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Why do non-believers celebrate Christmas?

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They are celebrating the commercial aspect of Christmas, not the birth of Christ.

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As a non believer I celebrate the family aspect not the commercial or birth of Jesus aspect.
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By commercial, I meant the celebration with the family and the exchanging of gifts.
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But that's not what Christmas is about! Sure, it is part of it, but it isn't the main aspect. Christ is in the name!
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That's what Christmas is to me. You asked and I answered.
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Sorry, didn't mean it towards you. Meant it towards that other guy.
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@Death: Mithraic pagans (which predates Christianity) might ask why Christians celebrate their holiday. Here's a quote from http://rcg.org/books/ttooc.html which corroborates the general consensus of religious scholars: "The Roman festival of Saturnalia, Dec. 17-24, moved citizens to decorate their homes with greens and lights and give gifts to children and the poor. The Dec. 25 festival of natalis solis invicti, the birth of the unconquered sun, was decreed by the emperor Aurelian in A.D. 274 as a Winter Solstice celebration, and sometime (later)...was Christianized as a date to celebrate the birth of the Son of Light."

The Winter Solstice has always been a time of celebration throughout many different cultures because it is the beginning of longer days, warmth, and a new growing season.
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Regardless of anyones belief, I find that a celebration by theists and atheists on the SAME day is great. Finally, the two sides agree on something.
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Ancient hippy, I love that answer.
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Peace to you brother.
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And to you as well.
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Because they just want presents and think it is just for fun, even though it isn't :/

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It is fun :)
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And Christians don't want presents..?
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We do, but that's not all its about.
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Hmm, I guess that depends on which Christian you are talking about.
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Explain.
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What is there to explain? I think I was pretty straight-forward. For some Christians, it IS a celebration of Jesus Christ. But for OTHER Christians, it is mostly about presents, food, and especially just for the sake of celebrating with friends and family.
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Oh. I was confused when you mentioned different types of Christians. But there are 2 kinds. Ones who say they follow Christ but really don't, and those who try to the best of their ability to represent God.
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Even believers must admit, why celebrate Christ's birthday, by giving OTHERS gifts?
Seems somewhat backwards, doesn't it?
I mean, haven't you gotten enough because of him? He died for you.
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Giving gifts to each other reminds us of what he did for us. It also comes from when the wise men gave Jesus gifts.
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So many excuses to be selfish these days.
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PRESENTS!!!!!!! and you know family. or maybe the original holiday the winter solstice.

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They don't, they do use the time to spend with their family, or close friends.

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I celebrate the joy of commercialism. Also, it's fun for the kids:)

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I think we are related, you look
Like me. LOL
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Lol!
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It's a time to get together with family and friends and relax, eat celebration food, and treasure our most important relationships while having a few days away from work.

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That's what thanksgiving is for.
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That's what ALL "holidays" are for.
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If I lived closer to you Rath, we would celebrate together!
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We sure would! We have so much snow right now that it's hard seeing around corners because the snow has piled up. I wish you lived down the road -- we could go to the bookstores and then to the liquor store!
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Yes we would!!!
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For the presents of course!

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Though I'm Christian I will say this in atheists' defense: it's the same reason vegetarians eat replications of meat. Everyone else does it and it influences them to join in (without going against their own customs).

