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Christmas in America: Atheists, the Christian Right, and Christmas Traditions

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Christmas in America:


Perhaps the mid-winter holiday season centered around Christmas should be a time of festivities, but in America many other things intrude as well. Atheists are faced with questions about whether they should participate and if they should reveal their atheism. Conservative Christians insist that Christmas is meaningless without their religion — and say that both are under assault from atheists. Should parents lie to encourage belief in Santa? How reliable are gospels stories about the Nativity?

What do Atheists do During Christmas Holidays?:


Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for atheists. Although it has become highly secularized in recent years, the holiday has retained strong religious aspects. Many family celebrations of Christmas also include religious rituals which atheists cannot easily participate in without feeling dishonest.

Are Atheists and Secularists Undermining Christmas?:


A few influential conservatives are using Christmas as a political weapon against liberals, secularists, and non-Christians. They claim that a secular, anti-Christian conspiracy is draining Christian meaning from Christmas and devaluing it as part of the holiday season.

Christmas as a Secular, Cultural Holiday:


It’s true that for many Christians, Christmas is so religious that there would be little point to the holidays without their religious perspective. At the same time, however, there are millions of non-Christians and godless people who celebrate and enjoy the holidays without much problem.

Christmas & Government Endorsed Religion:


The most obvious and divisive of the holiday problem is that of religious displays in public. A close second involves celebrations in public schools which, traditionally, been explicit in their celebration of the season. So long as America has been predominantly Christian in composition, all of thise went unchallenged and even unnoticed by the majority.

Sources of Christmas Traditions, Modern and Ancient:


Few people are aware of the origins of most Christmas traditions; most assume that Christmas is primarily Christian, or else they simply don’t care. Christmas is, in fact, an interesting combination of modern and ancient ideas.

Other Godless Holidays:

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