The War on Christmas

Atheists in a war over Christmas should stop bullying their way into the spotlight. There should be no war over Christmas. There should be no war. If people want to believe, they should be allowed to believe.

No one should take away the right to believe in God or to worship–just as no one should take away the right not to.


83 responses to “The War on Christmas

  1. you are dead in sin, given up by God and on your way to hell

    abandoning God is the first step to unleashing the genitals – a pelvic revolt – you are morally revolted, not intellectually

    you are to begin with hardened in sin and you have a seared conscience, you don`t come to faith from that place, you`re not predisposed to it – you require evidence like the stiffnecked obstinate fool you, the kind of proof that defeats the purpose of religion (faith), God regenerates His people, compels them, moves them, puts it in them, they can`t resist His call to election, doofus

    you are carnal rather than spritiual – you are captivated by sin, have no power to rise out of it, and you would rather wallow in it

    you are a depraved beast made unto destruction – God is patiently building you into an object of His wrath

    99% of christians are unsaved trash – phonies, pelegian heretics, hellbound reprobates, and you will join them in hell

    stop whining about the repercussions of the original sin, I.E. suffering and death – SIN brought death into the world, and filthy pervades this degenerate society, you ought to pray for more school shootings, 9-11s and katrinas (God-smacks, divine retribution)

    You are a shameless insatiable slut. You are a hedonist and nihilist.

    • Hi Tony- I would not normally approve a comment such as yours, but I wanted people to see the dark side of Christianity and why it is pushing so many people away. Is this your god? Is he a god of hatred? I suspect, if there is a god, you do not represent him in the least….

  2. I saw your iReport on CNN and didn’t want to take the time to register there and comment amongst the ilk. But I have to say that as a Texan, I LOVE YOU! I’m glad you got the chance to make the front page of freakin CNN and talk about this. I’m 100% in agreement with you. No more hocus pocus. It’s just ridiculous in this day and age. Free thinking, logical thought, rational people – those are the ones I want to be around, and those are the ones we need to have in political office. Not someone like Bush, who asked God whether or not he should invade Iraq. It’s so ridiculous, but so many people take it as the gospel (lol). But seriously. Much love and respect for that piece. I couldn’t have said it any better. Neither could Dawkins or Hitchens. THANK YOU.

    • Phil- thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to reach out and for your kind words!!! I really appreciate that-especially from a fellow Texan!

  3. Oh and that Tony guy… I won’t call any names here, but he sounds like he’s straight out of the nuthouse.

  4. I just found your blog through a tweet (RDFRS). I am enjoying reading your posts. I hope that one day, when I have kids of my own, to educate them with similar wisdom. Congratulations on a great blog!

  5. Wow. As a Christian, I disagree stronlgy with your stance on raising kids without God but I was horrified by Tony’s post. I’ve been a pastor for 29 years and I have NEVER heard anyone in any of the churches I’ve served speak like that (and I’ve served very conservative congregations). Sadly, every system of belief (or non-belief) has its extremists, unfortunately. I’m sorry that anyone, let alone someone who purports to follow Christ, would speak to you like that. I hope you’ll accept my apologies on his behalf.

    • Hi Pastor J, I really appreciate your kindness. Tony’s one of many who have made comments like that, I don’t take them personally. You’re right–all belief systems have their extremists. You and I don’t agree, but I do respect your position.

  6. Hi, I just wanted to leave you a comment and applaud you. It is not about proving or disproving another’s beliefs. We should all respect each other’s right to believe or not believe. I do not think there are enough forums to speak openly about NOT being religiously affilitated. I personally do not use stories of god or Jesus to teach my children morality. There are more practical reasons for being kind, ethical, and generous. Thank you for sharing your ideas. It is not easy to be met with the kind of comments that “Tony” so eloquently expressed.

  7. Enjoyed the iReport on CNN! Keep strong, we need more rational, logical people like you in the world! “Tony” demonstrates the typical hypocritical Christian very well… keep on believing those Bronze Age myths, buddy.

  8. Just read your CNN iReport and all I can say is “Wow” and “Thank You”!!! As a non-theist, I can’t tell you how heartened I am every time I see someone make an intelligent and honest case for lack of religious belief. I learned a long time ago to look past all the hatred and ignorance that gets blown back in ones face when you push back against the cultural tidal wave that religion enjoys in our society. And I am also optimistic when I see how little interest so many of our young people have for this whole idea of an all powerful, personal god. The fact the religious people can no longer fool so many others with their religious stereotyping of atheists is another indication that the tide is slowly turning. More and more people are meeting and getting to know atheists on a personal level, and they are finding that we are not the monsters and immoral reprobates that the religious community has painted us to be, We are your neighbors, your children’s teachers, your local police officer and your country’s soldiers. We do charitable work, live moral lives and are generally more peaceful, loving and caring than a lot of religious people. We do these things, not because of an edict passed down from an invisible being, or because we want to store up treasures for some fantastical, imaginary afterlife. We do these things because we are a part of a larger human community, and because we look on all our fellow human beings as valuable and worthy of our kindest efforts. In a sense, we do these things because they are the RIGHT THINGS TO DO! And what type of motivation could be a more noble? I would say there is none. Thanks again! You have done a great and admirable service.

