Friday, October 2, 2009

“The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas”


Jewish date:  14 Tishri 5769.

Today’s holiday:  ‘Erev Sukkoth.  (Lots of ritual ahead for the next nine days.)

Worthy cause of the day:  “Stop Wildlife Poisoning on Public Lands” and “President Obama: Stop the Senate Democrats kneecapping health care reform.

Today’s topic:  “The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas”.  I find this whole idea bizarre. There is an irony that just as Christianity usurped features of other religions (including Christmas) itself in self-promotion, atheism (which most definitely for the likes of Dawkins and co. is a full-fledged religion, whether they really want to admit it or not) is trying to usurp a feature of Christianity. But what they are trying to absorb, other than set up their own holiday on December 25, I have no clue. The core of what Christmas is supposed to be about, the birth of Jesus, is anathema to militant atheism. The surface features, e.g., having a holiday on or about December 25 and the Christmas tree, are European pagan, so far as I know, and should also be considered anathema. Take those away and you have… what? A generic winter holiday? Even the concept of “holiday” is (or at least originally was) religious, so the whole idea should be anathema. This idea in the most positive light of something not well thought-out and at worst as a Ken Rove-style publicity stunt to try to rally together all the obnoxious atheists they can and anger all the Christians they can.

My advice: Let the Dawkinsian atheists found an unholiday on some date relevant to atheism, celebrating something actually relevant to atheism, and showing what is so great about atheism.

Shabbath shalom, and ḥagh kasher wesameaḥ.