A conservative commentator recently editorialized:
For centuries, atheism has been the rake lurking around the edges of the Christmas party, but now it's slurping from the punch bowl in the middle of the room.
Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are selling atheist manifestos by the bin, and teens are soaking up blasphemous bits on Comedy Central and HBO. The movie version of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass is peddling a villainous Catholic Church to kids. And the Christmas concert at public schools has long since morphed into the Winter concert.
In terms of cultural clout, it's a good time to be an atheist in America.
(source: Humanevents.com, Robert Knight)
Well, clearly the Christian Yahoos are on the run...
The Blogosphere is Abuzz with the War on Christmas. Here are a few interesting reads:
A controversial Christmas card reading "O come all ye faithless" has been strongly criticized by Christians as an "ill judged and insensitive joke." Borders book stores began giving away the card free with every copy of Richard Dawkins' well known atheist work, The God Delusion, this Christmas.
The Rev. Jonathan Edwards, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. said the idea was "crass."
The Christmas season's "Peace on earth, good will to man" is not playing well this year. Ironically, the problem that this religious holiday is up against is, of all things, religion. If you doubt this, I point you to the Nov. 3 cover story of The Economist entitled "The New Wars Of Religion."
In this article, Philip Jenkins, one of America's top religious scholars, claims that when historians look back on this century, they will probably see religion as "the prime animating and destructive force in human affairs, guiding attitudes to political liberty, concepts of nationhood, conflicts and wars." If the first seven years of this century are an indicator, Jenkins is on to something.
Santa Claus is coming to town. That's great and all, but if you're an American you probably enlist the services of the same Santa everyone else does: fat, jolly, dressed in fur, gives rich kids great presents and poor kids crap, always gives kids dolls and trains and other generic presents in the cartoons, but when it comes to real life he's inexplicably down with major name brands.
Seriously, in a country where no two people can order the same coffee drink, why is there only one Santa Claus?
"Dad, why do you and Mum give me gifts every year on my birthday and on Christmas? Not that I don't want them... but why?" asked the 9 year old girl.
"Because we love you of course!" replied her father.
"No, I mean, why do we give everybody gifts at this time of year? ..."
The father ... turned around and looked at his daughter to whom he could not lie. He could not tell her a tall tale of Santa Claus or Rudolph. Even younger he had vaguely told her about how a mommy and daddy use their private parts when they are really in love to make a baby. ... The subject of Christmas ... he could lot lie about that either.
The father began, "You see, a long time ago before we had cars and planes and television, people ...
Americans all over the country in all walks of life look forward to getting a day off on December 25, a day which has traditionally (and almost certainly erroneously) been celebrated as the birth day of Jesus Christ, savior for all Christians. What's wrong with that? Nothing, really -- except possibly the fact that it is a holiday which is legally recognized/mandated by our government. It certainly appears as though our government has taken the stance of officially endorsing a holy day of one particular religion.
That, of course, would be unacceptable....
Santa is pissed. He's roaring abuse at the Christmas-stealing atheist grinches who've erected a "tree of knowledge" between the nativity scene and the Old Glory statue on the Chester County Courthouse lawn.
It's a comical sight. Pissed Santas always are. But it's more than that. It's symbolic. It's about Lyra from The Golden Compass with her gypsy and polar bear chums fighting against those God tells to bomb abortion clinics and fly planes into skyscrapers.
Unless you sympathize with those folks, of course. In which case it's about the ongoing campaign to rip America from God's bosom.
Let me chime in with my complete agreement with PZ and Greg Laden over the subject of unbelievers, even outspoken atheists, celebrating and enjoying Christmas. They both mention Richard Dawkins' recent statement that he enjoys Christmas and sings carols and the like, and Albert Mohler's ridiculous reaction to those statements. It's all quite absurd. As PZ points out, a non-Christian can enjoy Christmas just like a non-Christian can enjoy Christian music.
Hi I find the anti atheist rhetoric a bit harsh. There is no such thing as atheism. Atheist are just people that do not buy into the god delusion. We do not meet and sing songs or proselytize. We do believe that people should be free to not believe in god without Christian bigotry. Cheers GARY