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No, not quite. I am a vegetarian (to be more precise a vegetarian that eats fish) I make that choice on my own. Same about Christmas
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Vegetarians do not eat replications of meat because "everyone else is doing it", they do because it either
a) tastes better than vegetables
b) offers some sort of protein that the rest of their diet does not provide.
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Don't take my answer the wrong way. I'm not saying they're weak to pressure; I'm saying it's human nature imitate. Despite popular belief, imitation is a powerful ability and is exclusive to humans. If everyone were vegetarian, no one would consider eating meat-replicas.
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Also, atheists don't celebrate holidays because every one else is doing it.
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Skeptikitten, that was already covered. I'm extremely stressed out today and I would appreciate it if someone would try to understand me. I'm not saying atheists or vegetarians are little schoolboys who want to be like everyone else, I'm saying it's human nature to follow their culture.
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I mean to follow one's culture.
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I understand, Marcus.
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Thank you, Trish. How are you? You and your dog look cute together.
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I realize you probably did not mean it in the schoolboy kind of way, I am just saying that the comparison does not work in my opinion.
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Okay, I get you, Beth. Goodday.
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...Night.
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Thanks, you too (it actually is daytime where I am at).
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Daisy makes everyone look good, she's 5lbs of love. Doing good, no complaints, you?
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I'm okay, Trish. Nice seeing you!
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That is a classic example of "Wanting to have your cake and eating it too". Its human nature wanting to conform while rebelling at the same time. That statement alone is an oxymoron (conformity defeats the purpose of Rebellion). Sometimes even though you CAN get both things, it's not exactly a respectable choice.
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Daniel, please clarify your point.
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Because Xmas became a tradition in Western cultures, like Santa (Saint)Claus and his flying reindeers.

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Because if you have kids it's to let them experience Santa. If not, it's a good time to be with family. Plus, many people (like me) enjoy getting presents, giving them, and finally just because it's a tradition.
Sorry, I am a non-believer.

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They celebrate the presents giving. Any excuse to have a party . This is why they call it happy holidays or Xmas . But I do see what you mean it a contradiction yet cleverly avoided

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Xmas was first used by Christians- the "x" stands for the Greek letter "chi".

Also, the contradiction is Christians celebrating a holiday they stole from the pagans they condemned.
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That's right I remember that now the Catholic Church in the attempts to make the pagans feel more comfortable they compromised many things. Like bringing statues into the church and so on.
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There is nothing really Christian about the holiday, therefore it isn't a contradiction for anyone to celebrate what has become a secular midwinter celebration.

The same goes for Easter (pagan), birthdays (pagan), and a slew of other holidays.
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Not to mention moving Jesus's birthday closer to the Winter Solstice to blend in the holiday with local pagan religions and customs.
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For the gifts of course

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Christmas is barely even about Jesus. Most people spend their Christmases opening presents and eating food with their families. You don't have to believe in god or even be a Christian to like presents, food, and family.

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Your first sentence varies by household. Christmas is totally about Jesus in my house.
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Of course I cannot speak for every single family that celebrates Christmas. However, in general, people put much more focus on presents, food, and family during Christmas.
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Although I believe Christmas is about Jesus I can't deny, people do focus very much on ads and presents.
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I should be more clear. What I'm trying to say is yes, you're correct about most people.
.
Sorry if I'm sounding self-absorbed today.
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Yup. Technically Christmas in itself IS about Jesus, but we all have just made it out to be something very different.
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No, technically, christmas is a pagan holiday called Saturnalia. Christians "co-opted" the holiday, calling it the birth of jesus to finish crippling paganism.
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Torngren - I can't imagine that creating a second holiday on the same day as another, would cripple anything.
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@torngreen The Pagan holiday is a Pagan holiday. CHRISTmas, however, is (by definition) about Christ. Its origins are insignificant.
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It would if it the second holiday was detrimental to the first by design. And it is. Christianity internationally sought to eliminate pagan culture and beliefs. Those that opposed christianity, were put to death for heracy. But. . .I love christmas:) Just wanted to point that out.
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LL, there's nothing insignificant about a holidays origin. Think about how that sounds, as a christian. Anyway, not looking for a debate. Just giving some food for thought.
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Torngren - Christmas is not designed by detriment. It's designed by Christianity, true Christianity which does not put people to death for not believing. I disagree with that as much as you do.
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@Torn I guess that kind of came out wrong. Yes, its origins are important in the sense that it is all about the birth of Jesus, but I am saying that whatever its purpose was 2000 years ago is irrelevant to the definition we use today. Are you sure that it was meant to be that spiteful? I always thought that the holidays fell around the same time simply for convenience. But, I cannot be sure.
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Mad, I don't mean to take away any relevance from well meaning christians. The holidays origin rests in the destruction of another, despite it's current intent. LL, I understood what you were saying, just had to poke at you a bit, lol. Yes, it is a matter of convenience. But ask yourself whose.
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Torngren - Ah, I see. In God's name I'll point out that as a Christian, despite any history, I don't mean any detriment; only glory to Jesus.
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I'm thinking the answer is the CHRISTIANS' convenience, hah. I do not really mean to argue with you, because I think I agree with most of what you are saying.
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We all love christmas:) That's what's important. Thanks, guys:)
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Gifts and family. Mostly gifts, but some family.

