Why atheists should quit the 'War on Christmas’
The group American Atheists has placed this billboard in New York City's Times Square.
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.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Christmas • Church and state • Culture wars • Discrimination • God • Health • Holidays • Opinion

soundoff (5,210 Responses)
  1. AEvangelista

    I see no difference between Christians and atheists. Both believe in things they can't prove. Ultimately, religion and atheism are simply frameworks for life, and it is up to the individual to make their chosen framework work for them. I say be open, since nobody really knows how it all works. Everyone is just guessing. By the way, see my eBook on Amazon/Kindle, "Visitations from the Other Side."

    December 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually I'm atheist because I found no reason to guess.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • midwest rail

      And your chosen framework includes stealing advertising for your book....

      December 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Perry the Post-Theist

      Actually, the complete and utter lack of evidence anywhere in the universe for the existence of any deity is itself very strong evidence that there is none. Same for unicorns and leprechauns and a lot of other Gods. People only go for the ambivalence you state on the dominant local religion, due to the hidden social pressure of saying that is highly unlikely too. I imagine you are not so ambivalent about Pele the volcano god, but Pele has as much evidence and reason to believe as Jesus.

      Think about it.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • cacarr

      Atheists are simply people who aren't theists - that is, they see no reason to believe that a personal, theistic deity exists.

      Bald is not a hair style. Not collecting stamps isn't a hobby.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Apparently you don't understand that there is a difference between believing in something for which there is no proof and not believing in something for which there is no proof.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Steel On Target

      Yet again someone who doesn't actually know the definition of atheist or atheism. Its a lack of belief in a god, thus not even remotely the same as a christian. Atheism is the natural state of the universe. We are all born atheists and then "learn" or are told about a concept of something else.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • elliott carlin

        interesting theory, if you believe we're all born atheists. There's that belief-word again, darn it.
        I'll say we're all born sinners and you don't need to teach a small child how to say 'no' or be selfish.

        December 22, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Steel On Target

          I didn't say anything about what I believe. I know we are all born atheists. Only a moron would try to argue a 1 month old baby believes a mythological character names jesus christ is its lord and savior when it can't even wipe its own rear end yet. As for your concept of original sin. Only an absolute immoral abomination of a human being would believe a child is born guilty of some kind of bronze age sin and then ordered to be well by an archaic celestial dictator.

          December 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
      • Dude67

        I've tried explaining this to Deists before but they really don't get it. I hate the term atheist because it is taking on another meaning and you shouldn't have to identify yourself as not believing in invisible pink noodle monsters on other planes of existence. It's like someone asking you what you do and replying that you are a non-alchemist. Duh! Alchemy isn't real. Neither is Odin, Zeus, Valhalla, Hell, souls, gods, heavens etc... just fiction. (sighs)

        December 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Bob

      Atheists and Christians have a lot in common.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Grant

      Atheism merely signals what you don’t believe in, not what you do believe in. It’s a negative. And therefore, basing your entire worldview on it is bound to generate immense amounts of negativity. Look at the evidence, the posts above.

      December 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • Dude67

        LOL Grant!!

        December 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a god, nothing more than that. If you need to believe in a god to be happy, then I'd say you are the one with the negative view of life.

        December 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
      • Dave Green

        Actually, as an atheist, I agree with you. If you base your world view on something you don't believe, then problems are sure to ensure. However, as an atheist, I can tell you that my worldview has nothing to do with god ideologies at all. the label is a hat. One of many hats I wear It only has meaning in the context of discussions regarding god ideologies. My world view is based on what I DO believe, not what I don't.

        December 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • devin

      " I see no difference between Christians and atheists." May I suggest a new pair of ideological glasses.

      December 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Dandintac

      No difference between atheists and Christians? Really? What color is the sky in that world you live in? No difference at all??

      Oh–what do we believe in that we can't prove? The only commonality among all atheists is that we don't believe in God. that's something we DON'T believe in–not something we DO believe in. Big difference.

