Season's greetings from the secular side

  • Article by: AUGUST BERKSHIRE
  • Updated: November 23, 2008 - 7:59 AM

Motivations may vary, but we all can spread joy and goodwill at this time of year.

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astrocomfyNov. 23, 08 8:17 AM

Thanks for the article! I was just writing something about how I, as an atheist, am absolutely NOT involved in any war on Christmas, I love the holidays. It's a wonderful time of year. My hope is that the joy people spread around the holidays is something they can start to think about year round.

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vinnie_333Nov. 23, 08 9:43 AM

I'm another atheist that loves Christmas. Referring to it as the "holiday season" doesn't seem like a "war" to me at all. Rather, it seems inclusive and reminds me that there are many people of many faiths enjoying this festive time of year.

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grishnakNov. 23, 0811:24 AM

Though I am not an atheist nor a christian, this was great article pointing out that those of us who believe non-traditional beliefs believe very strongly in the rights of others to celebrate the holidays as long as they are not telling us how to celebrate ours. Happy Holidays Everyone.

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melvinNov. 23, 0811:30 AM

with folks wanting to celebrate in a secular fashion. I was raised in a very religious background and for me December is a rejoiceful time to remember what we have been told is the birth of Christ. Though I know in reality it was probably the summer months. It is a time set aside to remember the event. I do not have an issue with "Happy Holidays" or any version thereof. I do believe that folks should be able to say 'Merry Christmas' without feeling they are not politically correct. I do think it is sad that school programs are now rejecting what I thought were basic 'holiday.......or christmas' songs. Over the centuries many features of the season have changed meaning....or lost the orginial intent. However, that should not change the basic sense of 'goodwill' to all people, christian, muslim, jew, budhist, or atheist.

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astrocomfyNov. 23, 0811:47 AM

Merry Christmas from an atheist! :)

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ksroeslerNov. 23, 08 2:29 PM

Stupid article. Dont try to deny the obvious. Its Christmas. Its in your face. Its not happy holidays. What "holidays" are you celebrating? Hannaka, christmas, kwannza? What is the "HOLIDAY" Stop trying to deny the obvious, regardless your religious preference.

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ksroeslerNov. 23, 08 2:31 PM

and a happy whatever to all who celebrate!

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astrocomfyNov. 23, 08 3:47 PM

ksroesler, did ya wake up on the wrong side of bed, or what? :) I like that you deny all holidays except Christmas. That's pretty fun. You must be an uber-atheist for holidays or something!

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sqweelsNov. 24, 08 9:26 PM

I agree with August Berkrshire in his Nov. 23rd commentary that what has come to be called the Holiday Season has a secular side that should be considered all-inclusive and broader in scope than one single “holy day”. By now we all know that it’s a misnomer to call Jesus “the reason for the season”, but it’s still important for a lot of people to celebrate “Christ Mass” on Dec. 25th. Christmas is therefore “plugged in” to the broader set of mostly pagan traditions, and so are Hanukkah and Kwanzaa for their part, with New Years being the all-inclusive wrap-up. There is no movement to eliminate altogether observances of the birth of Jesus, but relegating the Christian aspect to first among equals makes the Holiday Season more inclusive and better able to perform its mission of promoting peace on Earth and good will towards all. The flip side of this is that Jews and other non-Christians can relax and embrace many of the customs that they too had mistakenly assumed were strictly for Christians. Hanukkah already has lights and gift giving, and some families have a “Hanukkah Bush”, but there’s nothing really un-kosher about Santa Claus, either. Technically he’s not Saint Nicholas, and when was the last time you heard a Santa Claus character mention Jesus? Interestingly, a couple of my co-workers are from India and they tell me that mainstream Hindus over there celebrate “Christmas” with all the familiar trappings (except the manger scenes). The Muslims? Not so much, unfortunately.

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whopadoNov. 26, 08 9:19 AM

In the first place, Christmas is an official federal holiday, so it is secular. Everybody gets the day off, regardless of their religion. That being said, I still feel free to dislike it. The advertising started before Halloween. These are crass, shmaltzy, assinine campaigns to make us buy, buy, BUY worthless crap because it is the "perfect gift". Then there are all of the saccarine, overacted, overblown TV melodramas about the "Christmas Spirit". Gag! And why is it that everybody has to go around saying "Merry Christmas" to everybody? Maybe I am not a Christian, not that Jesus has much to do with Christmas in America today. Maybe I celebrate something entirely different. Why do people assume that I don't? And can we please turn off that damn muzak that blankets every mall and chokes the airwaves? You people can go ahead and celebrate whatever it is you think Christmas is all about, just keep it out of my face. I'll try to be civil, even though I am good and heartily sick of the whole spectacle by December. I'll take the day off and celebrate another annoying season ending.

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