    • Wow, thanks, Mike. Your comment is very well-expressed. I agree–Amen. I find that our morals are just as strong, if not stronger, because we’ve internalized our moral structure. We don’t look outside ourselves for the answers to what is right and wrong, nor abdicate that responsibility to someone who is not here, who we’ve never met…Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Kansas City Skeptic

    Saw you mentioned on CNN. Keep it up. Liked the way you responded to Tony!

  10. Well, a fellow ex-Texan here. AND an ex-Jehovah’s Witness. Let’s see, I guess I could also describe myself as an ex-New Ager….But I am more than a bunch of exes:) I, too, saw your post on CNN and had to track you down! I am a closet atheist. I have an online business and unfortunately, like on Facebook, I let personal relatives and business customers both friend me. I wish now I had kept business totally separate…..Anyway, I raised my daughter without religion and I never beat her with a belt either. She has grown up to be a very sensitive, kind, loving and compassionate person with a strong work ethic and a good moral compass. (I made her in my image. hahaha!) Today my only sibling, my older brother, called to tell me the latest on his health issue: he’s going in tomorrow for surgery on a tumor on his tongue. The doctors don’t know if it’s cancerous or not (biopsy results were ‘inconclusive’??!!) Anyway, I sit here thinking, I don’t believe in prayer, so what am I supposed to do? Can’t find any thoughts to comfort me. Just taking it one day at a time. My new motto is a Russian proverb I came across: I’d rather be slapped in the face with the truth than kissed by a lie. Thank you for wording so well and so thoughtfully the reasons that religion, god and all that fairy tale stuff is holding back our evolutionary progress.

    • @Trishia, Thanks for tracking me down! Some funny parts to what you’ve said. I don’t beat my kids with a belt either, but I do have a dark cellar! ha! Can’t believe you were a Texan AND an ex-Jehovah’s witness. And you lived to tell about it… 🙂 On the other hand, sorry to hear about your brother, and I really hope his surgery goes well tomorrow. That’s the scary part about not believing–we don’t have the safety nets that religion offers nor the comfort of prayer. Let me know how you’re doing. Stop by any time….

  11. dam,
    Hi! I really appreciated this post. I love Christmas and all it means to me, spiritually, and, of course, all the fun stuff 🙂

    I so appreciate your respect for us who do believe in God, and am thankful for our (albeit distant) relationship! As a Christian, I deeply grieve when I read awful comments and hate-filled slurs that don’t represent who Jesus is to me–His words, llfe, and commands. So, I hope you and your readers will know that not all (and no one I know) thinks like Tony. Not even close.

    By the way, sorry I haven’t blogged much lately. Been quite busy with a number of things–grad courses, grandchildren, the homeless outreach in Ottawa…and my sis-in-law’s cancer 😦 But I’ll let you know when I write again!

    Thanks again for your respect for my beliefs!

    • Hi absolutegrace! Great to hear from you again–I always like hearing from you. Really sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. Yes, please let me know when you are blogging again, and good luck with grad school, the grandkids and your volunteer work! 🙂

  12. I, too, read your iReport on CNN and was absolutely thrilled to see it. I was so impressed with your intelligent way of sharing your viewpoint as well as the way you did it in a non-insulting manner. I was hoping to read more of what you had to say and that lead me here.

    I went to Catholic school through the end of high school. My parents weren’t Catholic but rather considered themselves non-denominational Christian in that they believed in God, Jesus, etc., however the only person in my family who ever practiced “Christianity” or even tried to live by the Christian ideals was my grandmother. That’s not to say my parents, or anyone else in my family, were bad people. They are great people. I believed in most of the things I was taught in school regarding religion. I never gave much thought to thinking any other way in this area. And I was considered very smart by family, teachers and I even thought that myself.

    Now that I have been an adult for quite some time, It has been many years since I believed and it’s been bittersweet. That’s why it is so refreshing to read an article like yours on a mainstream national news platform. THANK YOU! I considered myself agnostic for years but didn’t openly talk about it. The main reason for that is my fear of judgement by others in this area and the fact that so many people assume if you are an agnostic (or atheist, or both) that you can’t possibly have as clear of a moral compass as a Christian.

