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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. Live4Him

    @Saraswati : THe egomaniac is still disregarding basic conversational etiquette

    We make a matched pair then!

    <><

    December 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  2. Live4Him

    @doobzz : L4H gets something out of starting new threads instead of keeping the continuity

    And the so-called continuity? It's all meaningless chatter about 'proper form' on the forum. Yet, there is nothing 'proper' about this forum. I reminds me of a childhood game that guys played – 'Kill the man with the ball'. Except in this case, only Christians 'carry the ball' (i.e. defend their position). Atheist create meaningless chatter about how to post on a forum. Lots of continuity there – but not on topic. So, I'm going to have some fun pushing your buttons! 🙂 The Rules are simple – Every time someone wants to be at the top of the page, just needs to complain about how I'm posting.

    <><

    December 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    @Anonymous : Is your refusal to use the reply button and starting new threads a personal quirk, or are you the type that has to over-control every situation to the point of personal enjoyment for yourself and taking pleasure at

    My refusal has everything into taking pleasure at your expense. When you try to push my buttons, I'll do the same right back. 🙂

    <><

    December 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  4. urnotathinkerareu

    How did "the lord" get the word out when he was commanding his people to go to war or to follow a commandment. It is written in the holy book but commoners couldn't read and write back then so how is that the \"scroibes" were the only ones getting these messages from \"the lord'? ...the whole communication process is suspect...totally suspect.....they could write what they wanted and simply say it was a divine message because \'the lord" spoke to our head holy man and he was told ...blah blah blah...highly suspect my friends...highly suspect!

    December 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  5. Live4Him

    @In Santa we trust : The same as it is every day – if you're replying to another comment use the "Reply" link;

    Must everything be done YOUR way?

    <><

    December 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      LOL...THe egomaniac is still disregarding basic conversational etiquette and posting floating quotes to be sure that his every word of wisdom is seen by all.

      December 28, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  6. Live4Him

    @In Santa we trust : So intolerance is someone not conforming to your way of doing things

    Actually, since you're the one complaining, you're the one being intolerant.

    <><

    December 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Is your refusal to use the reply button and starting new threads a personal quirk, or are you the type that has to over-control every situation to the point of personal enjoyment for yourself and taking pleasure at

      You merely look rather sad and needy when you continue to do something as simple as refusing the reply function to keep the continuum of a conversation going.

      For all of your so-called "logic", which you seem inordinately proud of, it's flabbergasting to see that you cannot grasp this simple idea.

      December 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Anonymous

        *taking pleasure at the annoyance of others?

        December 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • doobzz

        L4H gets something out of starting new threads instead of keeping the continuity. What, I don't know or care. My suggestion would be to ignore the new thread and only respond to comments in the correct place. L4H will then claim victory, but so what? Does anything it says make sense anyway?

        December 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Saraswati

          The amazing part is the level of arrogance required to ignore everyone who has explained that this is poor etiquette and complicates the discussion for other readers. It's like the brash Texan going to another culture and refusing to lower his voice while slapping everyone on the back. I agree that it's probably best just to ignore such rude posts.

          December 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
        • doobzz

          What can you say about someone who thinks everyone else is just being intolerant? It's unlikely you could have any sort of rational discussion no matter where it's posted.

          December 28, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  7. Live4Him

    @Mary : A post with 3 replies is too complicated.

    Sure is 🙂

    December 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  8. Lana

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeedE8vH1FQ
    `
    ,

    December 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  9. lol??

    lol??
    The HAHA's (Humanistic Atheists Harvard Agnostics) take over a belief blog and accuse anyone talkin' about faith bein' a troll. Mobs don't have a CONscience. Silly little girly antichrists are just plain ol' bullies. Marx was their original chaplain, course he was a copycat, too.
    BBBBBbbbbbbbbbbbbwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahhhahaha

    December 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Anonymous

      You seriously think every atheist/agnostic who posts here are Harvard educated?

      You suspend credibility with each post you make....

      December 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  10. bostontola

    Deuteronomy 20 is a classic example of why I could never believe in the Abrahamic God. It is violent, genocidal, self centered, teaches the people to be self centered, all is for them. This selfish perspective clearly was effective, the Abrahamic religions dominate the world. That doesn't make them right, much less true. The extreme makeover between the old and new testaments is further evidence that these religions are all man made. The moral conflicts in the various texts shine a bright light on the human origins of these works.

