Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
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26-06-2014, 10:48 PM
Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
This is a question as a newly converted Atheist over from not even caring one bit about religion I began to ponder heavily. My family, a nonchristian family with some christian views celebrates Christmas each year nonreligiously. It is purely for the celebratory value of Christmas (IE not for the supposed birthday of Jesus but because of giving). I also just enjoy the feel and happiness of the holiday in general. But as a new atheist I thought of this

Is it possible to celebrate religious based holidays like Christmas without the religion?
Is it ok even if the above question is true to enjoy the holiday as an atheist?
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27-06-2014, 12:01 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
There are many holidays like Christmas, that are widely celebrated in a secular way (Thanksgiving and Halloween are some examples to name a few). Christmas for the non-religious is a means in which we can spend more time with our family and a great way to quite conventionally get them a gift.

As an atheist, I put all the woo and superstition aside. When I celebrate Thanksgiving for example, I thank & appreciate all of the firemen who put their lives at risk, all of the farmers who grow food for us to eat, all of the doctors who look after us, all of the scientists that increase our knowledge etc (I could name so much more!). There's no need to buy in to the superstitious dogma to enjoy holidays with our families, wherever their roots may be (and by the way, Christians stole Christmas from the pagans!)

So of course, it's easily possible to celebrate/enjoy religious based holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Halloween without the religion. It's another way to spend time with my family. Just appropriately feel the holiday in a realistic sense. You said it perfectly, (not for the supposed birthday of Jesus but because of giving), and I think over time as more and more people celebrate these holidays in a more general sense, the religious roots of it will make a lesser impact.

Next time holidays come around, make the best attempt you can to bring the family together and spend more time with each other. Happy future holidays!

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27-06-2014, 01:50 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
I don't care much for holidays anymore. There is never anything I really want anymore and I don't like buying for other people because I am too poor these days.

I just kinda get depressed in a way. Plus I never have anything to do on those days anyway.

I celebrate them out of social pressure. Not because I like them or anything.


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27-06-2014, 02:08 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
I celebrate all the typical western holidays. I just cut the praying and the bible bits out. To be perfectly honest, none of the christian holidays started out christian, so in a way we are all celebrating pagan holidays. Also, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't much care if they did. Just because valentines day is named after a saint doesn't mean I don't enjoy the excuse to spend time with my girlfriend. Holidays are just annual reminders to stop for a bit and enjoy life. Religious people mix their faith into that, which is mostly harmless, as an atheist I just enjoy the day Thumbsup
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27-06-2014, 02:36 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
I can think of plenty of reasons I don't like Christmas anymore, religion is not the main one.
I do gifts for the kids, and my son's birthday happens to be Dec. 25 (does that mean I'm god?) so there's always a birthday party.
I bet there are lots of people who claim to be christians who celebrate without the religious aspects.
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27-06-2014, 03:55 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
We should Celebrate Saturnalia. That would be kinda fun for a change of pace.

Who's with me?


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27-06-2014, 05:38 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
(27-06-2014 03:55 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  We should Celebrate Saturnalia. That would be kinda fun for a change of pace.

Who's with me?

Naw. Lets do Krampus this year!

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27-06-2014, 06:27 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
My family (Christian) obviously celebrates Christmas and Easter... yet religion is almost never brought up in it. There's almost no talk of "true meanings" or anything. Sure, half of the carols at Christmas will be religious, but my family likes singing. This just happens to be what they sing on Christmas.

So, while most of my parent's generation is Christian, the religious holidays have never had a very strong feeling of religion for me. This was handy when I stopped believing in God. I can keep doing what I've always been doing on the holidays, and it doesn't feel particularly awkward.
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27-06-2014, 06:37 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
(27-06-2014 06:27 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  My family (Christian) obviously celebrates Christmas and Easter... yet religion is almost never brought up in it. There's almost no talk of "true meanings" or anything. Sure, half of the carols at Christmas will be religious, but my family likes singing. This just happens to be what they sing on Christmas.

So, while most of my parent's generation is Christian, the religious holidays have never had a very strong feeling of religion for me. This was handy when I stopped believing in God. I can keep doing what I've always been doing on the holidays, and it doesn't feel particularly awkward.

My family is similar. It is just an excuse for us to get together, take pictures and give each other stuff. My mom (who is extreemly catholic) and I agrre the holidays are not such a big deal for our family. We use just about any excuse to get together, birthdays, football games, my dad feels like playing cards, the day ends in Y and no one is working, etc, etc, etc. I see my entire faimly 2-3 times a month. Actually just got back from a week at the beach with all 18 of us under one roof and no fights.
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27-06-2014, 06:55 AM
RE: Celebrating Religious Based Holidays for celebratory not religious value
Due to our obligations, we can't get to any family functions until after 6 PM. By then all the religion has been wrung out of the atmosphere and we're left with just camaraderie. The Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, apathists, and atheists get along pretty well.

Plus, somebody else is doing all the cooking. Big Grin

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