Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas with an Atheist

My attitude towards Christmas is as follows:

  • I appreciate the holiday season, as I do Thanksgiving, for the way it brings families together, especially extended families.
  • I tend to resent the forced gift-giving materialism aspect of it, naturally.
  • I object to the efforts of some to try to make the holiday Christ-centric. It’s common knowledge the solstice was chosen as the date for Christ’s birth to ease the (forced) conversion of new Christians.

So what does an atheist like myself do?

  • I celebrate “the holidays” with minimal, practical or thoughtful gift-giving.
  • I wish friends a happy holiday.
  • I don’t freak out or correct anyone who innocently wishes me a “merry Christmas,” not because I am afraid to offend, but because I don’t want to make anyone sorry for the kind act of attempting to spread some cheer! And of course, Christmas is fairly secular for a lot of people, so it’s not like they just wished me a “merry feast day of Our Lady” or some such completely, overtly faith-based thing.

Happy holidays, and make the best of 2010!

How is it possible for Jesus to learn?

I found the following letter in The Independent:

Letter: The toddler Jesus

John Coutts Tuesday, 30 December 1997

The toddler Jesus

Sir: Glad tidings! Miles Kington has taken up New Testament studies (16 December). But he is way off-target in suggesting that Mary’s Boy Child would have made grown-up remarks at the age of six months. Luke’s Gospel (2:46,52) makes it quite clear that Jesus was a normal child who “grew both in body and wisdom” and asked questions rather than giving answers.


Gravesend, Kent

The passage in question recounts the story of Jesus going to the temple as a young boy/man and simultaneously learning and debating Jewish theology in an extraordinarily gifted manner. This is weird, because where is that skill coming from? The fact he is God? Then why does he need to learn anything at all?

That is a reason that a baby Jesus is absurd. What was God thinking as he waved his little hands and soiled himself?