December 22, 2009

Should Atheists Celebrate Christmas?

evil corporate santa returns.jpgI have noticed that many atheists seem to have a handful of complexes (i.e., challenging psychological conflicts that have been invested with considerable emotional resources). This isn't a bad thing; it reflects our humanity. It seems that one of the big ones revolves around Christmas. Should atheists celebrate Christmas? Some atheists love Christmas, look forward to it each year, and celebrate it in a manner that would put many Christians to shame. Others prefer not to acknowledge the holiday at all, enjoying a day off work and nothing more.

Before we address Christmas in particular, I feel the need to clear up what I think is a very important and often neglected distinction: telling you what I think, feel, or do is not in any way the same as telling you what I think you should think, feel, or do. While it is true that I use a persuasive tone in many of the posts I write here, arguing for a particular point of view or course of action, I also write posts in which I am simply explaining my own position on things without advocating that others adopt similar positions. For example, in this post I noted that I am not a particularly friendly person. I did not in any way suggest that others should emulate this characteristic.

With this in mind, please understand that when I write that I am not particularly fond of Christmas and chose not to celebrate it, I am noting a personal preference. I am not suggesting that others should feel similarly. As I wrote last year,
I have no strong opinions on whether atheists should celebrate Christmas. It really isn't up to me, and it isn't something to which I've devoted much thought. If you enjoy it, derive some benefit from it, or simply want to participate in it, do so. You'll get no judgment here. Just because I see no reason to join in does not mean I'll think any less of you for doing so.
The question of whether atheists should celebrate Christmas is a personal decision to be made by each individual. This is not any sort of moral question, as "should" unfortunately implies.

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