Merry Christmas! (with German and Polish Translations)

Dec 24, 2013

I have been challenged to wish somebody a Merry Christmas. Why on Earth would I not? 

German and Polish translations.


When I was Sub-Warden of New College, Oxford, I happily intoned “Benedictus benedicat”  at dinner, on much the same grounds as the late, great philosopher Sir Alfred Ayer: “I will not utter falsehoods but I have no objection to making meaningless statements.” A few years ago I was delighted to be invited to King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, by the then Provost, a dear friend and fellow atheist. I loved joining in the Carols in that breathtakingly beautiful building, and would happily read the Lesson in my own college chapel in the unlikely event that I were invited to do so. 

I suspect that much of the so-called War on Christmas (a vogue phrase in America) is driven not by atheists (as alleged by the US religious right) but by rival religions – and then not so much the rival religions themselves as by an exaggerated “respect” for them, which they may not have requested. Historically it surely was respect for rival religions that drove the American adoption of “Holidays” for “Christmas”, as in “Happy Holiday Season”, the sending of “Holiday Cards”, the piling of “Holiday Presents” around the “Holiday Tree”, stuffing the “Holiday Stocking” or the unfortunate “Holiday Turkey”, and even (though I may have imagined this one) “Father Holidays” jingling his red-nosed reindeer through the sky. I suspect that Rudolph, “Here comes Santa Claus” and the nauseating Jingle Bells were also composed specifically to downplay Christianity in an effort to pander to non-Christian religious sensitivities. Well, give me a real Christmas Carol. I am a culturally Christian atheist, living in a culturally Christian country which is – like the rest of Western Europe and even America – becoming more atheist decade by decade.

 

I cannot claim to like the “commercialisation of Christmas” but devout Christians hate it even more. If all the expensive presents given by people who can’t afford them to people who don’t want them were added up and sent to . . . but you know the rest, and who wants to be a Scrooge or a Grinch? The spirit of kindness, goodwill, generosity, is admirable even if sometimes misdirected. And, whether we like it or not, for most people in this country Christmas has ceased to be a commemoration of the birth of Jesus. If he existed at all, there’s no reason to think he was born in December (other than to coincide conveniently with a pagan solstice festival),  he wasn’t born in Bethlehem and he certainly wasn’t born to a virgin (both the latter two fictions were made up explicitly to fulfil Old Testament prophecies, the last one a mistranslation from Hebrew into Greek).

It’s tempting to celebrate December 25th as the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton but, although one of the greatest geniuses the world has ever known, he was not such a nice man as (at least the fictional persona of) Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

 

Also in German here.

Also in Polish here.

Written By: Richard Dawkins
continue to source article at

64 comments on “Merry Christmas! (with German and Polish Translations)

  • 2
    Alan4discussion says:

    on much the same grounds as the late, great philosopher Sir Alfred Ayer: “I will not utter falsehoods but I have no objection to making meaningless statements.”

    There are plenty of meaningless lyrics, nonsensical word-salads, and um-diddy la-la words in songs, without having to look at carols or hymns.

    Wishing everyone a merry Xmas, superb Saturnalia, splendid solstice, and Yuletide greetings.



    Report abuse

  • I’ve been saying and having said to me, ‘Merry Christmas’, and the like, all day. It’s no more of an issue than various other formalities that have a reference to defunct, or should be, beliefs. Who’s going to avoid taking, or talking about, holidays because they are literally ‘holy days’ and may even have their origins in a religious festival.



    Report abuse

  • 5
    sputnik-d says:

    My issue is not with greetings at all, its the over use of the word ‘blessed.’ Usually people who use it too liberally are overcompensating for something or trying to inflict some sort of superiority. Merry Xmas!



    Report abuse

  • 6
    dormouse says:

    In a shop today one customer said to a shop assistant “merry Christmas”, to which the assistant replied “inshalla”. No-one was offended or even slightly put out and I had to a admit it was a wonderful meeting of cultures. Christmas is a time of year. To some small and decreasing number it is a significant religious ceremony but to most it is a western tradition we have grown up with. As an atheist I can celebrate Christmas just as I don’t have to believe in ghosts to enjoy Halloween.



    Report abuse

  • I think how one feels about this depends on the intensity of the religious background. In Australia you have to look pretty hard to even find a nativity scene. Christmas is a holiday and a boost to the retail sector. I’m perfectly happy to wish someone a Merry Christmas.

