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TRENDING: An atheist view of December
December 23rd, 2010
07:00 AM ET

TRENDING: An atheist view of December

By Katie Glaeser, CNN

“Christians don’t deserve a monopoly on holiday cheer," reads a simple yet loaded statement on the American Atheists’ website.

But how could Christians monopolize a holiday that is based on their beliefs?

It turns out that traditions associated with Christmas have morphed into social norms adopted even among nonbelievers.

Everywhere you turn there are decorations, cookies, and music. But for many of the 5% of Americans who say they don’t believe in God, December is not that different from what it’s like for those affiliated with a Christian religion. Those who don’t believe in the reason behind the holiday still celebrate the season’s concentration on values, family, and kindness.

Liz Turcotte from Kentucky grew up Catholic, but her views on religion changed during college. “I feel like a lot of people associate atheism with a lack of tradition and bitterness towards religious holidays when this is far from the truth, at least for me,” she tells CNN in an interview.

Atheism is a very broad term. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, says it can be the lack of belief in God, or never giving much thought to God, and can also include those unwilling to make any sort of decision about what they believe in.

Turcotte says the holiday festivities feel more secular than religious and she’ll be celebrating like many others on Christmas Day.

“We celebrate the end of a long year, whether it was difficult or fruitful, and the start of a new year to come,” Turcotte says. “For me, it is about being appreciative of the people in my life who have helped me through the past year.”

Silverman, with the American Atheists, says many nonbelievers celebrate December milestones like Christmas and the winter solstice.

“Me personally,” Silverman jokes, “I do nothing. I roll in a ball and hide in the corner until it’s over.” But his wife, who is a practicing Jew, puts up a menorah in their house and celebrates Hanukkah with the couple’s daughter.

Silverman says it’s a problem that Christmas is a religious holiday that’s also a U.S. federal holiday. “If you’re going to force Jews, atheists, Hindus to observe Christmas by shutting down the country, what we’re going to observe is the most secular parts of the holiday,” he explains.

Christmas has been a federal holiday since 1870. The explanation offered on the government website America.gov is that the holiday “began to honor universal values such as home, children and family life, and to incorporate secular customs like exchanging gifts and cards, and the decoration of evergreen trees.”

So, Silverman says, “A tree with tinsel and chestnuts roasting on an open fire … it’s perfectly acceptable for an atheist to celebrate these.”

Atlanta resident Adam Olansky says he doesn’t believe in the existence of God, but he and his family still have traditions around the Christmas holiday. They celebrate it by focusing on family and food. The tree was recently trimmed and on December 25 they’ll have brunch and exchange presents.

To Olansky, it’s not the customs that are the problem with Christmas. “I think the most overwhelming part of the holiday season is the way people behave, not the way the stores are dressed up or the music.” He says it comes down to the crazy holiday shoppers - “the person who has allowed a season that’s presumably about peace and joy to drive them off the deep end.”

Silverman says some atheists are upset with Christmas because “Christians do not own the season.” In fact, he accuses Christians of stealing the holiday. “Christianity is one of over a dozen religions that named the winter solstice as their god’s birthday. This is not original,” Silverman says. “It’s not about being out against Christmas, it’s about Christmas being a monopoly.”

Kyev Tatum, pastor of Friendship Rock Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, disputes Silverman’s assertion. “For him to make that kind of claim is just flat out untrue," he says. "It’s Christ-mas.”

“Christ was born during this time. While there is a debate about whether the 25th was the actual date, no one debates it was called Christ-mas to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” says Tatum, president of the Fort Worth chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

As for atheists celebrating Christmas, Tatum says that’s their right. “We want them to embrace it,” he says. “Christmas is about peace on Earth and goodwill towards men. Whether you believe it or not that’s the reason Jesus came.”

