December 21st, 2013
10:22 AM ET
Why atheists should quit the 'War on Christmas’
Opinion by Chris Stedman, special to CNN
(CNN) - The “War on Christmas:” what — or who—is it good for?
In recent years, one organization, American Atheists, has claimed the mantle of prime atheist promoter of the tired “War on Christmas” narrative.
This year, they ushered in the season with an electronic billboard in New York City’s Times Square carrying the message: “Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody.” The word "Christ" is crossed out, just in case their message wasn't clear enough.
The American Atheists maintain that their latest entry in the annual “War on Christmas” saga is a message to other atheists that they are not alone.
In a recent Fox News appearance, American Atheists President Dave Silverman said, “The point that we’re trying to make is that there’s a whole bunch of people out there for whom religion is the worst part of Christmas, but they go to church anyways, and we’re here to tell them they don’t have to.”
While that intention is important and admirable, very few people—atheist or theist—seem to interpret the message as welcoming to anyone. Many of the responses I’ve seen have been vitriolic and disturbingly anti-atheist.
Which raises the question: If the goal truly is to reach isolated atheists, why does the advertisement read as a dig at Christians? A better billboard for American Atheists’s stated aim might read: “Don’t celebrate Christmas? You’re not alone.”
As atheists become more visible in our society, the entire “War on Christmas” back-and-forth feels ugly and unnecessary. Worse still, it seems to do little more than offer ammunition to those claiming atheists are just mean-spirited grinches. Bill O’Reilly—one of the major “War on Christmas” soldiers—made that clear when he and I discussed the “War on Christmas” a couple of weeks ago.
Let’s not kid ourselves: There is no war on Christmas.
We live in a culture that privileges stories of conflict, so it’s understandable that this narrative would gain traction—with or without billboards. Much of this narrative is a manifestation of religious fears about our increasingly secular society, and it reflects widespread anxieties about atheists and religious differences. But it doesn’t reflect reality.
Rather, as religious diversity in the U.S. has become more recognizable, Americans have largely broadened their approach to this time of year. According to new data from the Public Religion Research Institute, the percentage of Americans who prefer the inclusive “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” has now exceeded the percentage that prefers “Merry Christmas.”
It’s not that Christmas is under attack; instead, our society is becoming better at embracing its religious diversity and challenging the notion that a single majority religion should dominate public expressions of belief.
So why does the “War on Christmas” narrative persist?
Based on how much play they give it each December, the “War on Christmas” narrative seems to be good for Fox News ratings. And American Atheists has openly admitted that it is good for their pocketbooks, as their talk show appearances bring in a swell of donations.
Consider this from a recent profile of Silverman:
“Silverman’s notorious anti-Christmas billboards and subsequent TV appearances have breathed new life into American Atheists and are often followed by an uptick in subscribers and donations. ... According to Silverman, the primary objective of the billboards is to get invitations to talk shows.”
In other words: American Atheists and Fox News - alongside conservatives like Sarah Palin - seem to have discovered a mutually beneficial relationship.
But does this relationship benefit atheists more broadly? Does it accurately represent the sentiments of nontheists in this country? Does it improve atheist-theist relations?
Does it lessen the widespread stigma and distrust that exists between atheists and theists, which enables atheist marginalization across the U.S.? Does it invite Christians to think critically about religious privilege?
Many atheists, myself included, suspect that there are more effective approaches to tackling these important issues.
To start, atheists can build positive relationships with believers to humanize our communities and educate one another about our differences. That’s something that billboards, for all of their flash and fundraising capabilities, likely won’t accomplish.
Atheists face real marginalization in the U.S., and it should be robustly challenged.
But we also have good tidings and great joy to offer—important contributions to the public square that are currently being drowned out by attention-grabbing billboards claiming “nobody” needs Christ in Christmas.
In the spirit of generosity, compassion, and kindness so often associated with this time of year, let’s ditch the billboards and build relationships of goodwill.
Chris Stedman is the Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, Coordinator of Humanist Life for the Yale Humanist Community, and author of "Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious." You can follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDStedman.
The views expressed in this column belong to Stedman.
About this blog
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.
If Christians would take the time to understand Atheism instead of bashing it they would realize that they are not much different than a Christian.