    I always thought the UK attitude to religion was summed up in this scene from a well known UK Christmas tear-jerker:

    Karen: So what’s this big news, then?

    Daisy: [excited] We’ve been given our parts in the nativity play. And I’m the lobster.

    Karen: The lobster?

    Daisy: Yeah!

    Karen: In the nativity play?

    Daisy: [beaming] Yeah, first lobster.

    Karen: There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?

    Daisy: Duh.



    Report abuse

  • I too live in a culturally Christian country (Puerto Rico) and am a culturallly Christian atheist. Most of my family are Christian, but tolerant of my atheist ways, which include enjoying the giving and receiving of gifts, love, and good cheer. I think that the “war on Christmas” is over hyped and overrated. We also have Three Kings Day in Puerto Rico, which is mostly for children who get two days for receiving gifts. So “Feliz Navidad” and “Que vivan los reyes” are the traditional season greetings. Of course here the Three Kings ride horses,not camels!
    Feliz Navidad a todos.



    Report abuse

  • 10
    David W says:

    Christmas is a great time to share with family and friends and to promote peace on Earth. No religious beliefs are required. So Merry Christmas to everyone!



    Report abuse

  • 11
    RomeStu says:

    Merry Xmas to you too Richard, and to all on this site. Keep up the great work.

    Don’t forget to raise a glass to Mithras too …… apparantly he’s been feeling a bit left out these past 17 centuries



    Report abuse

  • 12
    Orangutang says:

    A few yrs ago when I first joined RD forums everyone was wishing each other ‘Merry Mythmas’, was surprised I couldn’t find it here anymore, whoever invented it deserves praise for what I still think is a very catchy version of the original statement. So Merry Mythmas everyone!



    Report abuse

  • 13
    abatishchev says:

    While (liberal) jews don’t object, smart atheists don’t as well, in my opinion primarily muslims are in the War on Christmas.
    Their understanding of the religious freedom is a right to foce their (religious) rules. Any attempts to argue or opposite are considered as a violation of this right.
    Alex
    (christian atheist, or christian-as-a-philosophy not as a religion)



    Report abuse

  • 18
    Cartomancer says:

    I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say that “Benedictus benedicat” is a meaningless statement. It may well be meant with religious overtones of divine blessing, but the Latin still works perfectly well as a generic “let something well said be said well”. In that sense it’s basically a placeholder – a kind of “insert appropriate bon mot here” sign.



    Report abuse

  • In the USA, the “War on Christmas” certainly is led by the Atheist sector, but it isn’t to stop Christmas, but to stop government tax dollars from being used to fund it or to pander to the believers. It is a benign holiday, but, to some it needs to be federally supported. But nobody is out to stop neighborhoods from having their personal displays. So it is a made up “war” by Fox News.

    Where I live (Jewish Orthodox town in Israel) there is not a colored light or fir tree to be found. But in Tel Aviv, a big seller to non-believers is fake trees, because the idea of decorating them is considered fun, and it bugs the religious!

    From a high point, I can overlook Bethlehem, which is Muslim controlled, Muslims sell nick-nacks to the pilgrims, and nearly all of the Christians who once lived there have fled Fatah in fear of their lives. But the guests do not seem to notice.

    Happy Christmas to all.



    Report abuse

  • 25
    Flyingtart says:

    Where I’m from (Sweden), the word “christ” is not even included in spelling “christmas”. Instead we call it “Jul”.
    If I remember it right, pagans already celebrated mid-winter around the time of christmas, and when christianity was introduced, people simply switched the celebration of mid-winter to celebration of the birth of christ.



    Report abuse

  • 27
    ATomico says:

    Yes Yes Merry Christmas but how do I unsubscribe from this madness as my inbox is full of Christmas messages, I do appreciate all this but I’ve had enough:)



    Report abuse

  • 29
    Sajjeev Antony says:

    Agree completely.

    (I had posted the following in Youtube just now. This is almost a copy of that.)

    We are all hooked into our childhoods. Mom’s food, religious songs, Sunday Schools, marches for God, first love… These become stronger as we age. We want to experience pleasure — that is the only bottom line. In youth our pleasure comes from the “present moment”, parents, friends, crushes, sex, first drink, pets, parties, holidays, new jobs, marriage, first baby and so on. Later these present moments become routine and we get no pleasure from them so we try to gain pleasure from recreating our memories — that’s why older people seem to try to get back to their religion, families and traditions (and can be a pain sometimes as they extol the virtues of their past and condemn the “decadent new generation”). People of my age are crazed about stuff we may have experienced in childhood like old sewing machines, old cars, steam engines, the music of the 1970s… Religious rituals still hold a lot of charm for the present and older generations because they bring back memories into which we settle. The next generation (millennials on) may be settle into different things — what they consider coolest now. Interestingly the millennials have little nationalist feelings. they are cool with other cultures. They may also ignore religions without fighting against them. This may be a very positive thing for the future.