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Lol
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Hey, we ALL love gifts!
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For the gifts.

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That is definitely not exclusive to non-believers.
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True, the majority of people are in it for the gifts.
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For fun I guess...

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probally bc everyone else is doing it, and they want presents...

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for the little ones

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Because they can.

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They like presents.

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A more interesting question is why do CHRISTIANS celebrate it ? The Christian church stole the winter solstice holiday in the fourth century to get converts, then grafted their beliefs onto it. "Jesus", if he existed, would not have been born in the winter, and pretty much every tradition you associate with it from presents to feasting to decorating is pagan.

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Christianity is unjustified?!? Have you even looked at Atheism? How could an entire universe willed with sentient, intelligent creatures be created be a random explosion with no cause? How could one species transform into an entirely different species? If the world is millions of years old, then how could dinosaur fossils still be intact? Christianity is not at all unjustified. Human anatomy? The food chain? The adaptability of animals? Intelligence? The way trees filter the air? What else could could explain how these things all fit together other than the existence of God?
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So you don't understand science therefore magic? Doesn't fly sweetie. Pretty much everything you said is nonsensical in the extreme. Not to mention the only facet to atheism is lack of belief in gods. Nothing else.

Of course, your little rant actually had nothing to so with my answer- that the early church stole the holiday from the pagans to get converts. That is historical fact.
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@death God is supposed to be an all-mighty superhero that knows everything and can do anything. Why would a god with that much power create humans? Do you really think we are THAT special? If god is so great, he could have done a lot better.
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The adaptability of animals is a result of evolution, which Christians don't even believe in.
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LL, God created humans so that they could rule the Earth. And he DID do better than what we have become. Eve doomed the human race when she ate the forbidden fruit. That is what gave us our sinful nature.
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Sierra Charlie, adaptability is a minor change in response to a change in one's environment. Evolution is changing from one species to another.
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And skeptikitten, I was defending my religion because you were saying that our beliefs are unjustified. And yes, I am sorry for getting carried away. I have had a very stressful day. But please, don't call me sweetie.
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I said nothing about your beliefs- I simply stated the historical fact that Christmas is just an adapted pagan holiday.

You are also wrong about evolution- adaption and speciation are both part of evolution. We have also witnessed speciation in both the lab and the wild. Evolution is a fact accepted by the entire scientific community and the vast majority of theists, including Christians, worldwide. Evolution denial is a fringe belief, similar in nature to claiming the earth is flat or the sun revolves around earth.
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@Sierra: Actually most Christians do accept evolution as fact. They just believe that God directed it. They feel that a 14 billion year old earth in no way diminishes the supposed power of their God.

