Pharyngula

The War on Christmas escalates

Now the Catholic League — you know it’s going to get ugly when Bill Donohue joins the fray — has bought a billboard near the American Atheists’ billboard. The pro-superstition sign says, “You Know It’s Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus“. Isn’t that sweet? It’s just like the religious side to proclaim a falsehood. Anyway, they’re welcome to buy the ad space. The real winners here are the commercial enterprises marketing billboards and selling, selling, selling…and when you get right down to it, isn’t that what Christmas is really all about?

Meanwhile, the British have their own weird version of an indignant Christian majority standing up against oppression: a group has launched the Not Ashamed campaign, in which Christians are urged to be shameless, as if they’ve ever had a problem with that.

Paul Sims calls them out on the silliness. They’re seeing the same ridiculous whining over there that we are here, where outraged empurpled Christians claim that “Merry Christmas” is an endangered phrase and somehow they’re being repressed by the fact that sometimes people say “Season’s Greetings!” or “Happy Holidays!”, which I have to say as an atheist are about the two least ferocious battle cries I could imagine. In response to the Christian persecution complex over Christmas, he says:

But it isn’t happening. When are campaigners like Carey – and members of the government like Eric Pickles – going to take a look around them and finally admit that there is no widespread movement to ban Christmas. Lots of non-religious people (I’d wager the majority) even quite like it. I know I do. Some might even (whisper it…) confess that they quite enjoy hearing the odd carol, and find the local nativity scene (yes they still exist) quite endearing. Sure, there are Season’s Greetings cards and the like, but I guarantee that your local card shop will have plenty of religious ones too. It’s called catering to a diverse market – Christmas is a Christian festival, yes, but it’s also a mid-winter celebration (whose history stretches back to pagan times) that means lots of different things to lots of different people. But one thing we can all agree on is that it’s an enjoyable time of year, whether you include the baby Jesus or not. Banning it would be a really bad (and quite frankly bizarre) thing to do.

He also has a poll question. Would you believe that so far, it looks like people will still be able to celebrate Christmas even when the atheist dictators take over the universe?

Would you like to ban the Christian version of Christmas?

Yes 11.39%

No 88.61%

Of course, the evil truth is that I don’t want to ban Christmas either — I plan to coopt it as an atheist holiday. Bwahahahahahaha!