shut against the Light, Merry mas! In the meadow you can build a snowman!

July 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm
(29) Michael says:

Is it just me, or is this article kind of ridiculous?

I can imagine when Christianity started becoming popular in Rome:

“How to celebrate Winter Solstice, Jesus style.”

Christmas was a secular holiday for thousands of years before it was a Christian holiday, and so was Easter. Easter, just as an FYI, is the name of a pagan god/goddess. Saint Nicholas was just a catholic bishop, but the legend of his flying sled comes from the Germanic pagan tradition of Yule. There was a notion that the chief god Odin was leading a hunt across the sky, and children would leave their boots outside, filled with food. Odin’s horse would eat the food, and Odin would reward the children with gifts and candy. Hence the stocking-stuffing tradition continued by middle aged moms everywhere in America.
So you can try to de-spiritualize holidays all that you like, but they will remain “holy days”. Religion has been the greatest comfort to humanity for a long, long time and that isn’t going to change. But just as theism and eternalism are extremes, so too is atheism and nihilism. What westerners typically call God and what easterners typically call Nirvana transcends dualisms and is an undeniable law of the universe.
I won’t pray for you, atheists. I’ll just meditate and wish for a wiser world.

July 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm
(30) Austin Cline says:

Is it just me, or is this article kind of ridiculous?

Strange, then, that you can’t even address, much less rebut, anything specific in it.

So you can try to de-spiritualize holidays all that you like, but they will remain “holy days”

Only to those who desire it; there’s nothing inherently or necessarily “holy” about them.

But just as theism and eternalism are extremes, so too is atheism and nihilism.

Neither atheism nor theism are extreme; they are simply the presence or absence of belief in some sort of god.

December 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm
(31) Charlie says:

Though I am neither atheist, nor Christian, I love the well thought out opinions here, and the non-combative way they are presented. The world would be a LOT better place if all religious/non-religious discussions were handled in such a mature manner. Keep up the good work, and have a safe prosperous new year. Charlie

December 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm
(32) Ray says:

There is no need to say “Merry Christmas” ever except on Christmas Day. If someone insists you should say “Merry Christmas”, the proper answer is “It isn’t Christmas today, but have a Happy Holiday when it comes.”
Also, there is no such thing as a Christmas Season.

December 25, 2013 at 4:37 am
(33) Norman McDermid says:

Max. Christmas is not about Jesus it is derived from the Babylonian sun god worship.

December 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm
(34) Gerald Vanderhoff says:

Yes, Christmas can easily be converted (or, to use the correct word, deconverted). After all, the only Christian symbol is the creche. Take that out, and the remaining symbols are all pagan.

As one online comic put it, “All Christmases are without Jesus. He never shows up.”

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