    Ultimately it is science that will reigb, but not in less than a generation. Statistics show that religion’s power is being questioned even in traditional Islamic countries. If we push these people too fast and too forcefully, they’ll panic and hit back violently (we are taking away their pleasure!) and the rationalists will also become angry and hit back with even more violence. They will send suicide squads and so on. Don’t think that atheists will not become suicide bombers. (Sri Lankan suicide bombers were mostly atheists). Small people hold so much power of destruction now that the world could actually end in this scuffle. But if we let things move at is own pace, the transition will be smooth, causing minimal pain to everyone. Let us learn from our children — they’re so cool!

    Transition to reason is already happening. Creationist science, quranic blackholes, etc are a sign that religions, instead of denying science, have started claiming science for themselves. Let them. They are in a phase. Human race has evolved through hundreds of thousands of years. Books of Genesis, Exodus one may be shocked by Yahweh’s brutality. But when we study the historical circumstances of those times, we start appreciating Yahweh as an IMPROVEMENT over the brutality that prevailed in that region. I have studied middle eastern history. It is clear that it has always been a violent place due its strategic location. So all these Gods — right from Egyptian Gods to the latest ones — are to be respected and understood as they are a part of our own evolution. We still have the genes of those cultures that crated these entities. And I can tell you that these were the most suitable for those times, otherwise they wouldn’t have survived.

    There is of course a wide gap between respecting the memory of these Gods and cultures in a historical context, versus believing that they are true etc.

    21st century is actually much more moral than even 100 years ago.The coming transition will be a paradigm shift and an irreversible one because you, and me and everyone else share the power to make a difference — we’re like bees in a hive.

    So Prof. Dawkins, wish you a Merry Christmas, Sir.



    Report abuse

  • 30
    Sajjeev Antony says:

    In reply to #2 by Alan4discussion:

    There are plenty of meaningless lyrics, nonsensical word-salads, and um-diddy la-la words in songs, without having to look at carols or h…

    I think those of us who are just leaving our religions may feel yucky about them because we may think, “how stupid I was to believe them.” But you won’t feel the same way about totally different religions and cultures I think, because there may not be any self condemnation. A possible research topic.



    Report abuse

  • 31
    Mark Lambert says:

    The ‘commercialisaton’ of Christmas exists of course, but the demonisation of it can be overblown to an extent. There are some things we wouldn’t have without it. My Hindu neighbours do all of the Diwali celebrations – sometimes informing me that “there’s going to be a bit of chanting tonight,” I say I don’t mind, and he says, “It’s my duty to let you know.” And on Christmas Eve, they had a large family party, involving games, singing christmas songs, and the kids excitedly counting the seconds down to midnight – presumably when they got to open presents. All of the jewish friends (non-orthodox) I grew up with do the whole ‘commercial’ thing as well. If ‘commercialisation’ can also mean bringing all types of peole together under an irreligious celebration and festivities, then I’m all for it.



    Report abuse

  • 32
    boxinghris says:

    I think most of us know that December 25th isn’t the literal birthday of Jesus, and is simply the date now used to celebrate it?

    As for Jesus (if he existed…) not being born in Bethlehem, there is of course debate over this and contradictory evidence, but to state with conviction that he was not born in Bethlehem only demonstrates how you will accept evidence of this as proof, yet do not equally accept evidence against it.
    Furthermore, if all your evidence comes from the bible (I don’t know) and you are willing to use ANY evidence derived from the bible to reach a definite conclusion about anything, this is of course contradictory and highly irrational thinking on your part.

    Either the Bible is unreliable as a source of information, or it’s not. Cherry picking bits to support your beliefs is bad ‘science to put it mildly.

    Similarly, stating that Jesus ‘certainly wasn’t born of a virgin’ and that this falsehood resulted from a mistranslation from Hebrew to Greek is again an irrational statement, as once again you appear to be using the Bible as your source of evidence.

    I am aware of the claim you make of course and that the word ‘virgin’ wasn’t necessarily used to describe Mary in many situations where we were formally taught it was. There are also passages which seem to suggest no knowledge of any virgin birth by individuals who one would have expected to know of such a unique conception, and anyone who hasn’t been indoctrinated into Christianity and who is capable of critical thinking should be aware of this.

