Hey, That’s Our Holiday!

Question from Marilyn:
Why do Atheists celebrate Christian holidays?

Answer by SmartLX:
By and large, we don’t. Take a look at this list: atheists don’t celebrate Lent, Pentecost, The Assumption of Mary, Christ the King, All Souls’ Day, All Saints’ Day or over 20 others. And that’s without considering the individual saints’ days that occupy literally every day on the calendar.

You are of course referring to Christmas, Halloween (All Hallows Eve) and possibly Easter. There are two main responses to this.

1. In most Western countries, Christmas and Easter have state-designated vacation periods including at least one public holiday each, often several. These are holdovers from attempts by governments to emphasise their religiosity in eras gone by. Atheists in these countries get these holidays too, whether they value the reasons behind them or not, so they usually just enjoy them as time off work.

2. Atheists do often actively celebrate Christmas and Halloween, and in some cases Easter. This is because these holidays have developed cherished traditions that have almost nothing to do with their religious origins: the gift-giving, the novelty costumes, the chocolate eggs and so on. To support these traditions an encyclopedia of secular mythology has sprung up around each, not believed at all by anyone over a certain age but still enjoyed as a shared seasonal game. Santa brings the presents in December, the Easter Bunny brings the eggs in March/April, and all manner of monsters break loose in October. That’s all fun no matter what you believe.

I do hope that no one reading this thinks the honest answer to Marilyn’s question is, “because atheists secretly believe in Christianity”, but I know for a fact that many do think so. Some people just won’t live with the thought that there are others who disagree with them about an important thing.

7 thoughts on “Hey, That’s Our Holiday!”

  1. We should keep in mind that the origin of these seasonal holidays precedes christianity by thousands of years. Saturnalia, spring festivals, harvest celebrations, all were taken by christians and arrogantly claimed as their own. Arrogance, along with being judgmental, unforgiving, smug, intentionally ignorant, and hypocritical are nearly pre-requisites for any theist.

    1. The ones that you mentioned are not Christian holidays. Those have been added by the Catholic church and they have nothing to do with Christ. And you are right there are other things going on behind each of these holidays that detract more from Christianity then they add. Easter was founded by pagans, and was used to worship the goddess of fertility. Halloween, was used to honor death, and taught false teaching that the dead when they died were not dead but gone on to heaven, hell, or purgatory. Mary Christ’s mother, was a servant as are all the rest who served God. She is dead and buried and waiting for Christ to return the second time to resurrect her and take her with all of the rest of God’s children, to heaven. She can not, nor should the lie be taught that, she can go before God and mediate for man. Only Jesus can do this. Some may not secretly believe in Christianity. But some are on the boarder of not being Atheists. And I know that there is a tug of war going on, in everyone’s hearts and mind, as to whether there is a God or not. But for the ones who are seeking to try to escape hell and, not eternal torment, God is not vicious, but eternal death, will not find escape from it by just saying they believe. They, we must all openly accept Christ as our Savior. And serve Him with all of our hearts. And even though there are those who say that He is a myth, myths, don’t cause people to be healed. They don’t cause people to change from lives of ruin to that of serving. And myths don’t create. Myths do not fashion organisms that are so well designed that they look designed. And that is because they are designed. I know, most people know it and even some Atheists have said that it looks or appears designed. And nothing that Atheism or Evolution, has offered by way of explanation as to why it all appears designed, answers that question.

  2. Too bad you don’t realize that there is a book made up 66 different books called a Bible that does say that the “miracles” happened. They are mentioned by those who either had heard of the miracles from someone else who had seen or had been told of them, when referring to the Old Testament, or they were told by someone who was an eye witness of those miracles. I can understand your lack of belief, in the Bible, but what many scholars have found was that all the picture, (the surroundings, participants, and circumstances are or have been confirmed, if not the direct miracle) The story about the 10 commandments, and where it was given. The story about the lake that Jesus walked upon the water. The feeding of the multitudes. And today, there are too many people who testify to miracles happening to them or for someone that they know personally, to just dismiss as mass hysteria. Any way mass hysteria usually causes all to see the same thing. But with these miracles individuals didn’t exhibit signs of mass hysteria. They didn’t need to be isolated. They were in their right minds. And calmly testified that they had been healed or had an encounter with God. These testimonies come from around the world. From people from all walks of life. And if you want to have your own encounter with God, all you need to do is seriously want to meet Him, is take the time to ask Him into your heart. And to change your heart. And to live in your heart. If you really want that, He will not disappoint you.

  3. A festival/ religious holiday is a community occasion at the end of the day – its good fun to celebrate. Doesn’t mean that the said atheist is adopting double standards / is a closet believer/ is wagering as Pascal would have him/her wager 🙂
    Being born into a Hindu family, I indulge in the biggies of Hinduism – Diwali, Dussehra, Holi.
    I personally also celebrate Christmas, Eid, Gurupurab (the festival of the Sikhs) etc.

    Yikes … I hope I haven’t been sending confusing signals to the one true religion and its deity (whichever religion that is). But just in case I’ve been, I’d like to clarify, I am actually just a heathen non-believer looking to have some fun.

  4. this is for smrtxl

    in the last paragraph of your reply you said that some people cannot stand that someone else has different views on important issues for them.

    i would say that this is not the main reason why theists cannot stand us theists, it’s not only our disagreement with them in an issue important to them, because there are many more important issues for all of us, theists included.

    but this very issue, our disagreement with the theists over the ‘existence’ of ‘god’, is the essence of their entire lives. they cannot stand to think that someone so much insults their ‘god’ that this s/he says there is no such thing as ‘god’.

    it’s too much to stand even for a normally intelligent person, not to speak about simpletons and neurotics that theists are.

    too much to ask of them.

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