Liz Turcotte will be spreading goodwill this Christmas but says it will be on her own terms, “Exchanging gifts and donating to charity are not religious statements but more of a chance to stop and show people you care.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Charity • Christianity • Church and state • United States

soundoff (1,186 Responses)
  1. Mandi

    i have a question for aethists. If relgion is the belief in god or beleif in something isn't aethism like a religion becasue you still have a belief like other religions, You have a beleif in nothing. I would like aethists out there reading this to reply becasue I have been wondering htat for a while.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • JonathanL

      As an Atheist I finally figured out why I didn't really like to say "I am an Atheist" even though technically I am one. It is because I really don't like being labeled for not believing in something that someone else does believe in. Should I label non-Atheists as Natheists? WOUld you want to call yourself one? That said, my philosophy, my way of life is a positive one and is based on what I know and realizing what I don't know. It is based on reason, logic, proven facts. I love, and have other emotions like most people. I ask questions. Sometimes I am mystified and I am still in awe at existence, life, the universe etc... My life has all the fullness and mindfulness that any religious person's might but it is not based on mythology, fear, and far fetched hopes, what I would term contradictory logic, or blind faith in things that don't make any sense to me etc.. I have a strong moral sense based on that I live in on a planet with a delicate ecology, and in a community of people and other living creatures and plants etc.. who all apparently emerged, evolved from the same ocean some 600,000,000 years ago. Who all depend on each other to some extent for survival. In fact I do believe that we evolved from more primitive life forms, but at least we have an enormous body of scientific evidence for this belief, from many different departments of science, including paleantology, genetics, and anatomy, and none that contradicts the theory. If you want to learn more about evolution, read "Your Inner Fish" by Neal Shubin. If there is a contrary explanation that is supported by more than heresay, I would be open to hear it. I don't register something as a belief if there is nothing logically to support it. I would say I can assign the value of belief to something if there is a lot of evidence to support it, and nothing to disprove it, yet it would not carry the weight of fact or knowledge in my reasoning. There are things I know and things I don't know. I believe philposophy (logical thinking) works for me. I also try to practice meditiation for my health, and I eat and excercise to maintain my health because I believe I will live a better life because of it. I hope you can enjoy the holiday too! The Holiday cheer is for Atheists and Natheists alike (whatever we are)...

      December 23, 2010 at 11:24 am |
    • empiricist

      Technically the term atheist means that you believe in no gods what so ever. Religions worship someone or something, since atheists do not worship anyone/anything its not a religion. I see what you were saying though, my brother asked me that a few days ago. I, myself am agnostic, not atheist- the differnce being that agnostic is being able to say 'I can't tell you if there is a god or not, but maybe there is something'. I believe in god not in a floating man in the clouds way, but that there is something inside all of us that is a god. I believe what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddah all said was right but that it was twisted in translation.

      December 23, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • jaysus

      religion: "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects". now if you take a look at this definition yes, atheism would be categorized as a "religion". however religion in it's broader application generally involves ritualistic practices/ceremonies and devotion to a deity or established set of "ideals". so to answer your question; yes, the argument could be made that athism is a theoretically a "religion" of sorts, but in reality, no it is not. the important question to answer here is; why does it matter? it always amuses me when i see people attempt to make this point. do you honestly believe that you are going to discredit athiesm and "win souls" by convincing an athiest to admit that he/she is in fact a religious practioner? just because i can convince a coyote to admit that it is technically a dog does not make it domesticated by default. also, a quick word of advice...you may want to learn how to spell "athiest" before you call one out. happy holidays!

      December 23, 2010 at 11:41 am |
    • Scott

      @Mandi: Atheism is not a religion in the same way the bald is not a hair color

      December 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
    • Scott

      Religion is about believing in some ultimate power beyond yourself, usually a god or gods, though in the case of communism and Nazism the state takes the place of god. Atheism is about not believing in an ultimate power beyond oneself

      December 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  2. j

    Who cares? Jesus wasn't born on Christmas, the Romans just said he was to keep the herd placid and stole a pagan holiday to do so. Now days it's all about sales, gifts, and stupid rude people in the stores trying to get the useless crap they don't know they don't need. Christmas is an exercise in hypocrisy if you do anything other than focus on the kids and drink. Cheers.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  3. It's really the winter solstice

    "But how could Christians monopolize a holiday that is based on their beliefs?"

    Unfortunately, the author starts out by assuming that the holiday has always been based on Christian beliefs. In reality, the holiday is/was a celebration of the winter solstice. It was only recently in history that that X-mas was moved to December – perhaps as a way to convert pagans. In other words, an argument could be made that Christians are monopolizing a pagan holiday.

    Aside from this error, the rest of the article is an interesting read.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:49 am |
    • Agreed

      Well said!