    However, unless one has a predetermined agenda to dismiss the concept of a virgin birth taking place in Bethlehem, it is impossible to state as objective fact that neither are correct, based on biblical scripture or translation.

    By all means, state with utter conviction that the Bible has so many contradictions that it cannot be considered a reliable form of information, and that it it impossible to use it’s text to prove or disprove anything that happened over 2000 years ago.

    State that virgin births have never been demonstrated in Humans and that there is no evidence such an event occurred in the case of Jesus’ birth; basically make your argument using the lack of scientific evidence. Very simple.

    Using scripture written by unknown authors, edited by unknown agents and subjected to imperfect translations as evidence of where Jesus was born and how he was born is not something I’d imagine Atheists would accept if used to support Theist beliefs (indeed they don’t), so why they would accept such scripture if it supported Atheist beliefs is beyond me.

    Merry Christmas everyone!



    Report abuse

  • 33
    Nordic11 says:

    It’s 7:30 Christmas morning on the US east coast. I’m writing beneath the glow of colorful Christmas tree lights with the smell of bacon permeating the air and Celtic carols strumming in the background. A fire warms our small home, and my family looks forward to Christmas breakfast, a few gifts, and day of relaxation.

    Merry Christmas to you, Richard and all RD members, and may you know the same peace on this day that blankets my family.



    Report abuse

  • 34
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #32 by boxinghris:

    As for Jesus (if he existed…) not being born in Bethlehem, there is of course debate over this and contradictory evidence, but to state with conviction that he was not born in Bethlehem only demonstrates how you will accept evidence of this as proof, yet do not equally accept evidence against it.

    There are a lot of things about the historical Jesus that scholars don’t agree on but where he was born isn’t one of them. If there was a historical person named Jesus he was almost certainly born in Nazareth. Virtually all the written accounts we have of him talk of him as “Jesus of Nazareth”. What is more the story about the census and getting recalled to Bethlehem make no sense. They didn’t “call people home” for a census, to do so would have brought ancient commerce to a halt given the technologies of the time. And there was good justification for lying about where Jesus was born. The gospel writers, or at least the one who made up that story, wanted to convince Jews that Jesus was the messiah and old testament prophesies said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The stuff about Bethlehem was virtually certainly made up after the fact, if he existed he was from Nazareth.



    Report abuse

  • 35
    kaiserkriss says:

    Merry Xmas to you and yours too Richard.

    I shared those same sentiments with my “believer” friends and family when asked how we celebrate Xmas. jcw



    Report abuse

  • In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #32 by boxinghris:
    There is no evidence that Nazareth existed at that time.It appears on no Roman maps or documents.
    As for Jesus (if he existed…) not being born in Bethlehem, there is of course debate over this and contradictory evidence, but to state with conviction that he was not born in Bethlehem only demonstrates how you will accept evidence of this as proof, yet do not equa…



    Report abuse

  • 37
    Red Dog says:

    In reply to #36 by erob:

    There is no evidence that Nazareth existed at that time.It appears on no Roman maps or documents.

    Yes, and Jesus didn’t have a social security card either. These kinds of arguments often get derailed because people use the same standards of evidence for the ancient world as they would use today. The fact that Nazareth doesn’t appear on Roman maps is completely expected. It was a very tiny village, it would be amazing if it WAS on any roman maps.

    As for Jesus (if he existed…) not being born in Bethlehem, there is of course debate over this and contradictory evidence, but to state with conviction that he was not born in Bethlehem only demonstrates how you will accept evidence of this as proof, yet do not equa…

    The point is that by using reason, historical evidence (what there is), analysis of the ancient texts, etc. we can develop hypotheses and evaluate them. It’s no different than any other endeavor we use the scientific method on except that many of the alternatives we would have for resolving questions say in biology or physics aren’t available on topics like this. And there is a strong consensus from every scholar I’ve ever read (most of them were agnostics or atheists) that if Jesus existed then he was from Nazareth not Bethlehem.

    Here is an article by Bart Ehrman where he goes into some of the techniques scholars such use to evaluate these kinds of hypotheses.



    Report abuse

  • 38
    matchbox10 says:

    Xmas is where we show our appreciation to family, friends and those that have made an impact in our lives.

    It is an appreciation and by giving gifts it is an acknowledgement to those that matter.

