Should atheists practice holidays like Christmas and Easter?

Asked by: Bender75
  • Why are we picking on Atheists?

    This is another silly question; it is pointless.

    Atheists don’t believe God or gods exist. That is it!

    Atheists don’t recognize or celebrate anything religious, e.G., Christmas, Easter. But, they do celebrate those Holiday festivities with their relatives and friends who are Christians.

    Christmas has not been about Jesus’s birth in the last century, except for the religious fanatics. Most people do not go to church on Christmas or Easter. For children, Christmas has never been about Jesus’s birth; it is about getting presents. Same is true about Easter; it is about hunting for eggs and candy. These are huge family events, mainly for the kids. Sure, you might say a prayer over the dinner meal; but, that is the only time during Christmas or Easter Day that God or Jesus is mentioned. When prayers are said, as an Atheist, I keep my eyes open, do not bow my head, and do not recite any words; and, I say to myself how superstitious, when will this nonsense stop?

    Buddhists (300 million), Hindus (1 Billion), Sikhs (23 million), Muslims (1.6 Billion), Bahais (5 million) and others do not celebrate or recognize Christmas or Easter. The total world population is 7.1 Billion. Just on those listed, 41% of the World’s population does not celebrate Christmas or Easter.

    During the first 300 years after Jesus’s death, his birthday was not celebrated. The early church did not give much emphasis to birthdays – not even the birth of Christ. No one knows for sure on what day Christ was born or died.

    “Dionysus Exiguus, a sixth century monk, who was the first to date all of history from December 25th, the year of our Lord 1. Other traditions gave dates as early as mid-November or as late as March. How did Christmas come to be celebrated on December 25th? Cultures around the Mediterranean and across Europe observed feasts on or around December 25th, marking the winter solstice. The Jews had a festival of lights. Germans had a yule festival. Celtic legends connected the solstice with Balder, the Scandinavian sun god who was struck down by a mistletoe arrow. At the pagan festival of Saturnalia, Romans feasted and gave gifts to the poor. Drinking was closely connected with these pagan feasts. At some point, a Christian bishop may have adopted the day to keep his people from indulging in the old pagan festival.”

    That being said, Atheists do not live in a vacuum or in isolation. Most atheists have relatives or friends that celebrate Christmas and Easter. Atheists participate in those holidays, not as believers, but as family members.

  • If they wish

    It's not hurting me if someone wants to practice the secularized version of religious traditions. For Christmas we have both Santa and Jesus as icons for the holiday, and with Easter we also have Jesus and the Easter Bunny. As long as you don't try to change it from religious to secular for everyone (for example, banning nativity scenes or trying to take "Christ" out of Christmas), then it's fine. Most people celebrate those holidays anyway. If someone feels they shouldn't, then leave that candy on the shelf for the next guy. In fact, many Christians don't celebrate those holidays because they were originally a marriage of pagan and Catholic traditions (hardly what they are today).

  • Not About Religion

    You do realize when most people think of Christmas, they don't think of Christ being born. They think of gifts, Santa, and Coke, the soda that made Santa famous. Holidays and more commerstalized tradtions then they are religious holidays. If your family invites you to a Christmas party, are you going to say, "Are you going to hail Jesus when I come?" No. Your going to say, "Oh, sure, what do you want me to bring."

  • Its about family...Not religion

    Ok this actually upset me. JUST BECAUSE I may or may not believe in your god does not mean I may not celebrate Christmas or Easter. My family is Catholic on my dads side and Lutheran on my Moms side. So I grew up with Christmas and Easter. To us it is not about the birth of Christ or giving gifts its about surrounding ourselves with our Family and being near our loved ones.
    Some members of my family really get into it being about the birth of christ and his resurrection which i respect their practice, but to me it is not about that, again its about being near family.