    December 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • bostontola

      Deut 20
      for the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
      And when the LORD thy God delivereth it into thy hand, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword;
      shalt thou take for a prey unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
      Howbeit of the cities of these peoples, that the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth,
      but thou shalt utterly destroy them

      December 28, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • Kev

        10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.

        11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.

        12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: (Deuteronomy 20:10-12 KJV)

        December 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          Is your point that the Israelites were to give their enemies the chance to capitulate or be destroyed?

          December 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • Kev

          Yes, since The Lord didn't outright from the get go commanded to just exterminate everything and everyone. Even if the only alternative was subugation for these other peoples, there were consequences for the Isrealites if they didn"t fully follow the command to anihilate if the other peoples choose to go to war. Since the Israelites didn't follow through completely there would be continual struggles for the Israelites in obtaining and maintaining the prominsed land because there were some of these other peoples that remained to fight another day. It was vicious but those were the facts of what peoples faced in those days.

          December 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
      • Observer

        – Matthew 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
        Jesus, disagreeing with his father

        December 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • doobzz

          Apparently, 33 was the new 13 in Jeebus' time. Adolescent rebellion.

          "But Dad, I don't wanna go to Earth and be the Messiah! You're not the boss of me!"

          December 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  11. Live4Him

    @Dyslexic doG : In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the pagan Saturnalia festival hoping to recruit the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

    This is according to the "religionsgeschichtliche (History of religions) hypothesis", which presupposes that it was an intentional polemical fourth-century Christian replacements for popular Greco-Roman feasts in the ancient world. However, upon closer examination, the evidence shows that this hypothesis is very unlikely to be true. In the late Second Century, Clement of Alexandria who also claimed that January 6 was known in Egypt as the date of Jesus' birth. January 6th is also associated with the feast of the Epiphany (i.e. Magi's visit). Since the Magi would necessarily need to visit AFTER Jesus' birth, then the evidence seems to show that the December 25th date is reasonable for the actual birth date and predates the fourth century posit – falsifying the religionsgeschichtliche hypothesis.

    December 28, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!"

      While the birth year of Jesus is estimated among modern historians to have been between 7 and 2 BC, the exact month and day of his birth are unknown.[15][16]

      His birth is mentioned in two of the four canonical gospels. By the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25,[17] a date later adopted in the East,[18][19] although some churches celebrate on the December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which corresponds to January in the modern-day Gregorian calendar.

      The date of Christmas may have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after early Christians believed Jesus to have been conceived,[20] or with one or more ancient polytheistic festivals that occurred near southern solstice (i.e., the Roman winter solstice); a further solar connection has been suggested because of a biblical verse[a] identifying Jesus as the "Sun of righteousness".[20][21][22][23][24]

      December 28, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Live4Him

        What's your point?

        December 28, 2013 at 11:09 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          The same as it is every day – if you're replying to another comment use the "Reply" link; if you're starting a new comment don't address it to another commenter and their comment. It makes it hard for the original commenter to know that someone has replied.

          December 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Derek

      What is a reply button? You dipstick.

      December 28, 2013 at 11:14 am |
      • Live4Him

        Another intolerant person.

        December 28, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • Lester

          Why?

          December 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
        • Mary

          A post with 3 replies is too complicated.

          December 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          So intolerance is someone not conforming to your way of doing things even when it is you that is not following convention?

          December 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  12. Science Works

    simple answer hopefully EDUCATION will be the Answer and help push the crap where it belongs !

    Poorly camouflaged insects can kick off a cascade of ecological impacts, new CU-Boulder study finds
    October 21, 2013 •
    Natural Sciences, Research, Academics, Environment

    A California walking stick insect that has evolved to produce individuals with two distinct appearances—an all-green form that camouflages well with broader leaves and a form with a white stripe running down its back that blends better with needle-like leaves—can markedly affect its broader ecological community when the appearance of the bug is mismatched with the plant it’s living on.

    The new findings, based on research carried out at the University of Colorado Boulder, illustrate the ability of rapid evolution to cause a cascade of ecological impacts.
    – See more at: http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2013/10/21/poorly-camouflaged-insects-can-kick-cascade-ecological-impacts-new-cu#sthash.apFiIfjp.dpuf

    December 28, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Science Works

      Meant for reply to ven

      December 28, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • ven

      the way I understand that your concern of rapid evolution might result in a negative effect in humanity?but this not biological evolution,but memetics.The parameters involved here is not material ,chemical ,enviromental or genetics.I am not a social scientist but if you are you can enlighten us all.pls. post what ypu mean

      December 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
      • Science Works

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U

        December 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  13. ven

    why we need faith because the power of God is beyond our complete comprehension.Beyond any reasonable doubt science had proven that the big bang 13.7 billion years ago was the origin of our existence.We dont know yet if there are also many universe outside ours but numerous scientific theories predicts their existence.After billion of years our galaxy and then the solar system evolved and earth became inhabited by primitive life forms by evolution.then about .200,000 years ago we arrived .and about 10,000 years ago more or less we became civilized. Then we became aware of God because the neuronic circuitry of our brain has reach a certain stage of complexity to ask himself where ,why and how we exist.So its clear that we evolved.and the lack of convincing explaination compelled us to accept Faith.