      It's kind of like this: Do you believe in fairies? Is it fair or rational to demand that you must be able to PROVE fairies don't exist?

      December 23, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  2. Just like there's two types of marriages -

    There are two types of Xmas:

    The one with Santa Claus, Frosty-the-Snowman & Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed Reindeer, and the one that only fools believe in.

    December 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  3. lol??

    Psychopaths naturally have no fear of punishment. That makes em attractive to mobs for leadership positions. OTOH, Christians have to be told over and over to "fear not", 'specially because they've been shown the big picture.

    December 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Syd

      Are you one of those ignorant people who think that atheists are psychopaths? The prisons are full of psychopaths that claim Christianity as their chosen religion. Get a clue.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
      • lol??

        Some are. I stand by my post.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Syd

          So you are one of those ignorant people. Thanks for your honesty.

          Get an education.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • Jeff

        Syd, it's really best just to report abuse on all of this fools posts and otherwise ignore the idiot.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • Syd

          I wish this site had an "ignore user" button...good advice. Thanks.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  4. Vic


    I used to read a weekly opinion column in USA Today called Common Ground with conservative Cal Thomas and liberal Bob Beckel. It is a nice format where both Cal and Bob discuss the issues at hand from two different perspectives in a very civil manner. I really enjoyed it and learned from it. It is a good example. I really recommend reading it if possible.

    I wanted to say this since a while back: Our discussions on the CNN Belief Blog, and in general, can make a very good use of Bob and Cal example.

    December 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Roland F.

      Actually, the nature of the forum drives discussion down quite a bit. All internet forums are prone to nastiness and have bouts of it. It's because people are isolated and anonymous, so they can be nasty without consequence. In contrast, the two you mention not only are known but have their professional reputations at stake, so they must act accordingly.

      I would say that some like lol?? would be like that all the time, which explains why she is here 24/7 and not out with real humans.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • lol??

        What's yer judgment on why A&A's coagulate on a belief blog?? My theory is they are the same ones who do the graffiti thing in public rest rooms.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • Billy

          So half your time is spent here and the other half in public rest rooms? OK, I believe it.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Puhleeeze

          Because this is a blog on how religion impacts everyday life. If atheists weren't here, you'd be drowning in your own venom.

          Of course you would know all out graffiti in bathrooms, given your wide stance.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • Vic

        Without pointing fingers, there is truth to that.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • lol??

          Some truth is lukewarm. Go for the gold. It's a triune existence and 2 parts get cut off.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Puhleeeze

          You wouldn't know what the truth is if it came up to you and pist in your open mouth. You'd just blindly swallow and thank truth for the refreshing drink.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
      • lol??

        Roland, are you sayin' you're not a real human?? Most programs inhibit that response.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Puhleeeze

          No, he is saying YOU aren't.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Let's not agree to disagree over the rights of women and the LGBT community, the Establishment Clause, the exploitation of misguided people by predatory clergy. But do have a very nice holiday. Joy to you and all of your family.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • Vic

        Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
      • lol??

        "Let's not agree to disagree."...........Exactly, that's a satanic way of moving the goal posts, straight out of the Frankfurt School.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • Puhleeeze

          Get over yourself, you venomous viper. You reference crap from 60 years ago that is a relevant today as you aren't.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Vic". Timeouts are now allowed on the Belief Blog.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • Vic


        December 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Science Works

      Pew survey numbers about Xmas this morning on CBS Vic – NO mention of % of people that attend midnight mass !

      Celebrate with family 86 %

      Buy a tree 76 %

      What it is all about 206 billion in sales !

      December 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • RB

      That is a good idea Vic. Even if some don't want to be civil, we can anyway. It is a good testimony.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  5. ru serious

    Pretty damn simple....if you don't believe in Christ, then ignore the day and everything to do with it. No tree, no gifts no Santa no nothing. Just go about your empty day and leave those of us who believe alone. It's OUR holiday, you don't choose to believe, so good for you don't let the door hit you in the behind and all that...