  • Freedom of expression

    Everyone has the right to celebrate any way they wish as long as they do not cause physical harm to another. In practicing religious celebrations in a superficial way, atheists may be encouraged to devote fully to the religion so something to win for religions too by allowing non-believers to celebrate as they do. Even more so it helps spread the religion if more people are aware of it.

  • Acknowledging religious influence around us is simply engagement in the real world.

    Even as an atheist, I recognize the strength of these traditions in the society I share with Christians, people of other religions and agnostics and see them as a touchstone we all can share in. The sharing of a common culture shouldn't require us to all agree on matters of faith, but exploring this aspect of our culture gives us a common frame of reference on which to build better understanding between believers and non-believers and that's the cornerstone on which a tolerant society may be built. Should it be mandatory that an atheist (or anyone else) be required to celebrate Easter? Of course not.

    Should an atheist be free to explore thought and reflect on the themes of these holidays? Of course; believing in only this life should make the idea of exploring and experiencing as much as possible in that short span of time as very appealing.

    There are themes in these holidays that all human beings can recognize and identify with. Christmas has strong associations with love and the formation of family, our most important social structure. Easter is very much about death and renewal, a process as relevant and familiar as the four seasons and it's a celebration of the most admirable strictly human trait: the ability and willingness to sacrifice oneself for the benefit of others. An atheist does not need to share the faith to appreciate time set aside each year to celebrate these universally important themes. For atheists, who expect neither damnation nor reward in any "next life", reflection on these themes must be a necessary part of a considered life.

    On another level, atheists need days off from the other religion that is consuming our existence: capitalism. If we mowed down the traditions that inspire several vacation days a year, the powers that be in government and business would be working us all 24/7 with no time for family or reflection.

    There is no hypocrisy in human beings sharing a part of the human experience with those who believe differently. It's an essential part of tolerance, empathy and understanding.

  • They can but they should acknowledge its meaning

    I was uncomfortable reading answers from both sides of this debate and it took me a while to pin down how I felt. As a Christian I have no problem with non believers enjoying the Christmas and celebrating but I do have a problem with them telling me Christmas is no longer a religious holiday because it has been commercialised.
    Think about this for a moment. With increasing multiculturalism we now teach about and celebrate Eid and Hanuka and other religions celebrations in our schools. Given a chance the shops with try to monopolise on this eventually and encourage us to celebrate. But typically once they are going with it they will suppress the religious nature of the celebration. If everyone started celebrating these occasions would it then be okay in 20 years time to tell a Jew that Hanuka is no longer about its religious meaning but about giving gifts just because now a non Jewish minority celebrate it incorrectly?
    This is what has happened to Christmas. So in answer: I have no problem with atheists celebrating Christmas as long as they acknowledge what they are celebrating, even if they do not believe in it. Otherwise call it midwinter feast.

  • Some religious people

    Hate Christmas, and if they had a choice (if they didnt have a family or kids), they wouldnt celebrate it... So why should non religious people like atheists not get to celebrate Christmas? In this modern day world its a holiday based on family, food and presents... Not religious beliefs!

  • Some religious people

    Hate Christmas, and if they had a choice (if they didnt have a family or kids), they wouldnt celebrate it... So why should non religious people like atheists not get to celebrate Christmas? In this modern day world its a holiday based on family, food and presents... Not religious beliefs!

  • If they want

    Atheists can celebrate them because in this day in age the holidays like Easter and Christmas are celebrated for chocolate and presents and seeing family you haven't in a while not Jesus, i know a lot of butt hurt Christians will be replying to this but honestly it is just the complete truth.

  • They should not

    I do not think atheists should practice holidays like Christmas or Easter. I do not think they should because they are religious holidays and that is disrespecting the religion by not celebrating it or respecting it fully for what it actually is. I believe when someone who doesn't believe in something like an atheist ,pretends to celebrate a holiday, it is disrespectful to the religion.