    December 28, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • Science Works

      ven

      Yes evolution works – there is even PROOF of rapid evolution – but your faith angle SUCKS !

      December 28, 2013 at 8:10 am |
      • ven

        everything in the universe evolves,not only life forms but also memes,Religion is a meme so it also change in conformity to its era or time of its conception as faith.Because in pre scientific times thousands of years ago,the scientific method of approach or philosophy has not existed yet,myth or merely story telling is considered facts,The first religion called animism more than 10,000 years ago believed that spirits or god exists in trees,rivers,mountains ,boulders or in any places people at that time considered holy.hundreds of them,then when the Greeks and Romans came,it was reduced to 12, they called it polytheism, when the Jews arrived ,it was further reduced to 1,monotheism.its derivatives,Christianity And Islam and later hundreds of denominations that includes Mormonism and Protestants flourished up to today.So in short this religions evolved in accordance to the scientific knowledge of the age or era they existed.If you graph the growth of knowledge,it shows a sharp increase in the last 500 years,forcing the dominant religions at that time to reinterprete their dogmas,today this traditional religions are becoming obsolete and has to evolve to survive.But first they have to unify against atheism.in the dialectical process of change,Theism in one hand and the opposing force atheism in the other,will resolve into a result or synthesis.The process shall be highlighted in the internet in the near future.

        December 28, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Dandintac

      Then we became aware of God because the neuronic circuitry of our brain has reach a certain stage of complexity to ask himself where ,why and how we exist.So its clear that we evolved.and the lack of convincing explaination compelled us to accept Faith.

      Well first of all, if God is too big of a concept so that we instead need "faith"–then why should we accept and believe it in the first place? Wouldn't the first step be just not to believe what the priests tell us? If it's too big for us–it was surely vastly too big for the ancients to understand–in which case shouldn't the Bible be understood as a bunch of myths? If God is so big, he would understand that evidence is required to remove all doubt, and would provide it. "Faith" is the excuse believers use to justify believing something they are not justified to believe in.

      Regarding the Big Bang–I would not say that it is proven "beyond a reasonable doubt". It is the best explanation we have currently. Many details are not well understood. The "Big Bang" in no way demonstrates a god at all. We do not know if any agency was required to "cause" the Big Bang, or if such an agency is required to be intelligent (I would say the evidence seems to indicate the answer is NO), or if a "cause" is even required. We know nothing at all about pre- or external Big Bang conditions.

      Regarding our motor neuron activity, there are many societies on Earth–especially before Christian and Muslim conquests, where there were no gods. Many African and Native American tribes do not believe in any gods. And vast numbers of Asian societies do not believe in gods either. Taoist and Confucians for example, and many Buddhists. Other societies have gods, but their conception of them is vastly different from the western notions, and they are called "gods" in the west simply because we have no other word to use–but they are very different. If we were pre-wired to have "faith"–then all the Christian missionaries would not have been required–everyone would believe the same thing, and that would actually be at least some evidence that it was true.

      December 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • ven

        we are discussing on the mentality of the people in their times in the past,not todays modern educated ones.Of course if you were the ones in the past you were a hardened atheist . buit there were very few like you then.

        December 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Dandintac

      Well first of all, if God is too big of a concept so that we instead need "faith"–then why should we accept and believe it in the first place? Wouldn't the first step be just not to believe what the priests tell us? If it's too big for us–it was surely vastly too big for the ancients to understand–in which case shouldn't the Bible be understood as a bunch of myths? If God is so big, he would understand that evidence is required to remove all doubt, and would provide it. "Faith" is the excuse believers use to justify believing something they are not justified to believe in.

