1. Account suspended
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    26 Nov '08 22:542 edits
    hi it is just a simple question with no hidden agenda, but i could not find out if this was true or not, i just want to know if atheists celebrate Christmas and thanksgiving and other religious holidays, or if there are any atheistic celebrations, like i dunno, the repeal of blasphemy laws, or the initiating and implementation of the universal declaration of human rights, or the birthday of Charles Darwin, Chairman Mao day etc etc

    for i guess if you have kids it must be tough to avoid the peer pressure, but its not really that much about religion anyway so probably you could get away with it

    regards Robbie
  2. Joined
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    26 Nov '08 22:59
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    hi it is just a simple question with no hidden agenda, but i could not find out if this was true or not, i just want to know if atheists celebrate Christmas and thanksgiving and other religious holidays, or if there are any atheistic celebrations, like i dunno, the repeal of blasphemy laws, or the initiating and implementation of the universal declar ...[text shortened]... really that much about religion anyway so probably you could get away with it

    regards Robbie
    I don't see how the atheist can celebrate Christmas when he doesn't believe there is a God.

    But I'm quite sure they take the day off. With pay!
  3. Account suspended
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    26 Nov '08 23:18
    Originally posted by josephw
    I don't see how the atheist can celebrate Christmas when he doesn't believe there is a God.

    But I'm quite sure they take the day off. With pay!
    i dunno, its a relatively pagan affair but i am not sure if this is ok with them, probably is although i cannot be certain?
  4. Melbourne, Australia
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    26 Nov '08 23:19
    Originally posted by josephw
    I don't see how the atheist can celebrate Christmas when he doesn't believe there is a God.

    But I'm quite sure they take the day off. With pay!
    Here in Melbourne, Australia we have a nationally well known horse race - The Melbourne Cup - interestingly on the first Tuesday in November every year.
    For all of Melbourne it's a public holiday and I like many other people take the day off. Now I'm not a fan of horse racing myself, I'd rather see a bunch of people thrash each other around a track, but I'm not expecting a holiday for that anytime soon. So, what should I do? Take the day off and be hypocritical, or celebrate a day off work like everyone else?

    But getting back to Christmas, I'm in a bind. It's during our Summer holidays here in Australia and, with me being a teacher, I'm sort of forced to have that day, along with all of the others over a 6 or 7 week period off.
    On top of that, most of my family are Christians and so of course celebrate at this time.
    On top of that I've got two small kids who can't wait for that tinkling of reindeer (or is it kangaroos down here) on the roof.

    Look, I justify celebrating Christmas the same way I justify working in a Catholic school - and yet still be an open atheist.
    When you go for a job in Catholic schools here, you're asked if you can work to the Catholic ethos - I said, quite comfortably, yes, when asked this. I'm not Catholic, not Christian, not religious at all, but to me the Catholic ethos is the ethos of humanity - be nice to other people; be as good a person as you can be.
    I have no problem with that.
    Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Now, despite the historical inaccuracies of his birthdate, I'm more than happy to celebrate his birth. From what I know of him, he seemed to have been a pretty nice guy - generous, caring, helpful, thoughtful. I don't think he's god or the son of god, but so what, I think I can celebrate along with everyone else.
  5. Melbourne, Australia
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    26 Nov '08 23:221 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    i dunno, its a relatively pagan affair but i am not sure if this is ok with them, probably is although i cannot be certain?
    See my previous post, but in simple terms - it is okay with us.
    Hell, my kids do Religious Education in their school - that's okay with me too.
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    26 Nov '08 23:36
    While the core of Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth, most of the season is a based on the pagan celebration of the winter solstice - this includes all the references to snow and winter, the christmas tree, the wreath, the yule log, the mistletoe etc -- none of this has anything to do with religion whatsoever.

    Then there is the more recent development of the Santa Claus Story and the celebration of childhood. And there's the whole ritual of giving each other gifts which is the source of much joy (and stress), and is extremely important to the retail industry -- and none of this has anything to do with religion unless you believe Santa Claus actually exists.

    And then you have Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" - probably the most popular short story ever written. Scrooge and his experiences with the ghosts of Christmas are almost as essential to today's Christmas as Santa Claus. And none of this really has anything to do with religion unless you believe there really are spirits of Christmas.

    And then there are all those Christmas songs - some dating back the medieval times and others having just been written - and songs from just about every time period in between -- and the majority of these songs (especially the ones from this century) not being religious.