      December 23, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  4. Eles

    Pointing out what others have said here, Jesus was not born in December but in Spring or Fall is absolutely true. Christmas is at its root a pagan holiday that the catholic church decided to use to lure pagans to their form of paganism..oh sorry, i meant their religion.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  5. Nicole Byrd

    I set here and I read everyone's post and it was a lot of back and forth, and honesty I have to agree with some of you, the athiest are right chirstmas has been made into a pagon holiday, and christ was not born on that day. However it is suppose to be the celebration of Christ birth. People of today forgot about the true meaning behind Christmas. Not about Santa Clause and the Reindeers. don't get me wrong its all find and festive,but it does not cost a dime not one red copper penny to give the love of Jesus the gift that keeps on giving. Please tell your children the real meaning behind Christmas and let them know the facts not the made up versions..that's even as far as telling them how the Christmas day came about..The bible says teach your kids in the way they should go so they will not depart from it,..Lastly I wanted to state to those that don't beleive in God..Who you think wakes you up in the morning?.your alarm clock...(lol) .Remember when God made man from dirt he blew breath into him so he can breathe...That's to all those that don't beleive in God he wakes you up everyday..Glory be to God because through him all things are possible....

    December 23, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • ONE TRUTH

      AMEN!!

      December 23, 2010 at 10:53 am |
    • Brian

      Hmm god sure as hell does not wake me up in the morning i have no idea where you would get that from.

      December 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tina

      Brian, you silly. He pokes you in the side with a stick until you wake up, of course.

      December 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  6. Tevii

    Wow....Tatum knows nothing about his own religion..... Christmas is NOT a Chrisitian holiday... it is a Christian word. The holiday itself is Pagan. Christ was not born anywhere near this time, he was born in fall. Christians stole the holiday from Pagans and renamed the day as the birth of Christ. Just as Easter has nothing to do with Christ either, it too was a Pagan holiday. Christians have been the most violent, ruthless, manipulative group in history.
    An atheists view is: Chrisitians stole and changed everything to maintian a belief even though open eyes will show that every bit of evidence stacked against it. So its okay to celebrate Chrsitmas because it is simply to celebrate the season.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • mom of 2

      Christmas is a word used to describe the day Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. Like Tuesday is a word that describes the 3rd day of a week. The season Christians celebrate during this time is called Advent. You don't celebrate anything during this time so you would just call this December. If you want to celebrate being cold and having shorter days, knock yourself out.

      December 23, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Christians chose to push this label for this celebration and now are upset when everyone else uses it. I'd call that poor planning. The intention may have been to co-opt a Pagan celebration but it appears that the reverse may be happening. Christians can solve this problem by moving their celebration of Jesus' nativity to another date, perhaps closer to the real one.

      December 23, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  7. Peace

    God or no God , Jesus was a good man and Christmas should be seen as the time of year to 'love thy neighbor' and promote peace and understanding around the world. We should celebrate it in any way that promotes this concept.

    Enjoy the Holiday, Peace on Earth

    December 23, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  8. empiricist

    My mom is a catholic and I was brought up episcopal, I am the only one in my family who doesn't really believe in religion, I am an empirical scientist (Dr. in Cultural and Forensic Anthropology) but if you ask my mother I'm Episcopal, lol. I celebrate Christmas because for me its about my family, but I think it means differnt things to differnt people. You can't shove your view down someone's throat without acknowledging that they can do the same to you.

    Now I will say that Yes, Christmas was derived from the Pagan Winter Solstist and was celebrated in ancient Greece and Rome, way before Christians adopted it as "christmas". Its just like any other tradition that gets adopted and transformed. It happens and its okay. Jesus talked about his disciples being ordinary people and their the ones twisting what he's said and ruining it for people.

    I think John Lennon puts it best in the way I tell people when they ask about my religious thoughts,
    "I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong."

    ps, it isn't RACIST to not like a certian RELIGION. Racism deals with races of people not religion. The closest word for what your attempting to communicate would be a bigot.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  9. dnfromge

    Christianity has not cornered the market on family, traditions, peace and goodwill towards others and even spirituality as much as they like to claim it to be so. We all need to learn and practice acceptance and tolerace towards one another – what is right for one person may not be right for another and no one should try to impose their personal spiriual beliefs upon anyone else. For me, a non-believer, this sums up the celebration of Winter Solstice paired with the festive decorations associated with "Christmas."
    •Strengthen family bonding with each other
    •Attune family to Nature's cycles
    •Attune family to its membership in the local and the worldwide community
    •Connect with ancestors/our past
    •Celebrate ethnic/cultural heritage(s) as appropriate
    •Ceebrate the ending of the year and the beginning of a new year
    •Educate about old and contemporary folkways
    •Extend the celebration of Christmas, be an alternative, or expand upon it
    •Deepen understanding about spiritual renewal and love
    •Have fun

    December 23, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Brian

      Very well put my friend.