    In the past few years, my mother and sister have become practicing, bible-studying, devout Christians. My brother married a woman who is the epitome of a Christian woman and my brother has joined in for the past 5 years. They don’t pass any judgement to me, outwardly, and my sister-in-law is so incredibly sweet and loving that I have doubts she even passes judgement internally. However, they are so ensconced in the faith that their daughter (my precious 4 year old niece) asks me all the time if I have accepted Jesus into my heart. Talk about an awkward question to answer to a 4 year old I love dearly!

    One time I asked her why she asks me that so often and her response almost made me cry. She said “because I love you and I want you to go to heaven with me and not be in hell”. This 4 year old tells me that she prays for me and other people who don’t have Jesus in their hearts so that they find him and don’t go to hell. Wow.

    I am not a person who does bad things or lives life selfishly and without any regard to others. It’s quite the opposite and my family knows this. Yet, I feel the need to try and prove it all the time in order to “excuse” or “justify” my agnostic belief with those family members who believe. And if I’m not careful, I will slip into self-doubt (not about agosticism but just myself in general) and feel that I’m not as good of a person as I should be. It isn’t true and I snap out of it fairly quickly however there have been several times I have tried to convince myself to just have faith. My brain just doesn’t work that way. My family loves me tremendously and we are ALL good to each other. We don’t feud about this topic. They are just absolutely convinced that those of us who don’t share their beliefs will go to hell. It’s an interesting viewpoint but one I don’t share. The majority of this country seems to feel the same way. Oh well 🙂 I can’t force myself to think and feel a way that I don’t.

    So, again, thank you for your article. I suspect there are more people who feel the way we do than I have ever realized. It’s nice to see those who are willing to put themselves out there and share such a viewpoint in this country.

    I hope to read more from you in the future!

    • Hi Nikki! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story! I actually considered sending my kids to a Catholic school here because the education is really good–better than the public schools. I think Catholic schools have that reputation! 🙂 It is interesting your niece would ask you that question–almost as if someone has told her that you don’t believe and will not go to heaven. She’s trying to recruit you. At least, your family seems toleratnt and respectful of your views. Please feel free to stop by any time and share your views. I am floored by how many people feel the same as we do….And there is no hell here.

  13. GoldsteinSquadFanClubMember

    I am willing to bet that Tony is actually an atheist.

  14. Hi, congratulations to your bravery. I’m a mother of two and an atheist since I was 3 years old (despite 8 years in a catholic boarding school where I was raised by loving, wonderful nuns). I raise my two kids as philosophers, but living in the USA this doesn’t mean to grow up without God. My daughter (6) already argues with her friend about the existence of God and I tell her:”Some people believe that there is something like a God, and others don’t. I, for one, don’t.” I refrain, however, from being too influencing about it, for fear it might backfire. Anyway, thank you and we are on your side.

    • Hi Anonymous who wrote this: “Hi, congratulations to your bravery. I’m a mother of two and an atheist since I was 3 years old (despite 8 years in a catholic boarding school where I was raised by loving, wonderful nuns). I raise my two kids as philosophers, but living in the USA this doesn’t mean to grow up without God. My daughter (6) already argues with her friend about the existence of God and I tell her:”Some people believe that there is something like a God, and others don’t. I, for one, don’t.” I refrain, however, from being too influencing about it, for fear it might backfire. Anyway, thank you and we are on your side.”

      I appreciate that you took the time to reach out. I know what you mean about refraining from “being too influencing about it.” I felt the same way. Parents can off too much on both sides of the spectrum and drive their kids the other way. It’s best to just let them think and reason things out on their own….

  15. As a mom raising two little boys deep in the heart of the bible belt south, I just wanted to say thank you. I have a background in anthropology and worked as an archaeologist for a few years. (It was a welcome haven to be surrounded with mostly like-minded folks.) Now, I feel very isolated. Nevertheless, I am determined to teach my boys to think for themselves, question everything, and embrace what is tangible and true. What is more amazing than the actual physical world that surrounds them everyday? Rational, heartfelt common sense….that is the lens through which I hope they see the world.
    I also want them to be above all be tolerant and respectful of other people’s beliefs. It is very difficult to feel comfortable being completely open about my religious beliefs, or lack there of, in this particular area. I feel very protective of my children and wonder how they will be treated as they grow up.
    Thanks again. For what it’s worth, you made me feel a little less isolated.

    • Hi Shovelbum- Thanks so much for your comments and couldn’t agree more. I love this: “What is more amazing than the actual physical world that surrounds them everyday? Rational, heartfelt common sense….that is the lens through which I hope they see the world.” I knew there were other parents out there like us, but I had no idea there was this many. It is comforting to know.

