‘Tis the season

‘Tis the season

Danny Quinney

If you’re anything like me, and I know I am, you love Christmas.  It’s that magical time of the year where you get to go around using words like “Tis”, and “Twas”.  I especially love chasing my wife around with mistletoe.  Up until today, if you asked me what I wanted for Christmas I could have given you any number of answers.  Today, all I want for Christmas is to not hear Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” on the radio for at least a year.  I love Christmas, but I’m a little burned out of that song.

Before I get into the meat of my article (the word “meat” is a fancy way of saying “the point”), I wanted to share a little something personal. At the church I attend, I teach the fourteen and fifteen year olds.  Recently I was talking to the (not so) little urchins and one of them related a conversation he had with one of his friends.  His “friend” had given him a list of 100 reasons why Christianity in general and my religion in particular, is false.

This week in Warren, Michigan the Mayor, Jim Fouts, is being accused of “discriminating and engaging in unlawful censorship.”  Why?  Well if you guessed it had anything to do with a nativity scene, you would be correct.  Apparently a gentleman named Douglas Marshall, who is a member of Freedom from Religion Foundation, wants the mayor to put up the following sign next to the nativity displayed inside city hall:

“At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”  The other side reads: “STATE/CHURCH: Keep Them Separate.”

Oh yeah, that should level the playing field.  According to the US Census there are 9,969,727 people living in Michigan as of July 2009. According to the USA Today 78% of the residence of Michigan are Christian, roughly 5% are “other religions”, and 17% are unaffiliated.

78% is a bunch of people.

Now, there are two things I don’t understand.  First, does the group Freedom from Religion Foundation have meetings?  ‘Cause, if they do, they are pretty much defeating the purpose of not being a member of a church.  And second, do you have NOTHING better to do with your time?  Seriously, get a hobby.

I try to be a critical thinker. I sincerely try to see both points of view, but this one I just don’t get.

“I hope this doesn’t shatter your hopes and dreams,” I told my class.  I then told them there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy.  There isn’t.  I have kids and I can tell you someone doesn’t break into your house, steal their disembodied teeth and leave them money.  It doesn’t happen.  But if I was walking down the street, or say, walking through City Hall and saw a statue of the Tooth Fairy I wouldn’t wave my arms over my head and run screaming down the street, as if someone had gouged my eyes out.  If someone told me how happy the Tooth Fairy made them, and inspired them to be a better person, and asked me if I wanted to learn more about the Tooth Fairy and his plan for me, I would politely say, “I’m glad that makes you happy, but it really isn’t for me.”

If you equate God with the tooth fairy, and you were a rational thinking adult, why would you care if someone believed?  What’s it to you?

Seriously, take up golf.

According to the “USA Today” America is predominately a Christian nation.  If you believe Jesus to be the son of God or not, there is no denying he was a great man who changed the world.  Taking time to pause and member His birth doesn’t hurt anyone.

So…Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or if you’re atheist, have a nice day.

  • Paidion
    Posted at 18:44h, 21 December

    A great article!

    Christmas is a rich season of many origins. Why can’t everyone celebrate it as they see fit?
    Celebrate the birth of Christ! Celebrate the festive Season!

    May you have joy during this festive season!
    Have a merry Christmas!
    Have a happy Hanukkah!
    Have a satisfying Saturnalia!
    Have a jolly Yuletide!

    And oh yes, if you can’t stand any of these greetings:

    Have a nice day! (I loved that line.)

  • Laura Nilson
    Posted at 20:59h, 21 December

    HERE! HERE! NO kidding. I’ve always wondered why if you’re an athiest and you go to an event that has a prayer, you can’t just keep your eyes open and check your phone… Or shut your eyes. Let people do what they do. Good heavens.
    I recently attended an event honoring Japanese people that fought for America in a war. Someone prayed in Japanese, yet some how I managed to go on. When I go to a Catholic funeral and they pray differently I am NOT offended. When I go to an inter-faith Christmas program and the Baptist do things differently, I LOVE IT. Seriously. Find a way to better your community with all that energy. Teach your children to accept all faiths.

  • Laif Ekberg
    Posted at 09:01h, 23 December

    The old saying goes, “Misery loves company”. Have you noticed that anytime a person is celebrating/ honoring/ remembering someone or something of worth and value some clowns have to ride in an tear it down and pretend that they are saving us from hurting ourselves with joy/ gladness or gratitude. Give me a break.

  • Meagan
    Posted at 21:54h, 23 December

    I agree with everyone wholeheartedly. However, I think that there is something deeper that athiests see than just something they believe is silly or false for people to believe in, though. Many of them sincerely believe that religion is dangerous, citing dictators and terrorists doing things in the name of religion (even though many of them didn’t take their religion seriously, and there have been plenty of anti-religious tyrants). They are also frustrated because the laws we vote on to preserve and protect what is right doesn’t make sense to them–their sense of conscience for some is very different. Some of them want to experiment with every illegal and immoral thing, no matter how it affects others. One needs to look no farther than the author of the Golden Compass or communist countries to see how these people hate us. So there will always be a struggle between us and them, and as their numbers grow there will be more tension. There’s nothing wrong with this teasing article, but certainly we should take their anger towards religion seriously.

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