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  #1  
Old Dec 24th 2014, 06:21 AM
shekib82 shekib82 is offline
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Default Why atheists celebrate christmas

I know a lot of western atheists who celebrate christmas. But I don't understand why? I mean I could see someone who has a religious family celebrate christmas, but an atheist family should not celebrate christmas at all. They should neither have a special dinner, nor have a tree nor exchange presents.

So for the atheists in here, why do you do it?
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Old Dec 24th 2014, 06:57 AM
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NickKIELCEPoland NickKIELCEPoland is offline
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

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Originally Posted by shekib82 View Post
I know a lot of western atheists who celebrate christmas. But I don't understand why? I mean I could see someone who has a religious family celebrate christmas, but an atheist family should not celebrate christmas at all. They should neither have a special dinner, nor have a tree nor exchange presents.

So for the atheists in here, why do you do it?
My family celebrates Christmas. There are Christians in my family and there are also people with no religion (I am an example of someone with no religion) in my family. It's a time for the family to meet up, and I think that's nice. But I'd be just as happy to have this family gathering at any other time of year.
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Old Dec 24th 2014, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

I'm surprised Christians celebrate this pagan holiday. Isn't that a heresy?

Christmas is business, big business. It's all about consumerism. Even the midnight mass is a m'as tu vu event where wealth is supposed to be shown off.
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Old Dec 24th 2014, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

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Originally Posted by shekib82 View Post
I know a lot of western atheists who celebrate christmas. But I don't understand why? I mean I could see someone who has a religious family celebrate christmas, but an atheist family should not celebrate christmas at all. They should neither have a special dinner, nor have a tree nor exchange presents.

So for the atheists in here, why do you do it?
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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
I'm surprised Christians celebrate this pagan holiday. Isn't that a heresy?
Indeed, it is a very ancient holiday, long predating Christianity.

And when 'non-Christians' celebrate xmas, I note that such celebrations consist entirely of Santa Claus, mistletoe, holly, xmas trees, colorful decorations, presents for children and lots of festive food and alcoholic beverages. With the exception of Santa Claus, these are all elements of the ancient pagan festivals of Roman Saturnalia or German Yule (though, to be correct, Santa is actually derived from Chronos/Saturn, so he's completely pagan too, especially when he's riding on Odin's flying sleigh pulled by magic reindeer instead of magic goats).

And as Dominick mentioned, I too am surprised when I see those who actually are Christians celebrating such ancient pagan customs. Shouldn't they be at mass or something?

Bottom line is that there is nothing very Christian or religious about Christmas. It is a popular festival and continues because it is a celebration of A) consumerism and B) family.
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Old Dec 24th 2014, 05:50 PM
Pan Wołodyjowski Pan Wołodyjowski is offline
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

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I'm surprised Christians celebrate this pagan holiday. Isn't that a heresy?
It is not. Christianity took many events and traditions from pagan religions. For example, in Slavic Rus, the god of cattle Veles became known as St. Blaise - other considered Veles as a devil, due to horns. God of thunder, main antagonist of Veles - Perun, became known as St. Vitus, archangel Michael or Elijah the Thunderer. There were many local similarities which were supposed to make Christianity more attractive to pagans. The other similarity between Christianity and Slavic religion is "gromnica". Gromnica is a Christian candle, "settled" on the altar in the church. However, "grom" means "thunder" - the god of thunders was Perun and "gromnica" itself was a Perun's holiday. In the past people were putting gromnica near the window to protect the house from thunders.

So no, not really - it is not a heresy, it is a dogma.

I am not a Christian, though I live in Catholic family, so I have to participate in such events. Somehow... tradition.
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Old Dec 24th 2014, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

Tradition, bro.
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Old Dec 25th 2014, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

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Tradition, bro.
I don't think that's good enough explanation, though I admit is probably one of the best explanations.

Slavery and segregation are both "traditional" in US culture. We don't keep up those traditions do we?
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Old Dec 26th 2014, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

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I don't think that's good enough explanation, though I admit is probably one of the best explanations.

Slavery and segregation are both "traditional" in US culture. We don't keep up those traditions do we?
No, but my atheist household putting up a nativity doesn't harm anyone. Nor does having an excuse to exchange gifts.*



*Inherent dangers of capitalism notwithstanding.
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Old Dec 27th 2014, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

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No, but my atheist household putting up a nativity doesn't harm anyone. Nor does having an excuse to exchange gifts.*



*Inherent dangers of capitalism notwithstanding.
I'm merely pointing out that 'tradition' may certainly be a necessary part of any explanation of why Christmas is so popular, but it definitely isn't sufficient to explain why Christmas remains popular.
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Old Dec 27th 2014, 06:49 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
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Default Re: Why atheists celebrate christmas

That is the difference: atheists celebrate, Christians observe

Two days ago, at the Holy Mary Immaculate Conception Cathedral here in Moscow, the heart of Russian Catholicism, believers participate in holiday prayers


Nice to see many young people. I like seeing youth in church, even if Catholic rather than Orthodox, still, good Christian Russians. Our future.
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