  16. If there is no God, where do we get any basis for rights? Particles bouncing around in an empty universe aren’t entitled to anything.

    • Hi Jim M. Thanks for commenting. I think “rights” are man-made, and they’ve evolved from living in societies. But I do understand what you are asking, and who knows for certain…

  17. ittransformation

    Dam – I just discovered your blog via CNN, and it was nice to see that there are some alternate views with us down here in Texas. I’m now a follower. While there is no denying that peoples’ belief in God has brought a great deal of good to the world, religious conflict, oppression, fear driven by religion, and the lack of accountability associated with ‘God’s plan’ have also resulted in much of the misery in our world. I suspect I am preaching to the choir on this, if I may borrow a phrase and sprinkle in some irony . I am curious… What is your view on the idea that validating and accepting the many good Christians’ or good Muslims’ or good Jews’ belief in God effectively enables awful people like Tony through acceptance of a common, and in my view false, premise – the existence of God?

    • Hi ittransformation. Thanks so much for commenting. Of course I agree with the first part of your comment. I really think Tony is part of that vocal minority of hatred/fear-mongering that gets so much press. They get worked up into a frenzy–aren’t they the ones that keep flagging the CNN article as inappropriate? There’s no room out there for anything but their narrow world-view. It’s too bad…

  18. Paige Livignston

    I enjoyed your iReport on raising children without god. I, however, must disagree with the “live and let live” idea. I used to be that way, but over the years I have become an anti-theist. It was in the raising of my two children, now 17 and 18, that I came to realize the harm that religion causes. Children are indoctrinated into this fairy tale that you admit you did not want your own children to be a part of. Why then would you be okay with others being raised this way? We atheists know, all too well, the harsh judgement of theists. They see us as immoral, evil beings. Yet we are not the ones teaching the very things that you mentioned in your article. And this is merely in America. Look at female genital mutilation, which also occurs in parts of America. Look at the Westboro Baptist church. Look at how women are treated all over this planet because these “holy” texts teach that women are beneath men and must submit to men. Religion teaches that ignorance is bliss. Look at how people revere their pastors, preachers, priests and the like. Look at the power and influence that the churches now have all over this planet. When people in Africa are being taught by the the Vatican that condoms actually cause AIDS, that being gay is punishable by death. There are countless occurrences that back up the fact that religion is harmful to societies. Look at the money machine that organized religion has become. What do they do with that money? They use it to affect legislation that they will benefit from. Look at this kid’s experience, for example Children in the United States are being taught Creationism in schools partially funded by taxpayer money. Children are actually being taught that the Loch Ness Monster is real, because it somehow supports Creationism. When children are being raised to believe that they are neither in control of nor responsible for their own lives, that is dangerous. Our lifespans have increased due to the research and advances made by the men and women that have dedicated their lives to science and research. Yet when someone is healed by a doctor, people thank god, not the doctor, not the chemist, not the engineers that created the instruments and machines. “God gave the doctors the ability to heal”, they say. No, the doctors spent many years in school, educating themselves, busting their asses, losing sleep, dedicated to their chosen field, and you minimize this by saying some sky fairy did it? Theists are children in my mind. If god has a plan and is all powerful, then why does anyone pray? Ever. Praying is nothing more than a child begging for something that they want. If people truly believed that everything was god’s will, they would simply accept, with a smile, everything that occurs, literally, everything. When children get cancer, are beaten, molested, etc. This is all god’s will. You say that the devil did it? Then you say that the devil has more power than god, if god cannot keep the devil from causing harm. Religion is nothing more than a security blanket for those that refuse to accept that everything dies. We fear death, so we create something beyond to make us feel better. It gives us comfort to think that our loved ones are not decomposing in the ground, but up in some fluffy heaven somewhere. All the while children are being lied to. They are being taught to live “morally” through the fear of hell. It is the non believer that values the here and now more than any theist. We know that there is only one life and that it is not to be wasted living in fear of hell or a vengeful deity. We do good for the sake of doing good, not for the promise of some afterlife reward. Religion began as a reason to explain the unknown. Somewhere along the line, monotheism overtook polytheism because a man realized that he could gain power and influence, as well as control the masses. He was right. Generation after generation of children being brainwashed by their parents, so many millions of people actually believe this nonsense. I find it sad. Because when theists attribute everything to a deity, they do not take responsibility. They do not believe that they are capable of great things. They all view themselves as weak children. Children who pray for a different outcome, children who bargain with their deity to get what they want. Oddly, if their entire goal is to be with god, why then do they cry when their loved ones die? Are they not happy their loved one is with god? Why are there not parties instead of funerals? I read posts where people speak of trivial things, like praying for a parking spot to open up so they don’t have to walk. And how god blessed them with said parking spot because it allowed them to make their purchase in time for some event. Seriously? Someone, right now, is being tortured, raped, molested. abused, etc. and begging for their life, praying to god, and you think that you are so special that god decided to answer your piddly little prayer about a parking spot? Theists using their religious beliefs to try to control the reproduction of women, suppress voters, restrict or remove rights. You say live and let live, well I say no. I say that the live and let live way of thinking is exactly what has allowed religion to flourish and take a strangle hold on governments. Being a bystander and allowing this nonsense to propagate IS part of the problem. I’m tired of theists actively dumbing down people. I’m tired of theists imposing their beliefs on everyone that breathes. I’m tired of the hypocrisy, intolerance and bigotry. Thank you for letting me rant, but I simply had to say something.