      December 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  10. ONE TRUTH

    John 8:58-59 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." The truth is that Jesus has existed before time. Even Satan himself and his demons acknowledge the divinity of Christ being the son of God (Matthew 8:29) The bible was written over a 1500 year span (from 1400 B.C to A.D. 100) over 40 generations, over 40 authors from many walks of life (i.e. – kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars), in different places (i.e. – wilderness, dungeon, palaces), at different times (i.e. – war, peace) in different moods (i.e. – heights of joy, depths of despair) on three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe) in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek). The probability of Christ fulfilling just eight prophecies from the old testament (which he did to the letter) is 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Not that it matters but Jesus name is also mentioned in almost every major religion. If it was not for Jesus AKA God there would be no Atheist.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  11. LuLu

    I'm an Athiest but I will celebrate any holiday where I get to hang with my family and get/give presents. I say bring on all holidays, regardless of religion.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  12. Sparkle

    The fact that the early church picked late December to celebrate the birth of jesus in order to coincide with already existing pagan traditions is a verifiable fact, yet as a rebuttal to this claim you offer quotations from some Texas christian wack-jobs. That is some great reporting, you should be proud. Reporting facts is overated, unfounded rhetoric has more sizzle.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • steve N JXN

      You have a good point- in fact, many of the most ancient branches of Christianity DO NOT celebrate Christ's birth on the Solstice, as Christians in the West do. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, you have to admire the marketing genius of the early church in slapping a Christian veneer on most of the important pagan celebrations of the ancient world.

      December 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  13. JohnR

    I'm another non believer, but Christmas isn't my problem. It is a national holiday that makes it an easy time to get people together and have fun, for whatever reason. The thing I object to is the lie that is perpetuated to future generations, used as a reason for collecting money from people who should be putting it to better use than building glittering temples to something that does not exist. Over history more people have died in the name of one god or another than for any other reason. When will people become smart enough to put an end to this?

    December 23, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • haarkonen

      pretty sure more people have died in the name of communism

      December 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • Scott

      @ haarkonen: Communism is just another set of dogmatic beliefs. It’s just another kind of religion where the state has replaced the great sky daddy.

      December 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  14. Jon

    It must be sad to be an atheist or an agnostic or anti "anything that's not like me"......So many miserable people with no belief, trust or hope in God, completely self centered with no real love for their fellow man and raging against everything of which they disapprove. I can't imagine anything more miserable than being like that.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • dnfromge

      No Jon, it's not sad at all, it's a beautiful, liberating, freeing and peaceful thing to be a non-believer! I have a very happy and fulfilling life, a large and loving network of family and friends (comprised of believers and non-believers), I volunteer at local elementary school to help mentor/tutor childeren in need, I give back to my community. I am at peace with who I am as a person, I have taught my children to be kind and giving people – all while being a non-believer. I don't require religion to tell me how to be a good person. However, I would also never make nasty or negative comments about someone's belief in god and religion. To each his own – if you believe, great, if you don't believe, as I don't, great as well – just don't belittle and criticize those with a different set of beliefs.

      December 23, 2010 at 11:02 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Atheist does not mean anti-god. It means no god. You are welcome to all the gods you like. No rage hear. I keep reading posts like yours raging against atheists. I do not believe in your religion but that is nothing for me to be worried about. Now if you want to see me rage, just try to force your belief system on to my life.

      December 23, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • slavicdiva

      No, not sad at all. Liberating, because I am responsible for my behavior, good and bad.

      I am good to people (year round) because I want to be; because it pleases me to be so. I do good deeds because they are the right thing to do ("right" by my own standards). I try to be nice to everyone, even people who are not nice in return – not because some Sky Pappy will punish me if I'm not, but because I like being nice to people. I don't lie, cheat and steal because to do so would violate my own personal code of honor, and I have to live with myself afterward.

      When I mess up, it is my fault – I don't have any "devil" to hide behind. Or any shaman to run to, to beg for forgiveness.