@Death: All your questions in your first comment above assume there was a plan for all those things and random chance could not have fulfilled that plan. That is true -- if there was a plan. But let's assume for a moment that there wasn't a plan. Perhaps there were 100 billion other planets that came close to spawning life the way ours did, but the odds just didn't work out. The only reason we would think our world is so special is because we are here to think that and don't know of any others like us. We may not realize that those other 99,999,999,999 other planets just didn't have quite the right elements in the right mixture. Or maybe there are other planets with life, albeit probably much different than ours since it would have also been a product of random chance.
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@Death: You should be made aware that Skeptikitten is a professor of biology, so she is writing with some authority.
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That does not make any sense. Biting into an apple cannot cause worldwide sinfulness.. THIS is why the Bible should not be taken too literally...
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Caltex, I appreciate how you are helping me to see the world as atheists see it. But, the sort of situation you described happens WAY too often in our world for it too be random.
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And I'm sorry Skeptikitten. I just felt that my religion was threatened, so I felt the need to defend it.
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That is one of the largest problems with religion historically- people feeling that someone disagreeing with or not believing in their religion threatens it, and then "defending it"...often by the sword.

If one's beliefs cannot hold up to critical scrutiny, perhaps one should re-evaluate those beliefs and not attack the questioner.

Also- I don't think you understand science at all. Natural selection and the laws of physics aren't random, but they are perfectly natural and not the work of deities. What you posit is a logical fallacy known as the Argument from Ignorance- if you don't know or understand something, you assume it must be the work of god(s). That was the attitude of primitive man, who saw lightning and thought it must be the wrath of the gods.
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Thank you. I understand much more clearly now.
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But how did the Big Bang happen without something to cause it? Just curious.
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At the quantum level, causation breaks down. We have observed that matter can actually "pop" in and out of existence randomly at the quantum level. Current physics research indicates the Big Bang was initiated by a quantum fluctuation in the singularity.
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Death: Even if we didn't have a hypothesis as to how the Big Bang came to be, it wouldn't automatically go to a deity. We humans don't know everything, but we can keep learning and will keep learning. It's human nature to want to know more, but sometimes it's necessary to be patient. Science doesn't always move at a break-neck pace, but we will have more research and stronger theories eventually. It's up to all of us to add to the collective human knowledge as best as we can, so that one day people won't have to wonder what caused the Big Bang.
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Thank you to jjj and Skeptikitten.
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Skeptikitten; A Professor of biology won't make God go away.To Christians who have received God's Holy Spirit in their lives, and know how real this is, the atheist's claim that God doesn't exist seems like childish rebellion.Christian's will either feel pity for the atheist, or wonder how to get the atheist's intelligence and logic up to scratch. To know that God doesn’t exist means you would have to know everything, because if there is any information you don’t know, God could be among that. You would also have to be everywhere at the same time, because if you were not, God might be somewhere you were not.

Why will some atheists never find God, even though God has promised to reward them if they diligently seek Him in faith? Because they never honestly look. Christians need to help them to see the wonderful truth of Hebrews 11:6, not look down on them.





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@Deb: This gets sooooo tiresome, but where did anyone make the declarative statement that God does not exist. In fact, the words you used to argue against such a declarative statement -- that such a person would have to be all-knowing -- are the words we atheists have stated to you as to why we do NOT make such a statement. You really need to read our comments rather than just your own.
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It's pretty sad when you feel the need to troll your nonsense on a thread that has been over for ten days, Deb.

You are the one who constantly shows a lack of intelligence and education. I honestly pity you for your sad reliance on Bronze Age mythology.

Run along.
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Cal- she's also a huge hypocrite. She claims at her last sentence that believers should not "look down on" us after spending her whole post in an insulting tirade.
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Yeah, I got that, too. We keep correcting her on her misconceptions of atheism, but it seems pretty clear at this point that she knows exactly what atheism is, and is waging an aggressive misinformation campaign against us. But you're right. Calling us rebellious children and of low intelligence is pretty clear evidence that she looks down on us. Physician, heal thyself.
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Cause it's an excuse to get pasted,
Eat to much and get gifts

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We must be related.
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Christmas has become an American tradition, beyond the scope of religious beliefs. It's become a commercialized holiday.

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It's extraordinary how many of these answers think Christmas is all about gifts. Sure, they're great when you're a kid, but adults tend to grow out of them.

