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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 02:24 PM

 

10 Best Things About Being an Atheist on Christmas

When it comes to wrapping paper, travel and movies, the holidays can be a special time even for non-believers.

December 19, 2014
By Amanda Marcotte

By now, most people who aren’t avid Bill O’Reilly fans know that the “war on Christmas” is nothing but the paranoid fantasy of conservatives and that most (though not all!) atheists and other assorted non-believers are perfectly happy with the continuing existence of Christmas. Sure, we may say “happy holidays,” to reflect the fact that this is an entire season with multiple holidays in it. We may object to using the holiday as an excuse to push overtly religious songs and prayers on kids in public schools. But the Christmas holiday, despite its religious origins, is accepted by most atheists as a secular holiday and many of us enjoy it as much as the Christians do. In fact, I’d argue there are many advantages to being an atheist, when it comes to celebrating the holidays. So much so that you can have them here, in checking-it-twice form.

1. Travel flexibility. If the religious significance of the holiday matters to you, being with your family on Christmas Day itself is paramount. In our modern era where families move all over the country, however, that means travel, often by plane. The problem is that everyone else is traveling when you are, too—and usually during the first seriously bad weather of the winter, no less. Flight delays, tears, tearing your hair out, wondering if you’re going to make it on time are pretty much guaranteed.

Thing is, for non-believers, the exact day itself feels kind of arbitrary, so it becomes a lot easier to blow off the entire struggle to be with family on December 25 and just do Christmas at home. I visit my family the next month, when it’s easier and cheaper. Sure, you miss out on a little of the holiday magic by staying put, but the tradeoff of not having to endure the holiday stress is often worth it. And for little kids whose parents are divorced, being able to have “Christmas” on December 26 or 27 or 31 takes a lot of stress out of figuring out your holiday visitation schedule.

2. No Christmas mass. Christmas Eve is a wonderful time for drinking eggnog and playing cards and opening just one present before bed. Having to spend that precious time kneeling and standing and sitting and singing and listening to a priest drone on about Jesus’ birth is a travesty. Luckily, we atheists feel zero obligation to show up for a semi-annual reminder to give a crap about our faith, as we don't have a faith to begin with.

http://www.alternet.org/belief/10-best-things-about-being-atheist-christmas

Personally, I like the wrapping paper.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 02:31 PM

1. Kind of cute. Were you aware that some people think it's a sin to have sex on Christmas day?

That's a new one to me.

And I really disagree about the music. It's the secular christmas season music that sucks. The religious stuff is awesome.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 02:34 PM

2. My personal preference is to have sex whille "Jingle Bells" is playing.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 03:04 PM

6. I personally go for The Little Drummer Boy.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 03:47 PM

7. TMI!

 

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 06:29 PM

12. Oh come all ye faithful...

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 06:37 PM

13. Bravo! Over the river and through the woods!

What? You never played that game?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 02:56 PM

3. There are those who believe sex is a sin at any time.

 

Or even thinking about it.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 03:03 PM

5. Really? Who are those people? Do you have a link? Did they miss the "Be fruitful

and multiply" part?



The last I heard that, it was about a sect that is in it's death throes with only two members left (Shakers). It's not a very good policy in the long run.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:14 PM

8. Most Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate. nt.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:18 PM

9. That is true, but it is not because catholics think sex is a sin.

But you knew that, right?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:19 PM

10. If you google "is sex always a sin?" you will pull 50,000,000 responses in 3 seconds.

 

I would suppose that they are asking if that is true, or was told that by somebody who believes it is true. Sure there are those apologists who are there to assure them -- provided their association is appropriately blessed, and they were in the proper position, and didn't use birth control, or other alternatives.

Remember, I picked a pretty low bar for myself, in "there are those..." And I threw in lust for good measure. You exempted a couple of Shakers, sure. But I'll bet you my 72 virgins that Yahweh was deliberate when he put the "amusement park" juxtaposed to the "waste disposal plant." Could there be a stronger signal that this is a sinful place?
So, are you here for an argument?

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:27 PM

11. And they all say no, with some caveats about pre-marital sex and homosexuality

and some other things.

It doesn't support your contention at all. What you state is a myth. Because most religious groups want to increase their numbers, sex is not generally seen as a sin.

And the whole sex on christmas thing is totally new to me.

Am I here for an argument? No. Are you?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 08:54 PM

14. They all say no, because they're apologists. It's their job.

 

And there are relatively few of them, compared to the number who are asking.

And why are so many asking? Because either they believe it, or they were told it by someone who did. (Are apologists trolling their own questions?) I have heard enough street preachers tell a crowd "you're all a product of sin!" to not get the message. I only need a couple to establish my point. (Remember "There are those...." All I need is a few, who think all sex is sinful, to establish my point. You are claiming a zero, save for a few Shakers.)

Religions, as you might have noticed, have no aversion to having it both ways. They want you to multiply, and they take credit for that, as if they invented it. But they still want to heap on the guilt for your expression of natural urges. When, do you think, "original sin" is inherited? What act initiates it?

Since the supreme being neither procreates nor defecates, I expect that he/she would be pretty disgusted with the whole thing. I, OTOH, find it rather wholesome.

--imm


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Response to immoderate (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 10:45 AM

15. Or, alternatively, they all say no because they don't consider sex a sin.

People ask all kinds of questions on the internet. I don't really think you can make a legitimate correlation between the number of questions, and well, anything.

There was an interesting article a little time ago on the push within some evangelical and fundamentalist christian sects to promote healthy sexuality.

I'm not claiming zero, I'm just challenging that this is common enough to merit any kind of definitive statement. It's just counterintuitive to me.

I've just not seen or heard much of anti-sex talk coming from the religious.

Lol, how do you know if the supreme being defecates or not? That's another entirely new one on me.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 02:58 PM

4. I do Festivus

for the rest of us.

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