    Richard Dawkins matters to me, Xmas is my celebration of the birth of those that impact my Life to be a better person. My Friends, My Family, Richard Dawkins and I thank Youtube and Vanity Fair for giving Christopher Hitchens life after death



    Report abuse

  • 39
    bluebird says:

    In reply to #33 by Nordic11:

    It’s 7:30 Christmas morning on the US east coast. I’m writing beneath the glow of colorful Christmas tree lights with the smell of bacon permeating the air and Celtic carols strumming in the background. A fire warms our small home, and my family looks forward to Christmas breakfast, a few gifts, …

    ‘Christmas in Connecticut’! (1945)



    Report abuse

  • 40
    Skeptic Pete says:

    I wished someone a Merry Christmas on Ray Comfort’s Facebook page yesterday. We’ll they jumped on it like a seagull on a hot chip.

    “So you do believe in Christ?”

    My reply; well that means you must believe in Thor every time you use the word Thursday!

    I got no reply to that.



    Report abuse

  • 41
    ElephantInTheRoom says:

    1990!!! [1990 = Roman MXM, MXM stands for Merry Xmas. So obvious.]

    Anyway, Jingle Bells was not written as a Christmas song, nor does it mention Christmas. It was written as a song to celebrate winter and just got adopted as a Christmas song, but not until after it had been around a while. Its popularity is probably partly due to the fact that it’s the sort of tune very young (not very musical) children can sing or at least recognize. Like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.



    Report abuse

  • Thank you for that quote from Alfred Ayer. It gives words to what I have generally thought. But having nothing to do with religion or irreligion, it’s all that Christmas music that we are innundated with everywhere in the U.S. I’m damn sick of it. One more carol in the hardware store and I’ll go into anaphylaxis.



    Report abuse

  • 43
    bluebird says:

    In reply to #41 by ElephantInTheRoom:

    Jingle Bells was not written as a Christmas song

    Why of course, come to think of it! ‘Bjelleklang’ has irrevocably morphed into a “christmas song”.

    Hmm, the original meaning and music is similar to a u.s. song called ‘Over the river and through the woods’; written roughly the same time, I see.



    Report abuse

  • 44
    bluebird says:

    In reply to #42 by 78rpm:

    … Christmas music that we are innundated with everywhere in the U.S. I’m damn sick of it.

    Roger that, it’s enough to make one gag on their candy cane.

    Listening to medieval era “christ-mass” musik at home, thankfully erases it.



    Report abuse

  • 45
    Haymaker says:

    “It’s tempting to celebrate December 25th as the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton ” or even Kenny Everett for that matter!
    Merry Christmas everyone 🙂



    Report abuse

  • 46
    Agrajag says:

    In reply to #44 by bluebird:

    Listening to medieval era “christ-mass” musik at home, thankfully erases it.

    We’ve had a 2-CD collection of “Carols at Trinity” and a “Celtic Christmas” compilation running almost non-stop for a couple days now. I never get tired of it. Skip the “elevator” Christmas music, please!

    Steve



    Report abuse

  • Fair enough , but I prefer not to do Christmas. I do say and the same to you if people wish me a Merry Christmas, its easier..
    By the way.
    Thank you God for the Christmas flood
    Thank you God for the wind the mud
    Thank you God for the folk who died
    NOW I understand why you need to hide.



    Report abuse

  • 49
    QuestioningKat says:

    Happy Holidays!

    Happy Holidays is a way to acknowledge people celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza… and also send greetings when your a couple days late – afterall New Year’s is around the corner. Retailers and manufacturers adopted “Happy Holidays” because it is generic hoping to appeal to a wider customer base thus increase sales. It is assumed that a product that reads “Merry Christmas” would be more limiting and decrease chances of sales. Recently, they are finding out that a product that uses “Merry Christmas” does just fine. My thoughts are that the majority of people view Christmas as a fun occasion to shop, exchange gifts, and be with friends and family; the religious tone is secondary or absent. It’s a birthday party accept YOU get gifts. Easter, a more important Christian holiday, on the other hand, is really about death and renewal. Except for the chocolate, would you really want to celebrate? There is no war on Christmas; people simply know what’s fun and care about what they get out of the event.



    Report abuse

  • Disappointed Richard does the Christmas thing ,I find it to embarrassing. , Many of us believe the nativity at school is the start of religious indoctrination .I just hope he doesn’t feel the same about Easter, .



    Report abuse

  • 52
    justinesaracen says:

    In reply to #29 by Sajjeev Antony:

    Agree completely.