    • @Paige Livignston Whew. That comment was quite a rant! In all seriousness, I hear what you are saying, and I agree with a lot of it, at least in theory. That’s not a cop out. It’s just a recognition that belief is very personal, and some people need God and religion. We (or at least I do) also want some people to have religion. Religion is that opiate; it DOES keep some people in line. Not everyone was created equally, with the same capacities for rational thinking, with the same abilities of introspection and compassion. I think we do continue to move towards rationalism and away from the superstitions of religion, but we it is a process and we are still evolving.

      I also think there are a lot of decent people of faith who keep their beliefs to themselves. THey’re not hurting anyone. Their beliefs are giving them comfort. What should that bother me? It’s the people who want their faith to be ours that are very irritating. Apparently, recruiting sinners is their ticket to heaven. It’s the people who want their faith in our public school textbooks and in classrooms. If they want that, go pay for a private education at a Christian school….

      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I do understand why you are upset…

  19. I read your Ireport on CNN. You wrote what I have been thinking for years. I have not raised my children in a faith-based home. I have given them the freedom to choose. I did not discourage or encourage their participation in church. My children have attended church with family and friends of several different denominations. My children know I do not believe in a God. But, I have insisted that my children respect the faith/religions of others. When others are in prayer we sit quietly. I believe we should be good to people not because a god tells us to be good but because it is morally right.

  20. Fantastic! How do us closet texans find each other? I’m surrounded by religious bullies….

    • @HP

      Fantastic! How do us closet texans find each other? I’m surrounded by religious bullies….

      I’m not sure. I heard there are some free-thinkers groups in Texas. I’ll look into it and post about it soon. Thanks for taking the time to write!

  21. Hey , as a teacher I have no issue with celebrating other beliefs around the Christmas holidays. However, those who don’t actually believe in my faith and want to destroy “Christmas Concerts” and change them to “Winter Festivals” and so on…I would suggest that maybe you take your kids to school on the 24th and 25th, since you are getting a holiday for something you don’t even want to acknowledge. It’s amazing what would happen….

    • @Anonymous who wrote this:

      Hey , as a teacher I have no issue with celebrating other beliefs around the Christmas holidays. However, those who don’t actually believe in my faith and want to destroy “Christmas Concerts” and change them to “Winter Festivals” and so on…I would suggest that maybe you take your kids to school on the 24th and 25th, since you are getting a holiday for something you don’t even want to acknowledge. It’s amazing what would happen….

      Yikes. Hope you’re not teaching my kids. I’m not trying to be inflammatory; I’m just telling you that your faith, your beliefs are not mine and they are definitely not fact. As you already know: Christmas is really TWO holidays: the secular AND the non-secular. If you claim this is not true, then I sure hope you don’t buy a Christmas tree and stick Santa on your rooftop.

  22. Tony, your comment is just plain sad. You are just full of hatred. What’s even more sad is that your Bible doesn’t even teach about Hell. Study it in it’s original language with a eastern worldview. None of the 4 words translated to hell in our current Bibles had a meaning of a literal fiery place of torment. NONE! In fact, the early church taught reconciliation of all. 4 out of the first 5 biblical schools of the early church taught this. The 5th taught that the “lost” just ceased to exist. It wasn’t until the Roman empire’s influence that the belief that all of mankind would be restored started to be called a heresy. Hell was introduced as a way to control the masses through fear. The idea of Hell is one of the worst and most stupid creations of man. It only causes fear, helps people control others, and creates ugly judgmental people as yourself who think they are better than their fellow man.