Christmas is a time for celebration. It has no more significance for me than New Year or a birthday, and not nearly as much as an anniversary. There are few enough occasions for people to get together and celebrate and Christmas is one of them.

It's a time of nostalgia, a time to renew old friendships, a time to enjoy family, and a time when you can put reality on the back-burner for a day and thoroughly indulge yourself. It's good food and fine wine, or a beer or two, or a party or two.

Once upon a time it was a religious festival but, for most people in Oz, that no longer applies. Your religious index in the US is much higher than ours so it may still be a religious festival there.

Jesus' birthday? Sure. But equally it's Santa Clause's birthday and, of the two, he's a much jollier companion.

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That was very well said.
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Thank you, Lisbeth. That's a very formidable name, by the way. Have you heard of Lisbeth Salander?
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Some dude who flys around giving people presents is a happier companion than someone who gave his LIFE so that we would not have to sacrifice to repent?
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If you believe THAT, Badger, I've got some ocean-front land in Oklahoma you might be interested in buying ...
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Death: my parents, specifically my mother, gave me life. Not some imaginary boogie man in the sky.
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Celestial boogie man, if you please.
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You're welcome. And thank you very much, it is sort of a pseudonym, and that character is partly the reason why I chose it (I have only seen the movies though!). There are actually a few interesting characters on TV/movies with the name.
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I haven't seen the movies but loved the books. She is the unlikeliest heroine in fiction but one of the most exciting.
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By the way, I am not sure now if formidable was a compliment, but that was how I took it lol. XD
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And that's how it was intended. She was great.
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Okay, good! I definitely want to read those books sometime because I have only heard really good things about them.
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No OzMan...imaginary......created by man for man and nothing else,
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Ynp, I said he gave HIS life, not that he gave you life.
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I am pretty certain that you, death badger, believe that he gave us all life, anyway.
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True...
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Mithraic pagans (which predates Christianity) might ask why Christians celebrate their holiday. Here's a quote from http://rcg.org/books/ttooc.html which corroborates the general consensus of religious scholars: "The Roman festival of Saturnalia, Dec. 17-24, moved citizens to decorate their homes with greens and lights and give gifts to children and the poor. The Dec. 25 festival of natalis solis invicti, the birth of the unconquered sun, was decreed by the emperor Aurelian in A.D. 274 as a Winter Solstice celebration, and sometime (later)...was Christianized as a date to celebrate the birth of the Son of Light."

The Winter Solstice has always been a time of celebration throughout many different cultures because it is the beginning of longer days, warmth, and a new growing season.

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I might add that I am not Irish or Mexican, but I celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo.
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Anyone who isn't biased and cares to research it will find that christmas is a stolen holiday not made for jesus.

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Christmas is not a Christian religious festival rather a Pagan holiday stolen by early Christian impostors to encourage conversion. Neither 25th December is the birthday of Jesus. Christmas was celebrated as the festival for victory of the sun over the forces of darkness thousands of years before Jesus was even conceived by the Holy Ghost.


And, if you are still wondering, Atheists do not celebrate Christmas as a Christian festival rather they celebrate it as a social event.

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Agreed.
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That time of year, the winter solstice when days stop getting shorter and start getting longer, has been a time of celebration in many religions for a long, long time. It started with prehistoric people, or early IN historic times, people realized this meant that winter wasn't the end of the world, that winter was going to be over.

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wickedpissah

Here's a better question:
Why do christians celebrate Saturnalia?
It's a pagan holiday. Your statue-boy with the 6-pack abs has exactly NOTHINGto do with that holiday.
1. The tree - pagan tradition.
2. Mistletoe - pagan tradition.
3. The feast - pagan tradition.
4. The date - first day of solar ascension after the winer solstice.
5. The presents - who doesn't like presents?
6. 3 Wise Men = the stars in Orions belt, which happens to be in the constellation of Virgo (the Virgin) on Dec 25th. And they happen to point directly at the spot on the horizon where the sun rises on that date.
7. The Virgin Birth - see #6. The sun (the son) begins its re-ascension (is reborn) in Virgo (the virgin) and is attended by 3 wise men (Orion's Belt).
8. Stockings? Seriously? Jesus wore sandals. Who wears socks with sandals? Nobody!
Honestly. Christmas is about the LEAST-christian holiday ever. There is exactly NOTHING about Christmas that has anything to do with christianity.
Oh. and P.S: your boy was born in the summer! Read Luke chapter 2 for once in your life!

