Thoughts on Thanksgiving and Christmas

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by DGS49, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    It occurs to me that an atheist cannot truly celebrate "Thanksgiving." Thanksgiving (the noun, not the holiday) implicitly implies some person or entity TO WHOM thanks is being given. Historically, there is no doubt that "we" are thanking God (apparently Lincoln and FDR didn't get the memo about the "wall of separation between Church and State"), but regardless, we are thanking Mother Nature or SOMETHING or SOMEONE for the gifts that we individually or collectively have benefited from - generally without meriting them. For example, natural resources, good health, a supporting family and friends, the Food & Drug Administration, and so on. To give "thanks" without having anyone or anything to give thanks TO, is absurd.

    But can we wish "Merry Christmas" (or its equivalent) to an atheist? Emphatically, YES!

    Christmas, in American culture, is actually TWO separate celebrations, one religious and one secular. One is the celebration of the Nativity (the birth of the God-man known to us as Jesus Christ), and the secular celebration comes down to us from the Roman celebration of the winter solstice.

    We celebrate Christmas (holy day) by prayer and remembrance; we celebrate Christmas (secular holiday) with a decorated tree, gift giving, over-indulgence in food and drink, and so forth.

    Unfortunately, both of these celebrations occur on the same day, and have come to have the same name - "Christmas" - a name which has profoundly religious overtones to which some non-Christian people rightly take exception. To those people, I say, "Lighten up." After all, non-Christians have learned to tolerate living in places called, "The City of Our Lady - Queen of the Angels" (Los Angeles), "Saint Francis" (San Francisco), and "The Body of Christ" (Corpus Christi). Deal with it.

    Also, the figure at the vortex of the secular celebration is at least by title, a Christian "Saint." Santa Claus. Again, there is nothing religious about his role in the secular holiday, so I would say that non-believers should just ignore the name and continue to leave him milk and cookies on the eve of the Winter Solstice.

    It is also unfortunate that unthinking people try to meld these two very distinct celebrations into one observation. They put a figure of the heralding Angel or a Star of David on the top of the Christmas Tree, or carefully place a creche beneath its lower limbs. And they argue about whether it is a religious holiday or a crass and destructive commercial extravaganza. It's both.

    If I were Emperor of the United States, I would separate the two holidays and designate a national holiday called the "Winter Solstice" on December 21, and leave it up to Christians to celebrate the Nativity on the 25th in the manner of their own choosing. Employers, both public and private, would have to honor the W.S. holiday, but only private sector employers could also recognize the 25th, according to their own principles and union contracts. Government workers would have to work on the Nativity, or take PTO.

    By all means, I wish all of you reading this a happy Thanksgiving, a festive ("merry") Winter Solstice holiday, and if you are so inclined, an appropriately holy celebration of the Nativity. And don't get them confused.
     
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  2. Marion Morrison
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    Marion Morrison Platinum Member

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    Why do they put tax time 1 month before Christmas? Argh!

    Why not June or something?
     
  3. BlackFlag
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    BlackFlag Gold Member

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    I’m thanking Odin, gentile scum. And you stole Christmas from pagans because your religion is too boring.
     
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  4. there4eyeM
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    there4eyeM unlicensed metaphysician

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    One must have an 'image' of 'God' in order to be thankful?
     
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  5. Meriweather
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    Meriweather Not all who wander are lost

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    No. One can have a thankful spirit, a joyous spirit without believing in God. The thanks and the joy gets distributed to the people around them. People can love one's fellow man even though they hold no belief in God. Still, as great as that is, there is nothing quite like the thankfulness and joy that bubble over towards our God.
     
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  6. BlackFlag
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    BlackFlag Gold Member

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    Which one?
     
  7. Votto
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    Votto Gold Member

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    I think atheists are thankful as they sit on their arse eating turkey dinner with a paid day off work all because of religious folk they mock.

    Your welcome dolts.
     
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  8. longknife
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    longknife Diamond Member

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    I was raised to believe that Thanksgiving was a time to celebrate family and friends. Sadly, it's been turned into a time to hype shopping for Xmas.

    Did you know that The Catholic Church does not celebrate an ornate high Mass on the day set aside to denote the nativity - the day Jesus was supposedly born? Their major celebration is Easter, the resurrection.

    Christmas was created, as someone else pointed out, to overrule the pagan celebrations of the Equinox.

    However, once again, as every other "religious" celebration in America, leave it to Jewish merchants to create the current hype we have to now tolerate. Xmas ads and decoration almost the day after Haloween - another Jewish corrupted celebration.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not being anti-simitic. Just stating a fact.
     
  9. Meriweather
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    Meriweather Not all who wander are lost

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    One God which we call by different names and see through different perspectives.
     
  10. G.T.
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    G.T. Diamond Member

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    My family Celebrates Thanksgiving by enjoying one another, and having an underlying sense that we're glad that we've got each other around. We also use the day to run in charity runs and on occasion work at a shelter (or send and/or buy meals). Its never been about Religion at all, not for myself, my mother, my wife...., except it is for the "Volunteer of the year" that said some words before the meals that have invoked it, here and there. We use a new person every year. The ones who are Religious tend to do that, they invoke Religious stuff. It doesnt bother anything.
     

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