    December 22, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Some atheists wish you a very happy and joyful holiday.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Roland F.

      Yeah, you stole it fair and square from earlier Pagan celebrations like Saturnalia.

      We celebrate Christmas here, nice family holiday, generosity, good food, all that. We just don't say it's about magic super invisobuddy. The rest is fine. And we call it Christmas. It helps keeps the kid from being abused by Christian kids at school for doing something different.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      A tree nor Santa have anything to do with christianity and if you knew anything about your holiday you would know that it is based off of pagan tradition largely. If your jesus was truly born, there is no evidence or anything that points to an exact date of birth. We do however know that this is the time of Yule and when christianity reared its head they created this holiday as a way of converting. Few people celebrate for the christian meaning anyways...look around you, the greed can be seen and your bible says that greed is a sin.
      This will enlighten you a little: http://www.livescience.com/25779-christmas-traditions-history-paganism.html

      As for your instructions of not celebrating it...hahahaha, who do you think you are to be dictating who has the right to celebrate and who doesn't? I am going to celebrate the holiday with good friends and family...your approval is not required.

      Have a wonderful holiday. 🙂

      December 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • Noyb

        And what does paganism mean? The worship of nature spirits. That means a belief in gods.

        December 24, 2013 at 7:31 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Nyob: Yes but not the christian god.

          December 24, 2013 at 10:26 am |
      • Noyb

        So what? You're still celebrating a religious holiday.

        December 24, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Noyb: Does it affect your life that I'm celebrating this holiday for my own purpose and meaning? I actually do celebrate it for the pagan meaning because it makes more sense than the christian meaning...it is at least based on reality-the changing of the season is undeniable and makes a tremendous amount more sense that celebrating it for the birth of someone who wasn't even born at this time of year (if he was born at all).

          December 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Silly. Christmas is more a cultural holiday than it is a religious one. That's why we have the tradition of presents and trees borrowed from pagan cultures, and Santa Claus and Christmas specials on TV. It's as much about Rudolph as it is about Jesus.

      If you really want a religious holiday, then go to your church and pray, then go home and contemplate the sacrifices that Jesus made for you. Maybe bake him a cake.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm |

      As an atheist, I do enjoy Christmas. To me it has nothing to do with Jesus. It is a time the family all gets together, shares gifts and good food. However, if you wish to celebrate it as a religious event, please do so. I don't have any interest in having others change how they enjoy Christmas.
      Merry Christmas one and all.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • magicpanties

      Please do some research.
      Christians stole the holiday from the pagans.
      But nice try.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • lol??

        A gubmint church did. Remember the establishment clause, santa??

        December 22, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  6. Reality # 2

    The War on "Mythmas" and religion in general continues:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    December 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  7. Roland F.

    I see a lot of Christian signs, some mind, some pretty nasty. None are vandalized. I have only come across three atheist signs, and all three werre vandalized. One was a sign noting who had paid to have that stretch of highway litter-free.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Anything that questions faith is something to fear. Anything that threatens their dream of eternal life is dangerous.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • lol??

        Who sayz??

        December 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  8. very few people—atheist or theist—seem to interpret the message as welcoming to anyone.


    How "welcoming" are Christurds to others that don't hold the same delusions as they do?

    You reap what you sow – isn't that what you keep telling us?

    December 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  9. Steve

    I say all holidays get banned on account of nobody celebrates them for anything more than a reason to argue, take your money, or skim out of work.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  10. tony

    Christmas is the time when conservative christians are least likely to realize that they are capitialists, while the heaven they hope to go to is pure socialism.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • lol??

      No, in heaven the debts are all paid and they are free and clear.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  11. RB

    A savior is born.

    It is finished.

    My peace I leave you.

    Every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess.

    Merry Christmas !

    December 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • tony

      It will be unfortunate if the second coming was wiped out by one of the recent middle east bombing runs. The odds of that happening (happened) are pretty high nowdays.

      No too many US Christians up in arms about that side effect though. . . .