    • @Wally Definitely agree with you here:

      The idea of Hell is one of the worst and most stupid creations of man.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

  23. But there is no “War On Christmas”. The whole thing is just a phoney controversy, cynically cooked up by the likes of Fox News just for ratings. Could any sober person seriously suggest that our culture is in any danger whatsoever of Christmas going away? It saturates everything in our culture, beginning earlier and earlier every year. It drowns everything else out. To me, it is a dreadful and mindless cacophony that cannot be escaped. If there is any “war” at all, it is on late-autumn secularism.

    • @ Jim Collier Good point. The War on Christmas is media-driven. I also liked & agree with you on this statment:

      To me, it is a dreadful and mindless cacophony that cannot be escaped.

  24. Hi good story on CNN, gratulation 🙂
    There was someone talking about grief here is a page on facebook thats about support and how to.

  25. I have no issue with your views, they are your views and thank God they aren’t mine. What I would love to see is Atheists going to School on the 24th and 25th of December and not spend those days lounging around. I applaud all faiths, but I don’t get or expect to get certain days off during my teaching year because it happens to be a religious holiday for some. I teach those days and students come to school those days who are not part of that particular religious sect. So instead of killing the Christmas spirit by not allowing Christians to celebrate a “Christmas Concert” anymore or heaven forbid we reach out our hand and wish each other a Merry Christmas, go to a place of education during the CHRISTMAS BREAK, and stop trying to change everything to your liking or your beliefs. Your a brave and well written individual, but some of your points just don’t make you make sense.

    • @ Peniero Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think either you commented twice (and I am responding twice) or another teacher with the same argument posted a comment.

      Christmas holida is no longer just for Christians. Clearly, there are two holidays here, the secular and non-secular. Some of us celebrate the two (the commercial Christmas and the Christian holiday). I personally don’t get bent out of shape by the Merry Christmas thing, but I can see why others take offense, too. Regardless, the issue is a little thing to me. Call it what you want. I understand you mean well when you (or a person says) Merry Christmas.

      However, you say you, “applaud all faiths.” Please also welcome the non-believers.

  26. Found your piece on CNN and your blog through that. The irony of this particular entry does not escape me. I am an atheist who is married to a Christian who does not celebrate Christmas. There are a number of these Christians out there, those who believe that Christmas is an evil holiday with pagan origins and therefore, should not ever be celebrated by any self-respecting Christian. My husband is one of those Christians. Christmas is a holiday I enjoy, have always enjoyed but I have to fight with my husband pretty much every single year because he is absolutely offended by my celebrating the holiday, something I had done for years before we even married. Last year, he went on about how rebellious I was being (and mind you, I’m an over 30 year old adult female). This year, his complaint was on how I was spending HIS money on Christmas presents (though I spent a very small amount in comparison to what he spends on his Holy days and half of it was for a child whose birthday was two days after Christmas!). Makes the holiday kind of difficult for me, I must admit so I end up doing not very much at all just to try and keep peace in the house. Yet I’m supposed to respect all of his holy days no matter how crazy they get (like when all the leavening needs to be removed from the house before Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread).

    As for your article on CNN, right on the mark. I totally agree with everything you said and it’s a big part of the reason that I cannot be a Christian myself.

    • @ Janeen Yikes. Sounds like a struggle there. Your husband does not understand that there is a secular AND non-secular Christmas? That’s too bad. It’s a time of great fun, although I know it can be too commercial and stressful, too. It must be hard living with such oppositve views as yours. There aer a lot of people out there like you, though, and feel free to stop by and talk any time….Thanks so much for reaching out and commenting.

      • Well, for him, it doesn’t matter because all aspects of Christmas have pagan roots and from the standpoint of his beliefs (as well as those who believe as he does) should not be celebrated AT ALL, especially by Christians. His beliefs are very different from those of mainstream Christians so it gets interesting at times.

        As for some of the comments on here, I wonder if any of them have looked into their American history a little bit. There was a time when the celebration of Christmas was actually banned in this country–banned by Christians! It was banned for the same reasons that my husband does not celebrate it, its pagan roots and the fact that at one time, Christmas was actually a very different holiday than it is now. People were more likely to misbehave. That changed with time and as it changed, it became a US holiday and something people defend ferociously.

  27. Hello. magnificent job. I did not anticipate this. This is a great story. Thanks! .See

  28. It wasn’t called a War on Christmas on the non-believers part, but that of the religious. Non-believers want to call it for it really is/was. It was a holiday that was stolen from the pagans as a time they celebrated the Winter Solstace. Jesus wasn’t born on Dec 25th. This past holiday season I decided to google When was Jesus born? They’re not even sure when he was born. Possibly between Mar & Sept, “Given the difficulties and the desire to bring pagans into Christianity, The fixing of the date as December 25th was a compromise with paganism” . This is what one site said which was from the United Church of God. I too do not like conflicts, but if people want to call a tree a Holiday Tree or say Happy Holidays it’s actually more correct. We have had to “go along” with the other idea for too long and now that we live in an age where individuals and groups are speaking up it’s all of the sudden a War on Christmas. I personally feel everyone should celebrate it however they like and not make such a big deal of it. But it has become way too commericialized. Some of the previous postings commented that maybe we non-believers should just send our kids to school on the 24th & 25th. I say fine! Find a school staff that would be there!