Back in high school I had an atheist friend. His parents were Atheists as well. I sat down to talk to him one day and started getting in to a religious debate. So I asked him, "What exactly do you believe?". This is how he responded:
We believe that we were all created by the Earth. We come from the Earth and will die in the Earth. Every living creature is part of a gigantic cycle of energy. You are born into this cycle. You will eat plants and animals to stay in the cycle until your time comes to feed your energy back into the cycle, just like all of those plants and animals you used for energy. That energy goes back into Earth to feed other animals so the cycle can continue. We believe in human morals. Morals that support a humans basic needs like love, companionship, bearing children, sharing our wealth with others if we have excess, and support for those who just can't make it on their own. We believe in sharing Earth with everyone in a responsible way so future generations can experience the same Earth we inherited.
I was shocked to hear all that simply because while I was growing up I was always told Atheists are evil and don't belong in society. That changed my view about Atheism. In this life you have to accept everyone for who they are because no matter what religion you believe in, all of them are based on basic human morals. Every human needs companionship. Every human needs love. Whether or not God watches over us we are still human and to try and strip that away from someone just because they believe something different is not only shameful but is actually where evil lies.
Well, your post is good, and your friend's sentiment was good, howerever there is a flaw. Atheists are not a community. We do not get together as a group and discuss our beliefs. We do not have a dogma. We do not have rituals.
Therefore, just about every atheist belives something different. Unilke religious groups who have a core set of belifs, atheists are individuals and have individual beliefs. For example, "sharing our wealth with others". Not all atheists have the same political ideologies. Many atheists are Libertarians and do not agree with that statement.
That was his families beliefs so how are you going to tell me that is wrong? You are doing what Christians like to do right now by saying what his family believes is wrong.
Tim, why does your friend have the right to his own beliefs about atheists, but Sharkphace doesn't have that same right?
In your friends OPINION, atheists have some sort of connectivity and community. In Sharkphace's and my opinion, your friend is completely wrong, and I think it's demonstrable. Because atheists only share a common nonbelief AND NOTHING ELSE, then there is zero foundation for any "community."
So the question is back to you, now. Are Sharkphace and I allowed to have our opinion that differs from your friend's opinion, or do you only allow your friends to have their own beliefs? Your hypocrisy is showing.
Wow, he didn't say any such thing. He simply said what that family believes isn't necessarily the atheist "gospel". I happen to agree with what that family says but I don't think that defines me as an atheist. Don't be upset that you can't define atheists like you can a christian. One of the reasons religious people are religious is because they are the type of person who needs to define everything to feel comfortable with it. You need the assurance that there's a reason for your existence and there's a "plan" for you. Atheists are happy to just BE and don't navel gaze about it. They don't believe there's a being that will save them from danger or reward them for good deeds. Atheists think the feeling they get from doing good is reward enough…a tax deduction is gravy, lol. And when their time on Earth is done, the light goes out and their atoms go back to the Earth.You believe in Heaven, I believe a part of me will live on by my atoms going back to the Earth and being reused by some other living thing. Won't be sitting on clouds playing a harp and eating all the pizza I could ever want but it's not a complete dark end either.
What you both are not understanding is the beliefs I talked about are that of his FAMILIES NOT ALL ATHEISTS. And you are both saying they are wrong. If you are atheists and every single atheist has a different belief, then how can you say theirs is wrong?
Why do you keep saying we are saying their beliefs are wrong. WE AREN'T. sheesh
What they are saying is that your friend's beliefs are fine, they just aren't "atheist" because atheists don't have "beliefs" in the sense of a particular life philosophy that all atheists adhere to.
No, Tim. Pay attention, this time.
You allow your friend his beliefs. He believes X about atheists. Other atheists disagree and say NO X about atheists. That is our belief. I'm not saying that your friend is wrong, I'm saying that according to my beliefs, your friend is wrong. EXACTLY WHAT HIS BELIEF SAYS ABOUT MY BELIEF. Why do you allow your friend to believe according to his own convictions, but you won't allow me to believe according to my convictions, that are the opposite of his?
Atheist are not evil. They just do not believe in religion of any kind. I get it. So why the bashing of religion? I do not see anyone bashing atheist. But I see much of it on the reverse.
Because, Jaimie, among other things, many Christians aren't happy unless they are pushing to make their beliefs the law of the land for everyone. Too many of your side want a theocracy, with their interpretation of the Bible as the law everyone must follow...
So ... where is the "no Allah in Eid" ... or "no Lakshmi in Diwali" movement? What about "no God of Abraham" in Hannukah? Musilims and Hindus have a high expatriation level in the U.S, and Judaism is thoroughly established in Amertican culture. ... so why are these narrow-mindedAmerican atheists addressing only one faith? Their agenda is transparent and laughable.