      December 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yay! Mithras is born! We're saved!

      December 22, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • lol??

        Well, quote some scripture. I wanna see the reality of it.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Roland F.

          Scripture isn't reality. It's just a story written decades after whatever actual events occurred, and a few decades of word-of-mouth will definitely add some tall tales. Same with the King Arthur stories. The first mentions imply is was a minor warlord who was betrayed by Guineveire. After a while, he is a king with a group of knights in a castle with a round table, and off they go for the Grail. All old stories grew through accretions like that. As did yours.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Unto you underwear shall be given, and socks. Someone will drink too much. You will eat too much. So it will be in the last days and then it will start all over again.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      • RB

        How true, most of that happens every year.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  12. phil little

    It's as simple as this, Atheists have rejected God and are going to spend eternity in Hell separated from the one who created them. Christians who have have accepted him will spend eternity in heaven with him. This is based on faith and the belief in the Bible. Faith in God. You either have it are you don't. It's as simple as that.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Syd

      Atheists don't believe in any gods. Look up the difference between "belief" and "rejection ".

      It's as simple as that.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • tony

      Did your mommy tell you that?

      December 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
      • lol??

        Mommies rule in a socie wurld. Kills two fathers with one stone.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Free Holiday Nuts

      Oh no! Satan is among us!


      December 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
      • Roland F.

        I am glad she recognizes that the Prince of Darkness makes good toast, which makes him worth keeping around.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's actually even simpler than that, phil. When you die, you're dead. Just like everyone else. There is not a single shred of evidence to indicate otherwise.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • kebcarerra

      Will the unbeliever burn forever in hot flames , sounds like torture . Is that what God is going to do , torture for not believing that virgins give birth ? Torture for not believing the bible ? Burn in hell forever for not believing stories that contradict reality ? Christianity has a history of torturing people .

      December 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |

        If there is a God I am sure he'd be a reasonable sort. If he asks why did I not believe I will say the brain you gave me said that you were impossible and religion is just means of controlling people. Hopefully, s/he will see the logic in this and give me a pass. If I am wrong and he wishes to forgive that would be good. If I wind up in hell, I can't say I was not warned.

        December 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Nursehope

      Phil Little; you are an atheist as well. You reject over 1,200 other gods currently being worshipped somewhere on this planet except for the one you have been taught by your family. We true atheists simply add yours to the list and reject them all.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  13. magicpanties

    Why christians should stop the war on atheists:
    because, because, because, because.... because of the wonderful things we does.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • You just made me pee my pants.

      I hope you're happy.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  14. George

    God, being the creator of everything, has no need of worship by you, and dwells not in temples made by man.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Alfie

      So why is heaven a place for doing nothing but worshiping him for the rest of eternity, and the only way to get to heaven is to worship him? Sounds like his ego needs massive stroking.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
      • George

        Someone has clearly given you erroneous information.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Syd

          Can you explain Heaven?

          December 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Alfie

          I too consider the Bible to be erroneous information.

          December 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • igaftr

      There are over a hundred creator gods.

      December 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  15. God-Sun, the Unconquered Sun

    Why you keep on calling me baby Jesus?

    December 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Ricky Bobby

      I like tiny little baby Jesus version best. Better than Jesus as the Ninja fighting giant Samurai


      December 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  16. Kevin Quail

    Christmas had pagan origins long before any jesus:


    There are many questions as to whether the particular Christian jesus even existed as a historical figure at all:


    December 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Noyb

      Pagan still means a spiritual belief in nature dieties and roman gods. One way or another you're celebrating a past religious holiday.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Yep. Humans have a long history of inventing gods. Literally thousands of them. I'm not sure why christians think that their god is any more real.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • lol??

          The early Christians were real. Israel was real. Christians are Israel in the spirit. The prophets were real. Herod was real. Any of this help yer confusion??

          December 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Saudi Arabia is real

          That doesn't mean their religion is.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Billy

          Prove it lol??. Give it yer best shot.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • lol??

