As an atheist, I love what Christmas has become. The name of Christ has been forever mashed up with the idea of Santa Clause, gaudily trimmed trees, and flagrant consumerism, graft, and financial irresponsibility. Merry Atheist Christmas.
At this point, I don’t see why any atheist would balk at saying Merry Christmas to any of their Christian counterparts. Just think about how meaningless the word has become. Consider how Christians spend the season. And compare it to how nonbelievers spend it. Besides a few church services, there is no difference whatsoever. And even many atheists get roped into the services on that occasion.
I love it when Christians start making noises about the reason for the season. First, they have to continually remind each other that there is supposed to be a higher reason to the season not accessible to the rest of the heathens. But then look at what they actually do:
Toys for the less fortunate
The last few churches I regularly attended got into Christmas in a big way. They would put up a big Christmas tree and solicit the congregation for unwrapped toys to set around the tree. They then made a point to donate all the toys to a local charity. For the record, I love these toy drives.
So let’s review: Christmas is not all about the received gifts. It is about something much deeper. So Christians come together to provide less fortunate children with, wait for it… presents. Wait, what?
So we are giving them a merry Christmas by focusing on the same consumerism that we are inveighing against? How is that different? We give them toys just like Santa would do because they are good little boys and girls. We are perpetuating the idea that one should expect gifts for Christmas.
What about next year when the budget is low, and we don’t give them gifts, or when we decide to support a different charity. Do they presume they were bad boys and girls that year? It seems all churches are doing is perpetuating the secular consumerism that everyone else is engaged in, and calling it Jesus. I’m fine with that.
The morning after
So what happens on December 26th? Do we go back to those unfortunate kids and help them in any way? Do we adopt them and bring them into our homes so that we can take care of them all year round? Or have we done our good deed for the year? Are we satisfied with that drive by toying so as to just move on with our lives for another year?
Remember, you can’t say Christmas without Christ. Is Christ going to come back in a couple of weeks to supply fresh batteries for those toys? I’m guessing not. Even when churches do Christmas, the star of the show is not really the baby Jesus. It is the jolly old elf.
As it happens, nothing is different in atheist households. Did you know that atheist also participate in toy drives for less fortunate kids. They also sing Christmas songs. There are many from which to choose. They get together with families, eat too much food, and bloat their credit card at about the same rate as Christians. At this point, there is no difference in the way we celebrate.
So merry atheist Christmas to all. And to all, a good night.