It is Christians who are leading the fight in our nation to deny equal rights to all Americans.
Because 89% of americans identify as "Christian." The other religions you mention barely have 1 or 2 % "market share." You're the biggest and the strongest, so expect to be taken on first. Duh.
That is one of the things that is so staggeringly ridiculous, Cap'n; on the one hand, they tell us we should have their religious text for our law because "Amurka iz uh Crischin Nation(tm)"; on the other hand, whenever someone points out the abuses they perpetrate as the religious majority in this country, they whine about being picked on and persecuted. They way I see it, they can't have it both ways...
I'm an atheist. However, I've always enjoyed the Christmas season (not the commercialization of it). Going out in the cold and caroling, sharing time with friends ...these are wonderful memories. Those who accuse me of being an atheist and spreading the word of Christ may be right, if my beliefs happen to overlap those of Christ. I just don't believe in a God or that Christ was son of a God.Those who claim we wage war on Christmas are being silly. American Atheists does not speak for me at all. Causing a disruptive and unproductive environment for atheists does llittle to improve our image as caring and honorable members of society. One of my best friends is a preacher, and at dinners etc he prays for me. I think it's silly but I thank him for the sentiment because he is basically wishing me well. What is wrong with that? Nothing
please give me examples of when atheism has been "destructive"? We occasionally put up billboards but that is about it.... we don't put on masks and hang a specific racial group, we don't refuse our children medical care and we don't shave our heads and goosestep our way down main street. If you think this is bad, you are in for a big shock, as our numbers grow and we become more powerful your going to see a lot more of our "activism" but I guarantee you that any group I belong to will considerate to HUMANS and even their religions, as long as they keep it to themselves.
Christmas reaches the height of HYPOCRISY for Christians. It's the time of the year where the Magi are honored for bringing incense to the baby Jesus. God called incense an "ABOMINATION", kind of like being gay.
Both of my parents are strong Christians. I am an atheist. I have found, over the years, that the best way to get my parents to be tolerant of my beliefs and respect my religious choices was to be tolerant of their beliefs and respectful of their religious choices. I have absolutely no problem participating in religious celebrations with my family and I even go with them to church from time to time. It does not change who I am.
In doing so, I have gotten my parents to open up about their faith and to allow me to open up about my faith. We often have theological discussions and never end up angry with each other. In fact, the more we discuss such topics the closer we have grown as a family.
The golden rule is a very rule to live by. Respect others and they will respect you. Disrespect others and they will disrespect you. Pretty simple.
Nice post. I agree. I have taken a similar approach with my friends and family that are believers. I too utilize faith, but I am interested in your faith and how and why you use it.
Great post. I am a believer in Christ but totally respect your point of view even though I do not agree with it.
You seem to be the exception! Now, if everybody could learn to compromise as you and your Parents have we would not have all this Crap! I, as your Parents, Believe, and if you do not that is your right and I do respect that. I wish you and yours a Happy Holiday and a Merry Christmas to your Parents.
Almost every group has its extremists who push their cause so hard they do it more harm than good. As long as the extremists are small enough in number they aren't generally a problem unless they engage in radical behavior that hurts other people.
Most atheists in my experience aren't radical. Mostly they just live their lives minding their own business, perhaps engaging in religious discussions from time to time, but not going out of their way to shove their beliefs in other people's faces.
Apparently American Atheists is a group of extremists within the American atheists community. If they're obsessed with Christmas it's their loss. I'm an atheist, but I don't have a problem with Christmas, and I'm certainly not going to lose sleep over the idea that Christians believe it's a celebration of Jesus' birth.
Frankly, even as a atheist my issue with Christmas is the commercialization of it. I'd rather see people focused more on spending time with family members, enjoying Christmas traditions, being festive, and being nicer to people than usual. Regardless of one's religious beliefs the last thing Christmas should be is an excuse to be mean or hateful to other people.
I agree skytag. As a Christian I too believe that Christmas is way to commercialized and the true meaning is muffled. As a Christian I say to all Atheists have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.
So it's ok for there to be extremists in the christian camp, but the atheists can't have outliers?
Why wage a war something you do believe in?? It does not make sense. Christmas is about Christ. If you do not believe just do not celebrate it. Why put up signs like the one in Times square. You are not going to change anyone's mind just like Christians will not change an atheists mind. I respect an Atheist for what they believe. I ask the same.
