Saturday, November 25, 2006

An Atheist Christmas?

Liz writes (with no help from above):

I've run across a lot of "news" about Atheists lately. Billionaire genius Bill Gates, Atheist. The insightful and intelligent guy that writes Dilbert, Atheist. Cancer-kicker Lance Armstrong, Atheist. Sigmund Freud, Godless. Deist: Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. The molesting priests and pedophile congressmen, Christian. The guy (Ashcroft, I think) that draped clothes over the Greek statues in Washington, Christian. Mel Gibson... well... alcoholic Christian.

Not that I'm prone to follow in the footsteps, but when I look at the impressive list of brainiacs that do not believe in God, I have to wonder: Am I in the wrong camp?

I went through some serious questioning about God and Christ and all that is holy when I was in high school and college. I spent several years believing in nothing, but that didn't work for me once I got older. I want to believe in something other than ME. I'm telling ya, if I am the benchmark of my own universe, we're all in a heap of trouble. But I have to confess, I don't live each day wondering how my actions will pay off or not pay off in the long run. When I ask "WWJD" or "Am I going to Hell for this?" it's more tongue-in-cheek than a serious exploration of the ramifications of an unethical act.

I have a core set of values which I occasionally disregard and do the wrong thing anyway. Believers call that sinning and give you an OK for it, we are human we sin. Atheists call it "Friday" and you get a pass too.

I have not been to church on purpose in something like 24 years. I've gone for funerals and christenings oh, and the holy union of marriage... which lasts on average of 8 years.

This leads me to the heart of my question. If my soul searching leads me to the revelation that I do not think Christ was the son of God, born of a virgin, able to perform miracles, walker on water is it unethical to celebrate Christmas?

Thinking.... Thinking.... Thinking...

No. It is not unethical. Seriously. Who REALLY takes Christmas in the spirit in which it was intended? Who invented Christmas anyway? I know Coca-Cola "invented" the image of Santa that we worship until we're 6. Who REALLY thinks more about renewing their faith in God and their strict adherence to Christian behavior more than they think about what sales are going to be going on prior to Christmas Eve?

So, if this Christmas I announce that I'm Jewish that should not affect your obligation to provide me with a Christmas gift. As a matter of fact, I think that Jews get 8 DAYS worth of presents, so please start buying now.

I sincerly hope that the God your choice blesses you with happiness this holiday season. Even if the God of your choice is you.



Killer said...

It is impossible to find a "grouping" of atheists, if you think about it, they are a bunch of people who can not commit.
I read an article a while back about a couple of people in California who started an atheist club, to help rally support, but could not really get anyone to join.
If an atheist wanted to have to go to meetings every week they would just go to church. It is a lot easier to just pretend like you believe in God.

Liz said...

Excellent message but I have to question how non-commital those Atheist REALLY are. With my highly charged total fear of committing one would think I would have taken the easy route and announced atheism long ago. I kind of fall into that category that is so fearful of committing to ANYTHING- including atheism, that I just sort of keep questioning. Nomadic soul searching, so to speak. I gather no dust.

I don't see how I can even manage a job, much less declair a commitment to anything as HUGE as a religous affilation.

I wish I could be so restless when it came to physical activity. I think I sat without moving for 7 straight hours last night.