  • No they can't

    Atheists believe that no God exists so why should they celebrate the birth of Christ, the founder of Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) not mention he holds a significant place in Islam as a prophet. Easter is the same way, why do they want to be involved with the resurrection of Christ which they so blatantly denied ever happened. Christmas is not about the presents, candy canes, and lights, it's about the holy virgin birth. Unfortunately popular American culture has replaced Jesus with Santa Claus, and the resurrection with the Easter bunny (which in fact is a pagan fertility celebration dating back to Samarians).

  • Absolutely not, it is hypocritical.

    So the same people that say that there is no God, and are affirmatively not a part of any religion, should take part in a religious festival honouring God. It is absolutely ridiculous, and any atheist who does take part in Christmas and Easter is entirely hypocritical. I mean why should someone who affirms no religion participate in a religious festival?

  • Load of crap. Atheists do not believe in God so you should not celebrate festivals about God.

    You don't believe in God so don't celebrate. How dare you. Go to your damn job and work. Why should you get a holiday for a celebration you don't even believe in. Yes Christmas came from saturnalia, however that is not what we are celebrating. We are celebrating God, a being you don't even think exists. That is what the holiday is about. Your just being greedy. You just want your nice food and your presents but you should get nothing, why? BECAUSE YOU DON'T EVEN BELIEVE IN THE MEANING BEHIND THESE THINGS!

  • No no no

    Atheist cannot celebrate a Christian Christmas holiday. I respect there religious views. But I draw the line at Christmas. Atheists cannot celebrate Christmas because the dum fucks don't believe in God. To all atheist who celebrate Christmas you are all hypocrats. No one asked you to celebrate Christmas, so don't.

  • Cultural Appropriation, to speak in their language.

    I find it ironic and hypocritical that so many members of the so-called "nonconformist" group, including the atheists, agnostics, and establishment-haters, love to police and dictate the actions and words of others, yet will continue to participate in religious holidays. Yes, most Christians understand the pagan roots of the Christmas date, yet the history of the specific date is much deeper than some Christians taking it from pagans. Quite contrary, early Christians celebrated the birth of Our Lord on this particular date because of the pagan festivities. The celebrations would be for Jesus, yet to the pagans would assume the celebrations were all completely pagan in nature. The Christmas tree was not stolen from pagan Vikings, but rather, was introduced by Norse converts when they converted to Christianity. Really, nothing was "stolen" from any culture for Christmas. Early Christians were just trying to avoid being killed, converts bought their own traditions, and for atheists to mock us and our history by joining in shows a lack of empathy for those who risked their lives for their faith, ignorance of the actual origins and transitions of certain aspects of the holiday, and general arrogance and self-exultation.

  • Atheists should not celebrate Christmas

    If atheists do not believe in God then why are they celebrating his birthday? This would be like saying you do not believe that a person exists but then celebrating his birthday...It is very stupid and proves how ignorant atheists are. I feel like atheists should not celebrate the birth of Christ, someone who they do not believe in.

  • Of course not !!!

    It's a Christian holiday the only reason it is around in the first place is to celebrate the birth of our lord and savior. Atheists fight against any public religious display yet want to celebrate the holiday, only because it brings gifts? Talk about hypocritical.
    They are the reason why saying merry Christmas has become so controversial yet they want to celebrate it. This just makes me mad!!!!

  • Hypocrite only helping Corporate Greed

    Atheists are one of the biggest reasons why Christmas and Easter are so commercial. It is sad. They wonder why there is no respect for one another. How can they, when you do not have God in their life. I pray for them daily. I have a friend who says he is atheist, yet when he is in need of surgery he calls and asks for prayers. Go figure.

  • Cannot have it both ways

    To me its a case of you are either an atheist all year round or you are not. Just as a vegan would not eat animals every day only to make exceptions and eat turkey at Xmas or lamb cos it's easter why would an atheist want anything To do with religion? No matter how tenuous the roots. It just does not make sense to me. I am one of Jehovahs witnesses and l do not celebrate either. Neither holiday is mention in the Bible and both are pagan in origin.

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