Do you respect a person for what they believe in, or do you simply respect their right to their belief?
I respect them for what they believe.
DEC 25th, is the winter festival of Jupiter. It was a celebration in the civilized world, long before Christians hijacked it. So stop acting like that is only your holiday. If I want to tell my kids about Santa Claus and give them gifts, I can do that without paying homage to your myth.
Why should the views of adults-who-believe-in-fairy-tales be respected? I'd love to hear that reasoning.
Kenneth, you believe it is a fairy tale but people of faith obviously do not. I respect your opinion why cant you respect mine. I personally do not understand how someone can be an atheist, but that is not for me to judge. I have friends that are Atheists and we respect each other and get along just fine. I do not push my beliefs on them and they do not push their beliefs on me.
Because people don't choose what to believe. They believe, wholeheartedly, that they are correct. That sincerity deserves the respect of those who believe differently. I am an ardent atheist, too.
I would probably not ever bring it up but since Christians, and granted other religions, are always cramming this stuff down my throat and attempting , through political Christian organizations, to hinder my life I feel compelled to have to publicly state my opinions. There has been a shift in this world over the last 10 years, for the first time ever the fastest growing religion, according to the 2010 census, is atheism. It has been Christians in decades and it most recently stopped being Muslim. As people become smarter they realize the fairytale and obvious control efforts that were created when religion was first realized as a way to control the masses. It's the perfect method of controlling a large population.
Guess it is like a job. You work where you want to and no one is going to bash you for it.
Corporations have made Christmas about money and profits. Christians stole the idea of Christmas from the pagans who celebrated the winter solstice. If I say Christmas is about snowmen and hams and get others to follow my lead, does that make it true? Not at all.
I also agree. I do not see billboards and such of different religions bashing atheist.
You are joking right? There are literal thousands of billboards all over the country telling people who don't believe in Jesus that they are going to hell.
Yep. I see one of them at least twice a day. But somehow, telling others that if they don't believe exactly as they do that a GOOD and RIGHT-ACTION for us to endure is NEVER ENDING torture. But far be it from us to put up a billboard with a "x" over one of the words.
Apparently, it is ok for Christians, among others, to turn Christmas and other holidays into commercial enterprises.
I think you are confusing "Christians' with "Free Enterprise" and marketing.
The commercialism of Christmas has as much to do with Christians as the government has to do with the Federal Reserve System. Not much.
Sorry, actually I am not, but it sounds good. You can't expect us to remain quiet when for the first time since I can remember there are more people thinking like me then ever before. Consider the billboards exactly the same as the people who come knocking at my door, the guy in a crowd handing out fliers and the people who thank god for their sports accomplishments. Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus, its a man made concept all the way around and you religious types of changed its meaning so many times that its impossible to know what is actually the real message and what has been translated/warped in an effort to control people. The best religion to be, is no religion at all. You should all be HUMAN, and realize we all have the power within us to be the best we can be and along the way improve ourselves and our world for the better path of HUMANS.
Yes, and I find the practice of thanking god for sports achievements particularly offensive.
Yeah, I'd love to see more athletes cursing and blaming God for their loss. That would make for good TV.
youre offended by that? I guess that you can be insulted by whatever suits your fancy. Just dont try to legislate your feelings. Youre always welcome to write all of the atheletes who believe in God and thank Him for their success to let them know how much it annoys you or hurts your feelings or whatever. So many people in this society are so hypersensitive. It's like eggshells everywhere... dont say :jesus", dont say "christmas", dont talk about halloween, dont teach evolution, dont teach creation... sigh. have your own complaints, and voice them if you must, but dont try to restrict my freedoms to make yourself feel better. Just know that if you are trying to gain support for your cause, complaining to people about their beliefs will not help you.
The next article should be t!tled: Why Christians should quit the war on butterflies.
Atheists aren't engaging in a "war on christmas.
Sooooo. Has the fraud Ham and His Answers in Genesis taken down his huge sign in Times Square? This man and his minions spew obvious errors and lies that can harm us by denying science. Sadly ignorant signs from one side demand a response from the other. I would rather avoid both...
Reblogged this on Isorropia and commented:
I join Chris Stedman in his call to quit the billboards, the placards, the childish jabs, and all the rest of the insecurity-driven nonsense that's all too common in the public discourse over the a/theist debate. I ask my fellow Christians to focus on spending our efforts this Christmas season on cultivating loving relationships, thereby doing the most profoundly productive thing we can do toward keeping Christ in Christmas.