    • That one site you quoted is from the church my husband is involved with. If you google The Plain Truth About Christmas, you’ll find even more on this. However, when I have posted this information for Christians to read, I would get a bit of backlash.

      I think where the so-called war comes in is in the case of property that is taken care of by the city/state and therefore, with taxpayer’s money. The concern is whether or not in some of these places the law is being followed or if a specific religion is being represented (such as Christianity). Private property/churches are not a concern, just government property. On one hand, I understand the issue. On the other hand, I try to be a live and let live person though I get how doing so has sort of led to this situation in the first place so I’ll admit, I’m kind of torn. Then again, I have only recently determined that I’m an atheist (as opposed to being just on the fence struggling with the idea of being a Christian when I really didn’t believe or have faith) so that could be why.

  29. Saved as a favorite, I like your site!

  30. There is no “war on Christmas”. It’s a slogan to equate secularists who do not want our government supporting a religion, with an imaginary image of atheists trying to stamp our religious belief.

  31. hey I’m an agnostic mother of 3 in Austin and I love your blog. As a kid I just thought everyone else was forced to go to church without really believing anything there just like me. What a reality check i got when I grew up! Quite a few relatives try to shove religion down my throat on a regular basis and it’s nice to see someone of a similar mind set, sometimes it can be very isolating. But to comment directly on the blog: I see no reason to not let children do christmas plays, after all schools allow all kinds of other fictitious plays.As an agnostic I would use it as a way to teach them about tolerance of others beliefs.

  32. I generally agree with you on the religion stuff. But I struggle with this concept…”If people want to believe, they should be allowed to believe.”

    My concern is the damage done to our society and to humanity due to the routine indoctrination and brainwashing done to young humans by their religious parents. At one extreme are those who would let their children die because their religious beliefs do not permit modern medicine but possibly even worse is taking a bright young human mind and teaching nonsense as fact thereby ruining its potential as a critical thinker and contributor to the body of human knowledge. I truly see it as child abuse.

    • @ John I can see your side, too. This is such a difficult topic because people need their security blankets, and they do have a right to raise their children however they believe. I wouldn’t want to raise my children like that, but those parents who have chosen to teach (indoctrinate or brainwash) are just trying to be good parents. That’s just my two cents. I think in another century, those that think like us will be the majority anyway. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  33. Fantastic article on CNN. Very brave of you. My wife and I are planning to raise our children the same way. The amount of secular postings on CNN gives us hope things are changing for the better in the land of the free 🙂

    • @Cules Thanks for commenting. I agree–the response on CNN is making me hopeful that things are changing for the better in the “land of the free,” as you said!

  34. There will always be some celebration around the winter solstice. It is the actual reason for the season. Christmas as practiced in the US has more in common with Saturnalia and the Romans than it does with Christians and the birth of Christ. The early Pilgrims banned Christmas for that reason.

  35. Gee. Tony seems angry. Anywho…

    There is no war on Christmas. I could pull the “old pagan holiday, tree was symbolic, if Christ was born in December in the mid-east he would have frozen to death” cards, but who needs that!? Haha

    I am an Athiest. On facebook, I don’t blatantly say so, for fear of my professional future (which, really irritates me because I live in the south and Athiesm here is still equal to having a demon inside you to the crazy, overzealous bible thumpers here…). Someday I will, most likely after I relocate somewhere nicer.

    I celebrate Christmas. Not Christ-Mas. Not Christ anything. Christmas. The traditional holiday of overstuffing and overgifting and laughing and getting tipsy on lowfat soy eggnog. I don’t remember the reason for the season, because “that” reason is not my reason.

    People need to lay off this whole war on Christmas junk. Really. I’m not persecuting them for believing, so stop trying to tell me I’m trying to take your little baby Jesus out of it. I’m not. We’re not. Get over yourselves.


  36. I never thought that war on Christmas was a good idea – people are certainly free to believe in their god (gods) or to not believe. However, I don’t think public property is the place for religious signs: if people want to pray or engage in other religious activities, they’re free to do so in their homes, churches or other private property. But I still like my fir decorated 🙂 However, I call it “The New Year tree”.

  37. Although I really liked your CNN article, and I love hearing about and networking with other atheist parents, It sounds to me like you’re a little misguided about what the “war on christmas” is really about.

