December 3, 2010

Determined to Have a War on Christmas

Christianity is a myth

Speaking of myths, the mythic "war on Christmas" has been in full swing for some time. I am only now allowing myself to acknowledge how much I have missed it. Not only is it an excellent reminder of the ease with which people can be manipulated (e.g., donating money to Christian extremist groups out of fear of evil atheists), but it shows the lengths which some will go to preserve their image of being persecuted even when they are the persecutors. But most of all, I am reminded that Christian privilege is alive and well here in the U.S.

When I say "happy holidays," I am being offensive to my Christian neighbors. When they say "merry Christmas," even if they know I am an atheist, I am supposed to smile and return the greeting. It does not matter how insensitive it might be.

When I engage in the annual tradition of explaining to my co-workers that I do not celebrate Christmas after they conveniently "forget" again, I must answer the same questions I have to answer each year. I get the same puzzled expressions and hear the same disparaging comments behind my back.

I find their holiday absurd but would never say so. I have too much respect for them as people and would not want to hurt their feelings. That they do not return this courtesy is irrelevant. I am still expected to bite my tongue. If I were to speak out, I would of course be the insensitive one.

As unpleasant as all of this can be, it does remind me how far we have to go. And on the good days, it motivates me to keep plodding along.

H/T to Friendly Atheist

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