          I believe the testimony. That'a judgment call. Juries do it all the time. Juries are crazy when you don't agree with em??

          December 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Noyb

          The point is, atheists want to celebrate a religious holiday. Period. Whether Christian or pagan.

          December 24, 2013 at 8:06 am |
  17. JW

    Quick facts:

    With that in mind, it should not surprise you that in England, Cromwell’s Parliament decreed in 1647 that Christmas be a day of penance and then banned it outright in 1652. Parliament purposely met on December 25 every year from 1644 to 1656. According to historian Penne L. Restad, “ministers who preached on the Nativity risked imprisonment. Churchwardens faced fines for decorating their churches. By law, shops stayed open on Christmas as if it were any regular business day.” Why such drastic measures? Puritan reformers believed that the church should not create traditions that did not exist in the Scriptures. They actively preached and distributed literature denouncing Christmas celebrations.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Syd

      England stunk in those days. So?

      December 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • JW

        There is no scripture background for christmas, thats why many Christians dont celebrate this day.

        December 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Syd

          No, that's why JW's don't.
          One can find anything they please to support any position they want to take within the many different translations of the Bible.

          And you are making Dave Silverman's case nicely.

          December 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  18. War On Christmas Headquarters

    It is time to tell the world the truth about our operations. We atheists have indeed been running a war on Christmas for a long time now. Satan told us to do it. Here are some of our nefarious tactics.

    We wait until you are asleep and sneak into you house and dry out the tree with hair dryers so that the needles keep falling out. Then we put little Bobby's gift label on the present with his sister Suzy's undies in it, which very often converts him to being gay.

    We put burned-out bulbs in your lights outside in the worst places so you have trouble fixing them.

    We invented Black Friday. Satan came up with that one himself, and it's a real beauty.

    We infiltrate smelly drunks to play Santa at the mall, and we tell them they are supposed to cop a feel on your children.

    We got every freaking store in the western hemisphere to play those wretched Christmas carols endlessly, and to coordinate them so that you hear the same one in every store you walk into. Oh, we got them to start playing them earlier and earlier each year. Next year they start after the Fourth of July.

    Then we send door-to-door carrollers with the same freaking songs right to your house and make you stand there and smile and pretend you are charmed when you just want to go watch Duck Dynasty and eat pork rinds.

    We invented fruit cake. Satan came up with that one too. Also helps make gays of your children.

    We infiltrate as many people as we can to stand in front of you in line at store and go as slow as possible. Some are given credit cards and debit cards that don't work so that it takes even longer. We have special agents who come from the other side just when you get there to complain that the checker overcharged them.

    The checkers are our agents too, with instructions to be in a bad mood and go slowly as well. They are also instructed to say "Happy Holidays" if they suspect you are a devout Christian, and "I'm not allowed to say 'Merry Christmas'" if you comment on that. That's a good one too.

    We fill mall parking lots with junked cars so you can't park within a half mile of the store you want.

    And we actually run FOX News so that you stay in a perpetual state of rage about what you are experiencing.

    We will win. We have the tools, and we have the talent.

    December 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Best. Manifesto. Ever.

      December 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  19. Bertha

    So, perhaps the religious don't need to post their billboards that cry out to people to repent, believe in the lord, god is the answer, and more. I find these billboards as repulsive as the Christians find atheists' billboards. Christmas is foisted on all...it is a holiday we cannot escape from in this country.

    Christians seem to think the world is all about them and if you aren't christian, then you are not worthy. The other day in a WalMart store as I was checking out the cashier and I had a pleasant conversation. As I was leaving I said to her, "happy holidays." Without hesitation she adamantly said, "No!"

    December 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • tallulah13

      That cashier is just sad. There are many celebrations during this time of year. Why must christians be so selfish as to pretend theirs is the only one that matters?

      December 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Alfie

        They consider it their duty to spread their message, but whenever anyone else has a message, here comes the self-righteous indignation!

        December 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
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.