      Regarding the Big Bang–I would not say that it is proven "beyond a reasonable doubt". It is the best explanation we have currently. Many details are not well understood. The "Big Bang" in no way demonstrates a god at all. We do not know if any agency was required to "cause" the Big Bang, or if such an agency is required to be intelligent (I would say the evidence seems to indicate the answer is NO), or if a "cause" is even required. We know nothing at all about pre- or external Big Bang conditions.

      Regarding our motor neuron activity, there are many societies on Earth–especially before Christian and Muslim conquests, where there were no gods. Many African and Native American tribes do not believe in any gods. And vast numbers of Asian societies do not believe in gods either. Taoist and Confucians for example, and many Buddhists. Other societies have gods, but their conception of them is vastly different from the western notions, and they are called "gods" in the west simply because we have no other word to use–but they are very different. If we were pre-wired to have "faith"–then all the Christian missionaries would not have been required–everyone would believe the same thing, and that would actually be at least some evidence that it was true.

      December 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • ven

        suppose hypotheticaly He wills that no human being will ever wake up again ,will the world still exist,?of course yes,because we are only part of Him.but He gives us conciousness and intelligence because we have a purpose and mission to accomplish for Him .We are His medium of manifistation in reality.Your role as atheist is being acomplished by you ,without you fully understanding it,just do your work as atheist,you will be guided.

        December 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • ven

          your role now as atheist ,is to be the opposing argumenter for the modern day change process or evolution of the present religion from monotheism which you have shown in your arguments to be flawed so that the future faithfuls will shift to the ultra modern faith called PANTHROTHEISM -the synthesis of theistic monotheism vs.humanistic atheism.I suggest to you to be more aggressive and conscise in your arguments,God needs you

          December 29, 2013 at 2:36 am |
  14. urnotathinkerareu

    Religion prevents self actualization???...100% true...Never heard of self actualization? Please see a gent called Mazlow

    December 27, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  15. Lana

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeedE8vH1FQ
    ~

    December 27, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
  16. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Mr. Garrison: Chef, what did you do when white people stole your culture?
    Chef: Oh, well, we black people just always tried to stay out in front of them.
    Mr. Slave: How did you do that?
    Chef: Well, like with our slang. Black people always used to say, "I'm in the house" instead of "I'm here." But then white people all started to say "in the house" so we switched it to "in the hizzouse." Hizzouse became hizzizzouse, and then white folk started saying that, and we had to change it to hizzie, then "in the hizzle" which we had to change to "hizzle fo shizzle," and now, because white people say "hizzle fo shizzle," we have to say "flippity floppity floop."
    Mr. Garrison: We don't have time for all that, Chef! Oh, if only those 'Queer Eye For the Straight Guy' people understood what they were doing. Wait. That's it! I know exactly what to do! Come on, Mr. Slave! Let's get back to our flippity floppity floop.
    Chef: Oh no! Damn it! Don't call it that!

    December 27, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    definition: "faith" - believing something without a single shred of proof.

    it amazes me that religious folk see this word as a badge of honor while any logical thinking person sees it as a mark of foolishness or insanity.

    quite a disconnect.

    December 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • counterww

      Its the very reason you cannot fathom it. Not all knowledge comes from the five senses and science. It's YOU that does not get that.

      December 27, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • Chikkipop

        Please give us ONE example of knowledge that comes from faith.

        December 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Because you asked

          That the neighbors baby was going to die. Just don't ask "what" faith.

          December 27, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
        • adulterer

          the knowledge from faith is like trusting your wife to do anything she wants like a cuckold because she will remain faithfull because she loves you

          December 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • lol??

      That's a dog def, not a Christian one. The dog is out of his hood.

      December 28, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • lol??

      I like hot cocoa with mini marshmallows. So good.

      December 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the pagan Saturnalia festival hoping to recruit the pagan masses in with it. Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians.

    The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about Saturnalia. To remedy this, these Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday.

    The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus’ birth. The earliest gospel – St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus. This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.

    Christianity: centuries of shameless fraud on a grand scale.

    December 27, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • counterww

      Dog: prime example of a person with an ax to grind, and a chip on his /her shoulder.

      December 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • irony

        Yet in other threads this poster insists there are no gods, including Cernunos so yeah it's just an excuse.

        December 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  19. Sea Otter (Leader Allied Atheist Alliance)

    Alan Jackson:

    Where were you when they built the ladder to heaven?
    Did it make you feel like cryin'
    Or did you think it was kinda gay?
    Well I, for one, believe in the ladder to heaven
    Oh yeah, yeah, yeah… 9/11
    I said 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, Ni-hi, hi-hine…
    …Eleven

    December 27, 2013 at 10:35 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.