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.