Saturday, December 18, 2010

What to sing at Christmas if you don't believe in the myth

I'm going to reference a funny, on-the-spot essay by Greta Christina titled, "10 Best Christmas Songs for Atheists."

She begins by noting that not all atheists hate Christmas. "Lots of atheists like Christmas," she says. "Heck, even Richard Dawkins likes Christmas." And then, in a fine snarky way, she notes "...we find our own ways to adapt/create/subvert the holiday traditions to our own godless ends."  And that's what this essay is all about!

Most atheists, she says, would like the government to get out of sponsoring any kind of religious displays at any time of year, especially "with the whole 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' thing."

But I really love this part: "And some of us do rather resent the cultural hegemony of one particular religious tradition being crammed down everybody's throat, in a grotesque, mutant mating of homogenized consumerism and saccharine piety."  (My emphasis.  See photo above!)

Yes! Things have changed a lot over the past 40-50 years. Back then, many claiming to be Christians bemoaned the commercialism that had taken over the Christmas holidays. Today, have made capitalism part of the Christian creed, they love the commercialism or as Christina puts it, "the homogenized consumerism and saccharine piety." 

What they don't like is people snubbing their commercialized Jesus.  They don't like that some folks actually dare say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." They don't like the fact that there are millions of people in this country who don't give a damn about Christianity but really enjoy having a good time during the winter solstice! And what's even more weird is that it is the most amoral, un-Christian, anti-everything Jesus taught people who get most upset, such as Rush Limbaarger and Bill O'Reilly and Ms. Coulter.

Ms. Christina, like so many of us, is "very fond of Christmas. Some atheists even like Christmas carols." Well, not so much the carols anymore with their "angels and magic stars and the miracle of the virgin birth." It's pretty hard to sing about any of that anymore.

So, Ms. Christina has come up with a list of "Christmas songs that atheists can love unreservedly." Or agnostics. Or those who go to church just once a year but don't believe much of anything.

She sets some parameters, such as the "Songs cannot have any mention of God, Jesus, angels, saints, or miracles," and that the "Songs must be reasonably well-known."

Ultimately, she ends up with 10 oldies but goodies, No. 10 being "White Christmas," which is "an entirely secular Christmas classic written by a Jewish agnostic..."

I'm not going to name the rest of them. You'll have to read her essay to find out.  And you can do that here.  I think you'll like her selections.  If not, just substitute your own list.  Nobody's going to claim you're starting a war on Christmas!


Bob Poris said...

A lot of people like Xmas and all the pagan pageantry involved, plus the gift giving and good cheer.

Christians can celebrate the birth of Jesus in church or in their homes or amongst their friends, etc.

Other religious people of many faiths celebrate different Holy Days in much more private ways that do not offend anyone.

I believe many religions have a way to communicate with their God of choice anytime or anyplace. I believe Jesus made that point long ago, before huge, expensive buildings were built. I doubt if Jesus anticipated Santa in department stores or on the streets extolling gift giving rather than praying or thinking of the original meaning of Christmas as opposed to Xmas. People engaged in the pursuit of profits, celebrate Xmas. People wishing to celebrate the birth of Jesus can do so anywhere and anytime in any gathering or in solitude.

The phony charge of a war against Christmas or Xmas is ridiculous and frequently led by people that are busy condemning all sorts of people or attempting to prevent them from almost anything they do not like or believe. Many crimes have been committed by the phonies that do not follow even the basic tenets of the original words of Jesus. We now have over 20,000 Protestant denominations, I read recently in the USA. Surely they cannot all be the true religion or maybe they all are. We will find out or not, after we die, if we are aware or carry over our beliefs or lack thereof.

In the meantime, I wish you all a merry Christmas, Xmas or holiday season. I think it is the thought that counts.

Seven Star Hand said...

Actually there is a war on Christmas and the best way to win is to finally prove the truth and force religious leaders to cease and desist from their lies and exploitation. No need to wait until you die. Here's my latest press release on the topic.

Seven Star Hand Unveils Death Blow in War on Christmas

Telling lies about me for two millennia has dire consequences, and now I intend to collect on what is due.

Here is Wisdom...

cieldequimper said...

So how come I like angels? They have no particular religious meaning to me but I still think they are beautiful!

I think I'll stick with the pagan and Father Christmas.

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