Merry Christmas everyone!
And yes, we uncouth unbelievers truly mean Merry Christmas when we say that. I find it a little bit strange that devout believers think that Atheists are merely polite but probably insincere when they wish someone a Merry Christmas, yet have no such reservation when someone of a different religion – say, a Jew or Hindu – does the same. It should be clear to anyone that
- well-wishes come from the heart, not mind. They don’t require reason and are thus compatible with all religions.
- it’s the the believers of a competing faith who are far much more likely to be polite rather than sincere; after all, they know you are stupid enough to believe in the wrong gods. Atheists merely suspect this.
And yet, it’s Atheists who get accused of grinchian behavior: devout believers in the USA passed a completely unnecessary bill that made it legal to say ‘Merry Christmas’. In these instances, they probably were preventive strikes (a religious version of the Bush Doctrine so to say) against the perceived threat that atheist might think about making the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ illegal in schools – as part of their alleged War on Christmas.
Of course, there are some cringeworthy actions from Atheists around Christmas time – the small-minded annual controversy some misguided Atheists start when they want to ban nativity scenes. To me these scenes are more proof of a Disneyan understanding of Christianity than anything else – most of these scenes look like something straight out of a fairytale ride in an amusement park. Let these guys have their fun, guys! We have bigger fish to fry.
But looking at the world we find that intolerant, petty religious people are on the forefront of the ‘Forbidden Christmas’ business. This year alone, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Brunei and Tajikistan have actually banned celebrating Christmas – with punishments up to five years in jail should you be caught. Their rationale: Christmas is ‘unislamic’. Wow. That’s a surprise! And it only took them a few centuries to figure that out.
But let’s be honest. It just bugs these medieval dimwitted clerics that another religion has a couple of fun days. To fundamental believers, fun is always bad. Plus, they love to be able to tell people what they must not do – that’s pretty much the raison d’être for most organized religions.
So these countries ban Christmas because it allegedly threatens their great, peaceful religion. Which is at least somewhat ironic – given the hundreds of thousands Muslims that are currently fleeing their home to infidel Europe and US, where they can live in the peace and happiness that their devout islamist brethren deny them at home.
So, as a true Atheist please believe me that I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Splendid Solstice – wherever you are, and whatever you believe.
Take care, and peace!