Let's all quit the War on Christmas, because it's the only way any of us win.
The most profound thing you can do for your made up story is admit it had nothing to do with December and given the facts of the case he would have been born sometime in June/July....not December. Lets also look at the facts that the story of the bible is thousands of years older then the Christian version dating all the way back to the Egyptian book of the dead. All religion stories were borrowed/stolen from religions before it and all words were created to control and keep calm the population. ITs been translated, wrongly I would add, so many times that you are no longer following the word of "god" , you are following the rules of man.
Christ isn't the reason for the season... The Church placed Christ's birthday where it is because it was initially a Pagan holiday, and what better way to combat a competing religion and try to win over more followers than forcing your new holiday into replacing an ancient one?
So would the Christians prefer that people continue claiming to be Christians then not ever going to church (as my parents and grandparents did the whole time I was growing up?) Why not just be honest that they arent buying that doctrine and are actually atheists?
And dont discount multi cultural homes. My son is half Jewish so we dont eat pork in our house but we also had Muslim and Catholic foster kids live with us. We adopted the rule of any holiday with food and presents gets celebrated.
We would have preferred to have no religious ceremony when my father was buried at Arlington National Cemetery but the military didnt have anything to accommodate that.
You can still have a ALL the holidays or NONE of the holidays or A holiday that falls in mid winter with presents and food. Honor the deity of your choice or NO deity if that is your choice.
Church attendance doesn't indicate whether someone accepts a particular doctrine. Many scriptures focus on the earth itself as being God's footstool or habitat, vs any building or group meeting. When we do follow a leader we are cautioned to do so with discretion (look at all the disasters surrounding cults). I know many elderly who are unable to attend church meetings, but whom have deep faith. It's whether they live the commandments as they understand them, and whether they are willing to support the faith of others, that makes the difference. I would never judge your parents or grandparents based on church attendance, although most likely if you had been introduced to church services in your youth you would have a deeper understanding of Christianity. By your description of acceptance of other faiths, I'd say you have a pretty good foothold – don't lose sight of that!
Someone who chooses not to attend church because he or she may have issues with doctrine is not necessarily an atheist.
Will there be a war over Festivus?
Or the war on Hanukkah or Kwanzaa?
atheists are too chicken to protest against ramadan or anything islamic
they are chicken livered hypocrites
You obviously don't read these blogs much then
You must be a Christian.
First, belief in any supernatural and mythological being is classified as a religion by some as long as it conforms to a certain paradigm. But make a similar claim, for instance, Santa Claus, and you are thought to be childish. However, praying to either accomplishes the same. As far as Islam, they don't have Christmas or for that matter any festival that predates the "Christmas" festival, but the Persians, Asians, Slavic, English Germanic and others seem to. Christmas was a holiday hijacked by the Christians like many other holidays and customs and Islam hijacked 85% of the Bible for their holy book. I don't mind the celebrations and therefore I do say Happy Holidays, because Jesus WAS not the reason for the season. This time of year has been celebrated for thousands of years before he supposedly was born. Religion is irrational, but all people who believe are not necessarily evil, but those who are evil usually use their religion to pursue and achieve their evil aims.
me and the Wifey are polishing our pole.
As an atheist I say live and let live. As long as no one is trying to limit someone else's freedoms, I don't mind either way. There are extremists on both sides. This doesn't represent being an athiest anymore than the westboro baptist church represents Christianity.
As an atheist teacher, I object to non-Christians having Christmas forced upon them at their public schools.
I object to commercials and adds forced on me everyday.
So just pull the plug!
As a fellow atheist, I have absolutely no problem with participating in religious celebrations. You know what you are. Participating in Christmas will not change who you are. Why fear it? It is a season for celebrating friends and family. Embrace it.
Exactly. Well said.
do you protest against islam or just Christians...you know your would not survive 24 hours in an islamic country with your atheistic beliefs
I would survive 24 hours in some parts of the South for the same reasons. Being a Catholic in the South is no different that being an atheist.
Annnnnnnd...this has exactly WHAT to do with Islam–except, perhaps, that you have some kind of weird obsession with it?...
How is it forced on you? Are you forced to attend church? Are you forced to sing carols? I am a non-Christian teacher, but I don't feel Christmas is forced on me. Oh, I still say Merry Christmas, so you have a Merry Christmas.