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They are celebrating the "Hallmark" holiday version.

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it's fun ti get stuff

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They are only concerned with acquiring material possessions.

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It's all commercialism. Purchasing material items (Shopper's Euphoria), using vacation days at work and traveling. Truth is when I moved from a big city to the suburbs, I realized that the last thing most people do is spend time with their families on these holidays.

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You realize the commercialism was begun by Christians? Santa Claus as we know it was a Christian creation, the grafting of a god-analog onto a saint to get the kiddies introduced to the idea of someone watching everything they do, and dishing out rewards/punishments. Then Coca-Cola ran with it.

As many have described above, nothing about Christmas was originally Christian anyway, but pagan.
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In the nonbeliever's defense (even though I am a christian myself), Christmas is more of a tradition to them, and a great time of year to spend with their friends and families. They enjoy the warm feeling they get when they give a present to someone, and they enjoy the excitement of opening one themselves. (don't we all?) Another question you can ask is: why do non-believers still recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or why do they still swear the President into office with Bibles, or why is Britain's national anthem still God Save the Queen? Tradition is the answer to all these questions.

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The Pledge of Allegience didn't have the words "under God" in it until 1954, and it was inserted because of McCarthyism. The gentlemen who wrote it intended it specifically to be secular and his estate sued over the matter.

The President is not required to be sworn in on a bible- that is more a historical tradition die to the fact that the bible used was Washington's. in fact, several Presidents have NOT been sworn in on a bible, such as Theodore Roosevelt, because they felt it was an unwarranted mix of church and state.
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DeclairedOk

Because Santa comes down all of our chimneys, Silly!

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Many people Christian or non-Christian just enjoy what's called the Christmas spirit. This article lists some of those elements and why people are drawn to Christmas, http://download.jw.org/files/media_magazines/wp_E_20121201.pdf.

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i celebrate it cuz A) the rest of my family is Christian and 2) its it the values, not about your jesus.

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Well, I still celebrate Christmas because my family is Christian(and, well, they don't know I'm atheist) and for the values it represents. Besides, like many have said, Jesus was born in the summer, and the celebration is a Pagan holiday.

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Justme111

Why do "Christians" celebrate it? It was taken from pagan religion. The Bible doesn't refer to the date of Jesus' birth. It says that the day of one's death is more important than one's birth. Ec 7:1.

In accord with this, the date of Jesus' death was made known and the memorial of it is coming up on March 26th. The Bible says that it should be observed yearly. Jehovah's Witnesses will be glad to welcome you to their Kingdom Hall to observe it with them.

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Well, i can't speak for everyone who doesn't believe in it, but i celebrate christmas because its a holiday where all things are put aside and there are no feuds other than who gets the last piece of cake <3 . Does it honestly HAVE to man something? I don't see all the "true christians" saying no to the gifts they receive or telling children there is no saint Nicholas or santa. the holiday is there for the spirit, not for the meaning where i come from. If you don't see it the way we do, who cares? it's not as if we are offending god by throwing a celebration on that day. if he really did have a problem with it, then he might as well just throw something at a wall and get over it along with his followers. and yes, i refered to him for the sakes of those who do believe in him,even though i don't.

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I'm atheist and I just celebrate, because of presents and gifts.

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they celebrate it because they think its about celebration and gifts. they celebrate just everything. its just a celebration not one of Christs birth

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Because they're in it for the presents and party.

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Cause cocacola told them to.

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chazt

Money.

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