    (I had posted the following in Youtube just now. This is almost a copy of that.)

    We are all hooked into our childhoods. Mom’s food, religious songs, Sunday Schools, marches for God, first love… These become stronger as we age. We want to experience pleasure — that is the only…

    I like your analysis, Sajjeev and I hope you don’t mind if I pirate some of it to my Facebook page. Rather than use your name, I will simply attribute it to “one of the clever people at the RD site,” if that’s all right with you. Then, if someone decides your words are the most brilliant thing they’ve ever heard, they can come here and look for you.



    Report abuse

  • 53
    justinesaracen says:

    In reply to #47 by sgturner59:

    Merry Christmas to you, from a gay secular humanist with a fabulous Christmas tree!

    But of course, Christmas trees are the gayest part of Christmas! I am SURE some gay Germanic pagan went out to the forest to celebrate the solstice and said (in Althochdeutsch, of course), “Guys, this tree would be SO much prettier if we added a little glitter, don’t you think?”



    Report abuse

  • 54
    Mark Ribbands says:

    On the subject of appropriate gifts, one may occasionally be exposed to a piece of Christian fine art (in this case ‘handcrafted by elite artisans’) of such astonishing merit that even the most devout atheist will be stopped in his or her tracks, and be forced to reconsider their disbelief.

    When confronted with such powerful iconography, even the most cynical will be rendered speechless with open-mouthed amazement.

    It’s a miracle.

    That such a thing could ever be made.

    Or sold.



    Report abuse

  • 55
    Pauly01 says:

    Just saw your Richard Dawkins Foundation image. Makes me think about carl sagan and his book , the demon haunted world , science as a candle in the dark.

    When I see his book , it makes me smile.



    Report abuse

  • 57
    sid.brown.5477 says:

    My dear Richard., I hope you enjoyed a very pleasant holiday season & many more. I read your books & enjoy them thoroughly. I was born into a ‘good’ catholic family, my dads younger brother an ordained priest. From a very young age, I concluded that something was not right and began asking questions. Usually, I got a taste of the strap for my answer. I had to attend ‘good’ catholic schools where I spent a great deal of my student energy protecting my bum from the teachers. Keep up the good work and best wishes., Sid Brown.



    Report abuse

  • 58
    kjnardone@hotmail.com says:

    I recently had some thoughts about merging the meaning of culture with religion. I think the meanings are different, and should be deliberately kept separate. The meaning of culture can be merged with a community or a society, and, of course, religion is certainly attached to communities and societies. However, culture was intended to mean the betterment of a society, primarily through refinement and education. That sounds nothing like religion. Maybe that is exactly why this new word was introduced (for this specific societal meaning) in the first place, in lieu of religion (or despite of it).

    When I hear religious moderates, apologists and even secular journalists in the media go on about the Islamic, Christian or Jewish cultures, I cringe. They are religions, not cultures. If religious leaders want another word, we already have one available and appropriate: cult. Absurd and false religious claims and doctrines contradict and prevent the true meaning of the word culture.

    Just like this season of holidays Richard wrote about in this article, I think religious leaders hijacked and merged the true meaning of culture, too.

    Happy Holidays!



    Report abuse

  • 59
    candlefish says:

    Giggling here, I can almost feel your frustration at having to explain the differences in non-belief today, and the understanding of past generations. I’m always amazed when people that know of my atheism, are surprised at my admiration of the wonderful architecture displayed around the world in the form of great cathedrals.

    Candlefish.



    Report abuse

  • 60
    xenophon125 says:

    Merry Christmas as well. Christmas carols still have an impact on me (e.g. Adeste Fideles) but I know that they are just carols and are not being heard by any supernatural entity. I still believe in Christmas as an idea although the feverish purchase of presents could be drastically toned down, especially considering those of us of more modest means. I think that would be important.



    Report abuse

  • 61
    treefireguy says:

    I have been an atheist for over 40 years. I set up a Christmas tree, give the kiddos presents, and all that. It’s just about family, period. There will be no saying grace or praying or any of that nonsense at my house, but we will have fun and cheer and family and good times. Merry Christmas everybody. 😉



    Report abuse

  • 64
    joeyisared says:

    The next time anyone asks who I am, I will say “To quote Professor Richard Dawkins, ‘I am a culturally Christian atheist living in a culturally Christian country which is – like the rest of Western Europe and even America – becoming more atheist by the decade.'”

    Beautiful!



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.