As a Buddhist teacher, I have no problems with celebrating the holiday season with students and staff, nor do I have a problem with my own two kids doing the same, as it fosters cultural understanding and tolerance. Even though I'm not a Christian, and neither are my kids, I support the underlying message of peace on earth and goodwill towards all people.
You chose your profession, deal with it.
You my friend understand the meaning of tolerance! One atheist I could be friends with. I enjoyed this article immensely. I loved his point on how its a symbiotic relationship between the "supposed" warring parties who get publicity and $$ out of the conflict. It's so true of everything these days, controversies created by the media.
Most atheists, myself included, are of this mindset. The problem is that the only atheists who get any publicity are those that are controversial and confrontational. Most of us don't have a problem participating in religious celebrations.
Thank you Skarphace. As a Christian I appreciate and respect what you stated. Yes, there are extremist on both sides. Have a great Christmas.
Thank you Mr. Butters for a helpful observation. I appreciate it.
Wow. I think you and I could be best friends. I completely agree and I *do* follow Jesus. It's nice to see someone on "the other side" that isn't going to the extreme.
Agreed. Silverman's message should be more inclusive instead of divisive. I'm an atheist but harbor no general ill will or negative messages toward people of faith. His messages make us look mean which is really just the opposite. We have all the compassion and good will that any person of faith claims to have without expecting the "prize at the end of your life" deal.
Besides, if Americans were serious about keeping their Christ in Christmas, shouldn't they boot the capitalistic consumer frenzy out of Christmas and spend more time giving gifts of time and charity?
Today is the winter solstice, the real reason for the season.
Really CNN? It is Winter Solstice today, a time of the year that has been celebrated since ancient times and is still celebrated by many people today, pagan, Christian, atheist, etc... and instead of doing a story on celebrating our differences you feel the need to attack an entire group of people. Are you also going to post a story denouncing Christian behavior on Christmas? You can say how Christians have become over-consuming non-believing people stressing themselves out over getting everything right for that one day of the year in the name of their lord and how they should stop their irrational behavior. This is ridiculous CNN. Show some respect. Isn't this supposed to be a country of tolerance? Don't we have freedom of religion? I don't see any atheists knocking on my door to interrupt my day with their propaganda, however there are many so-called Christian organizations that do that. Perhaps if you tried focusing on love rather than hate you can actually find a nice story out there for EVERY special holiday for EVERY religion this season. The masses will appreciate you better.
Can you imagine the uproar if they published a story ti.tled "Christians should quit their war on science".
I think yours is a capital idea.
Write and submit to every news source and you too can get on Faux News.
Well maybe they won't since there are a large portion of Christians, though not outspoken, who are pro-evolution and science. Just sayin'.
That was my point.
Atheism is about being against something. It is against religion. It is against the Bible. It is against God. It is against traditional moral values. It clearly has an agenda.
Instead of only being against things – why not be in favor of something? Why can't atheists start a homeless charity for example?
wrong on all accounts Don. atheism is not against anything. its simply not believing in something: god. there are plenty of atheists involved in charities. i am one.
please tell me how it is immoral.
You should attempt to learn more about atheism before you condemn it.
Many of our Christmas/winter holiday customs are not rooted in Christianity. The pagans of long ago would recognize many of the things we do today.
The Roman end-of-December celebration of Saturnalia included gift giving, giving poetry along with the gift (like a modern day Christmas/Holiday card), partying, feasting
Christmas lights, trees, evergreen wreaths all have their roots, not in Christianity but in ancient northern pagan traditions. Burning many candles to brighten the long dark month of December, and bringing greenery into the home to ensure the return of spring. Holly, ivy, mistletoe and yes, the Christmas tree. have origins in ancient rituals that pre-date Christ.
Christ’s manger scene doesn’t generally include holiday illumination, Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph, Santa and the rest of the reindeer flying overhead. Not one of the wise men is wearing a tacky holiday sweater. So why can’t Christmas or The Holidays be celebrated in both a secular and a religious way.
Oh and if your talking war on Christmas look back to the Puritans they banned it, and they were as pious as they come.
The big party at the end of year has been around for thousands of years and isn’t going anywhere so why not celebrate it however you want. A Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday or Cool Yule to you all.
yes, instead of whining about the beliefs of others spend your energies to help others in homeless shelters, street people or whatever, Instead of complaining about who practices what religion.
Sounds like you didn't read the whole article.