    And even the religious aspects of Christmas have a certain magic to it even if you don't believe it actually happened - just like Santa Claus and Scrooge and new-fallen snow.
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    26 Nov '08 23:41
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    hi it is just a simple question with no hidden agenda, but i could not find out if this was true or not, i just want to know if atheists celebrate Christmas and thanksgiving and other religious holidays, or if there are any atheistic celebrations, like i dunno, the repeal of blasphemy laws, or the initiating and implementation of the universal declar ...[text shortened]... really that much about religion anyway so probably you could get away with it

    regards Robbie
    After "The Airing of Grievances" and "The Feats of Strength", I'm thinking the day off couldn't come at a better time.
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    26 Nov '08 23:43
    Originally posted by amannion
    Here in Melbourne, Australia we have a nationally well known horse race - The Melbourne Cup - interestingly on the first Tuesday in November every year.
    For all of Melbourne it's a public holiday and I like many other people take the day off. Now I'm not a fan of horse racing myself, I'd rather see a bunch of people thrash each other around a track, but I' ...[text shortened]... or the son of god, but so what, I think I can celebrate along with everyone else.
    Hi amannion. How've you been?

    Don't get me wrong. I wasn't exactly trashing atheist for taking the day off. I would too. I do, and I don't celebrate Christmas.
  9. Melbourne, Australia
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    26 Nov '08 23:44
    Originally posted by josephw
    Hi amannion. How've you been?

    Don't get me wrong. I wasn't exactly trashing atheist for taking the day off. I would too. I do, and I don't celebrate Christmas.
    No, I didn't detect any 'attack mode' in your post, just me being me ...
  10. Melbourne, Australia
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    26 Nov '08 23:47
    Originally posted by josephw
    Hi amannion. How've you been?

    Don't get me wrong. I wasn't exactly trashing atheist for taking the day off. I would too. I do, and I don't celebrate Christmas.
    I've been good by the way - busy, which has kept me off here for a while.
    How about yourself?
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    26 Nov '08 23:511 edit
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    While the core of Christmas is the celebration of Christ's birth, most of the season is a based on the pagan celebration of the winter solstice - this includes all the references to snow and winter, the christmas tree, the wreath, the yule log, the mistletoe etc -- none of this has anything to do with religion whatsoever.

    Then there is the more recent n't believe it actually happened - just like Santa Claus and Scrooge and new-fallen snow.
    ummm i dont think that you can claim that there is a non religious element running through the entirety whether pagan or christian, for example, in ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast, sound familiar?

    In Rome, the Winter Solstice was celebrated many years before the birth of Christ. The Romans called their winter holiday Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. In January, they observed the Kalends of January, which represented the triumph of life over death. This whole season was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The festival season was marked by much merrymaking. It is in ancient Rome that the tradition of the Mummers was born. The Mummers were groups of costumed singers and dancers who traveled from house to house entertaining their neighbors. From this, the Christmas tradition of caroling was born although we dont get them in scotland, dont know why?

    In northern Europe, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian worship were begun long before the participants had ever heard of Christ. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated the their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born, and was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear next year.

    Huge Yule logs were burned in honor of the sun. The word Yule itself means “wheel,” the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Hollyberries were thought to be a food of the gods.

    The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshiping huge trees.

    its new year that is big in Scotland, Christmas here is generally considered to be for kids getting presents and families 'getting together'.
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    26 Nov '08 23:54
    Originally posted by amannion
    I've been good by the way - busy, which has kept me off here for a while.
    How about yourself?
    I've been busy too, and that's a good thing!

    Been tryin' to brake away from this place for awhile now, but I miss the fun too much, so I keep coming back for more! 😉
  13. Melbourne, Australia
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    27 Nov '08 00:03
    Originally posted by josephw
    I've been busy too, and that's a good thing!

    Been tryin' to brake away from this place for awhile now, but I miss the fun too much, so I keep coming back for more! 😉
    Yeah, I must admit I got a bit sick and tired of running around the same circles.
  14. Donationkirksey957
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    27 Nov '08 00:04
    Originally posted by josephw
    I've been busy too, and that's a good thing!

    Been tryin' to brake away from this place for awhile now, but I miss the fun too much, so I keep coming back for more! 😉
    Admit it! I am your cocaine.
  15. Meddling with things
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    27 Nov '08 00:22
    Yes, of course. Why do christians celebrate christmas, derived as it is from prechristian festivals?
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