      For me, to do good things out of fear of punishment (or desire to please some invisible being) is to be a perpetual child. I am not a child.

      December 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • Brian

      Just because i dont believe in god does not mean i dont have faith in man.

      I feel sorry for people like you who believe that because we dont believe in a paper back book our lives our worse than yours get off your high horse man.

      December 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • Uncle Vic

      I hate to burst your bubble, Jon, but I'm quite happy without the religious ball and chain slowing me down. If you need imaginary friends to get you through your day, that's your problem. Please don't presume to slander atheists for what you think we are, as opposed to what we actually are.

      December 24, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  15. Gorilla Guerilla

    I just love it when an article is written from a biased viewpoint. "Those who don’t believe in the reason behind the holiday still celebrate the season’s concentration on values, family, and kindness." So by celebrating the original reason, from times before someone we now call Jesus may have walked the earth, I'm not celebrating the "reason behind the holiday?"
    "Silverman, with the American Atheists, says many nonbelievers celebrate December milestones like Christmas and the winter solstice." So by celebrating the solstice I'm now a non-believer.
    I also love the statement that the christian pastor made: "Christ was born during this time. While there is a debate about whether the 25th was the actual date, no one debates it was called Christ-mas to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth." Actually it has been proven that the child was born during the springtime. I'm not disputing the name christmas was developed to celebrate the birth of their god, but at the same time the holiday was intentionally placed during the winter solstice in order to convert "pagans" to the "true faith." That a religious leader would make a statement that has been proven to be untrue as an assertion of the christian control over Christmas is both rediculous and offensive. The winter solstice has been celebrated since long before the supposed birth of Jesus, and was celebrated for a long time afterwards by those with no knowledge of Jesus. The Maya's celebrated the winter solstice, the pygmies of Africa celebrated the solstice, the egyptians celebrated the solstice before they even knew what a Hebrew was, the greeks and the romans celebrated the solstice, and even the scandanavians celebrated the solstice before the advent of Christ. As a matter of fact, every major religion throughout history has celebrated the solstice in one way or another. To say it was created by, and thus the property of, christianity is ludicrous.
    Me, I celebrate the solstice and leave the dogma to the church. Happy Holidays everyone!

    December 23, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  16. QBC

    I love how so many people in this thread keep on saying that is is Christ-mas and what not. Christians stole this holiday from an ancient religion. This religion worshiped Mirtha, and December 25 was Mirtha's birthday. I doubt many people would be OK with Mirth-mas. Americans need to understand history and where religion comes from. Christianity is simply the combination of several ancient pagan religions into one monotheistic religion.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Zeuss

      So why is Dec. 25 the birthday of Mithra, Horus, Buddha, Jesus, and so many others? Lets look at the Sun God. You could see him. As winter approached, he set further to the south and days were getting shorter. He was dying. On Dec 21 or 22, the winter solstice, he reaches rock bottom. The savior is dead. The sun then sets in the same place 3 days in a row as the Earth begins to rock the other direction. Then, on Dec 25, the Sun sets a bit north of its previous position! The Sun is born!! That's why the religions place their savior's birthday on December 25.

      The constilation of Orion contains 3 stars in its "belt" and on Dec. 25, those three stars line up with the Sun. These three stars are called "The Three Kings". In Spain and Latin America , they call them "The Three Marys".

      These astrological occurances have been personified for melliniums and adopted by many religions. The Christians will tell you that their savior was born on December 25 and was visited by three wise men when in fact, the story is a personification of the above mentioned astrology. Re-told in spring, when the savior is put to death, he stays dead for three days, is "re-born" and is visited by three Marys!!

      I'm sorry, your Christianity isn't real. Its an age-old extension of astrology forced upon the masses to gain control of you and your wallet. They prey on mankind's wish to live forever, and his desire to know. They offer answers to questions that as of yet cannot be answered with facts.

      Question it. Don't let them control you with their lies.

      December 24, 2010 at 3:46 am |
  17. James

    Atheists are starting to become as closed minded and unaccepting of the beliefs of others as they accuse Christians and I assume other religions as well of being.