    People like Bill O’reilly, angry about some atheists attempts to have holiday themed endorsements of religion removed from their local governments (like their schools and city halls), created the war on christmas as something to use to scare their fellow christians into action to oppose the efforts to protect the separation of church and state. Atheists really don’t care what others do to celebrate the holidays, as long as it’s not pushed on us through our government.

  38. A friend of mine is atheist. We were in our 20’s. Her best friend was getting married, so she decided to not attend the wedding because it was at a church. I inquired as to, “why would you not attend?” She told me because she was atheist (that’s when I found out). I was floored by this comment. If you don’t believe in God, then you really shouldn’t have an issue with going to a church (I am not saying attend a service or anything….please)

    There’s a lot of architectural masterpieces in Europe that I wouldn’t have been able to visit and explore if i followed my friends original belief.

    She’s a healthy atheist now. Has kids and celebrates christmas and doesn’t worry about anything, because she doesn’t believe in God.

  39. I’ve always felt that there really is no war on Christmas. The truth is, many christians assume that 100% of the population is christian. Folks are beginning to be more sensitive to people who may be celebrating Hannukah or something else and saying, “Happy Holidays.” That should not prevent anyone from celebrating or decorating or sending out cards. It just means that you shouldn’t assume everyone else does the same.

    And yes, as another commenter put it, some right-wing media personalities invented this topic as a way to turn separation of church and state into an assault on those who worship.

    My husband and I are secular, raising two kids in the south. He was raised jewish and I was raised catholic. We tell our kids who Jesus is. He was a man that had something good to say. Some people believe he was the son of God. Some people believe there is a God that watches over you. I agree we need to teach our children to do the right thing and feel good about themselves, not because of the consequences or rewards of God. Thank you so much for creating this blog.

  40. What I find odd about the linked article is that there was no reference to where atheists/secularists have a legitimate constitutional problem with church/state during the Christmas season. For example, governments aren’t in the business of supporting or endorsing faith, and that’s why having the Ten Commandments on courthouses or nativity scenes in city squares are consistently taken down by the courts. In fact, a member of my local atheist group has gotten the Freedom From Religion Foundation involved to take down the life size nativity scene in Taunton, MA. We’re not saying don’t celebrate Christmas, rather don’t evangelize via municipal property.

  41. I am curious as a practicing Catholic man, Will you explain to your children about why Christmas and Easter are celebrated around the world? Why these Holidays are celebrated in the first place? I am not saying you have to but these are religious-based holidays so I am curious to see your response.

    • @Bible Man I’ve already explained to them as they are now teenagers. We have had this discussion several times. Christmas and Easter are not exclusively Christian terrain. They were first Pagan holidays.

  42. I want to echo Andrew Hall’s opinions above, regarding the separation issue. As a lifelong atheist, I find it grating that our government kowtows to religion to such extents. The point I want to add, is that when religions trappings in government are allowed to remain unchallenged, they are then used to justify extending the religious entanglement of government. I cannot even count how many times I have (verbally) challenged the christian nation myth, only to have some god-head point out to me that even our money has “in god we trust” on it, and “under god” is in the pledge. Any time we concede a little metaphorical ground in this struggle, it is used as a means to enable further intrusions of religion.

    So while I do take a “live and let live” stance on (private) religious belief and practice, I draw a hard line at governmental endorsement of religious belief, in any form.

    • @TGAP Dad I know, I know. I agree with you. I feel like I’m pretty tolerant, but, as I mentioned in that first piece on CNN, we should keep our views in our homes and churches. I had someone tell me that her religion requires her to carry her faith at all times–in the public and private sphere. I think that’s fine as long as she carries it in her heart and mind.
      I don’t want to subsidize religion.

  43. I know Tony is an atheist or a fake. Because he uses words are too big for a Christian.

  44. Great blog. Just found it today. I’m looking forward to reading more. I have no problem with Christmas, and love to celebrate it. I, like others in this comment section, just don’t want public funds or property used for specific religious symbols (there are plenty of secular symbols to use instead). Besides, the nativity scene contradicts the gospel of Matthew which says Jesus was born in a house ;).

  45. @Tony…You are a very sick person. Only you know the bad things that you do. Your hell is going to be the worst of all. You sound more like the illegitimate son of the devil. Bastard!

    I wish I would have read your comment first.

  46. @dam…I apologize if my last comment was inappropriate. But it did strike a chord. I have seen you do nothing but pay respect to everyone on all your topics.

  47. @everyone…if anyone has clicked on Tony’s name, it takes you straight to a blog ‘God Hates Fags.’ Ridiculous.

    I thought fags were cigarettes. Tony I hope you don’t smoke.

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