Every single year around this time, atheists get accused of waging a WAR ON CHRISTMAS.
I imagine the religious folks have visions of my fellow atheists stripping the baubles off Christmas trees, kneecapping the chubby-fake-bearded Santa cosplayers at the mall and then gleefully ripping the precious gifts out of the hands of innocent children who burst into tears and then with a final evil-atheist sideways-glance, burst into flames.
However, truth be told, the majority of atheists I know, hate war BUT love to celebrate things. All kinds of things. In fact, atheists don’t need religious tradition in order to find reasons to celebrate life and love and this time of the year is no exception.
And I am here to say that we non believers don’t even need a war on Christmas. The battles are all won. We can take the existing holiday and make it our own just like the Christians did to the pagans so many years ago. Call it a reappropriation if you like, but a war it is not.
The winter solstice is here for all of us to celebrate already, as it has been for millions of years. And shocking as it may be, some of us atheists actually enjoy the traditions that Christmas-time brings. We just want to happily celebrate without all that Christ stuff in the holiday. And that’s ok. We like stories too. We just don’t need our stories steeped in the concept of sin when we want to celebrate love and joy. It slows down the fun, constricts the wonder of possibility and excludes people who don’t believe. Lighten up everyone, it’s the holidays!
I would now like to enforce this idea further by illustrating with drawings in clay, that anywhere you have a ‘Santa’ or a ‘Jesus’ an atheist can substitute a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Then, and as a non-believer you can still have all the same good-time holiday cheer with your neighbors without ever needing to wage a war. Don’t pick up an ax, pick up an egg nog and join me!
First of all, what the heck is a Flying Spaghetti Monster?
For those who do not know here is a quick rundown of how the FSM came into pop-atheist-culture. From Wikipedia:
FSM was created in 2005 by Bobby Henderson as a satirical protest to the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to require the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to biological evolution in public schools. Since the intelligent design movement used ambiguous references to an unspecified “Intelligent Designer” to avoid court rulings prohibiting the teaching of creationism as a science, this presumably left open the possibility that any imaginable thing could fill that role. In an open letter sent to the education board, Henderson parodies the concept of intelligent design by professing belief in a supernatural creator, which closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs. He furthermore calls for the “Pastafarian” (a play on Rastafarian) theory of creation to be taught in science classrooms.
Now see how a FSM can easily fill the shoes of Santa without the burden of traditional religion? And my understanding is FSM doesn’t even care if you are good or bad at Christmastime. He will bring you tidings of tomato sauce and good cheer regardless.
FSM loves the snow.
FSM loves holiday decorations.
FSM lights up the night.
There is one cautionary tale to celebrating the holidays with a spaghetti monster. FSM has been know to eat the top off of Christmas trees while your family is sleeping.
What’s that you say? You miss the concept of baby Jesus in the manger? Well baby FSM is here to wish you joy.
The moral of this story is there is always something to celebrate and if the traditional holiday doesn’t fit your philosophy, make it your own. No war needed.
Happy holidays everyone!