Atheist Christmas

December 15, 2009

Today’s Toronto Star has an article about how atheists have to “grapple” with Christmas; that the religious aspects of Christmas are just too much for us to handle.

This is, I think, part of a larger idea that atheists are incapable of enjoying anything having to do with the notion of god or religion, which is nonsense; you can watch and enjoy Star Trek, all the while knowing that Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are not real. So too, I can enjoy ‘Silent Night’ as a nice piece of music, while still content with the knowledge (self-evident, I would think) that a virgin did not give birth to a holy infant.

Secondly, Christmas is not simply a religious holiday; indeed, did you ever stop to wonder why it falls on December 25th? Do you really believe this is the actual birthday of Jesus? Or is it, perhaps, simply that pagan religions had been celebrating the winter solstice for millenia , and early Christians wanted in on the action too?

But that, too, is irrelevant; I enjoy Christmas because it is a time of year to take a break from the craziness of the world; to step back, to enjoy time with friends and family, to simply relax.

No ‘grappling’ required.

Six to Eight, did you say?

December 15, 2008

David Sedaris is a brilliant satirist, and one of my absolute favourite writers. With that in mind, I’m linking to his classic story, “Six to Eight Black Men”, which is available, in its complete form, at Esquire.