    Interesting don't you think.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • QBC

      James, that is the dumbest thing I have heard all day, rather all year. We atheist are the most open minded people on the planet. We just have one thing, show us the the evidence. We refuse to believe in your stupid little book because we ask the question “where is the evidence.” Nine times out of ten we are directed to a passage in your Bible that says everything contained in this book is true. I have a question, if at the end of Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast a passage read all of this contained herein this book is true, would you believe it? I hope the answer is no. That is why I refuse to believe a god created man and the world in six days; put man in a perfect garden as long as he never sinned, all the while knowing he would sin; kicked man and woman out of the garden after a woman made man sin; man and woman had two kids who in turn produced offspring, incest anybody; came to Earth, had relations with a virgin woman, that woman then produced his child, that child grew up to be a prophet, died for the sin of man, descended into hell where he defeated satin; and then ascended to the right side of God. Anything seem dumb to you? Anything seem unreasonable to you. Anything seem like a fairy tale? And you believe all because a book tells you too and you have faith.

      December 23, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • RxCello

      I agree with QBC. Atheists are hardly close-minded. I hear this "criticism" from the faithful often, and I think it's simply because no one likes to hear someone else tell them that their conclusions make no rational sense. However, when it comes to the matter of religion, it's the simple truth. Evidence, not faith, is what convinces us atheists, and many others who may label themselves as agnostic, "fence-sitters," or even those many who are members of some congregation and privately confess to themselves that they really don't believe all this "stuff."

      December 24, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  18. Jessica

    "Christ was born during this time". Actually no he wasn't. Biblical scholars are sure that he was born in the Spring not the Winter. As they were trying to convert the pagans to christians they took their Winter Solstice holiday and co-opted it as the day christ was born to ease the pagans into christianity.

    The whole "war on Christmas" is a bunch of hooey too. With 94% of the country being christian or christian like there is no danger of the holiday disappearing. What burns me is they insist that they are the only religion that has a holiday this time of year and that is completely not true.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • QBC

      Americans are so bigoted and insistent that they are right!

      December 23, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • Tina

      You should stop feeling burned, who said you can't celebrate your winterl if thats what you want ? and let as you said the 90% of us celebrate the birth of our savior and lord.

      December 23, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  19. GOD IS DEAD

    Those who are willing to base their entire existence on an invisible spirit in the sky, deserve neither live nor acknowledgement of their existence. The minds of men should never be subdued or repressed by religious tales and follies and this is exactly what Christianity and all religions advocate. Faith in fables is dangerous, emancipate yourselves from mental slavery none but ourselves can free our minds...If indeed there is a God he died billions of years ago and I have proof of this…evolution…just read the origin of the species-Charles Darwin…

    December 23, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Joe

      I think you need to replace the word Evolution in the place of "Invisible Spirit" in that first sentence. Even if Evolution was a fact of how we got to where we are now as humans (which it's not) then one must ask the question of how did the process begin. To which charles Darwin couldn't answer. Nor any other Evolutionists... Faith in fables IS dangerous buddy, very dangerous. You might also want to replace the word "fables" with Evolution in that sentence too!

      December 23, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Scott

      @Joe: So “god did it” is a better answer for “how did the process begin”?

      December 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  20. Greg G

    Personally I think the comments on this blog reflect exactly what life would be like with God and Jesus...hate, name-calling, arguing over who "owns" a day (really?)...basically constant conflict.

    It's sad to see some of the Christians on here being so mean. (@Kate and others) Jesus was faced with people every day that did not believe in Him and he was standing right there. Yet, he wasn't mean to them..he simply gave them a reason to believe.

    Chrsitmas is called Christmas because if Christ – can't argue that. Why it is on Dec. 25th is really not all that important, Jesus didn't even really tell us to remember his birth because in the end the birth of Jesus didn't prove anything. It was His death and resurrection that made the difference. We celebrate His birth out of tradition and we should do so respectfully. I say Merry Christmas because that is what I celebrate – let others do what they want, it cannot demean the meaning of the Holiday for you.

    I do think it is strange, but not really surprising, that so many atheists are reading a Belief blog. If I don't believe in something I certainly don't focus much time or energy towards it.

    http://www.live-simple.com/simple-christian/who-is-jesus/when-was-jesus-born/

    December 23, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Gorilla Guerilla

      Re-read your last statement and the read this one immeditely afterwards:

      And that is why you are blind to the beliefs and sensibilities of others.

      You'd be surprised by how many non-christians read the bible.

      December 23, 2010 at 10:47 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.