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To wonder why people who appear to dislike religion enjoy Christian celebrations

(509 Posts)
Cupcake1985 Sun 03-Nov-13 11:08:57

I know that most people enjoy Christmas, Easter etc with no regard for the actual Christian basis and meaning of the celebration, but aibu to think that those people should then not get all offended by the religious aspects and sometimes be downright rude about it?? The nativity play, spreading the word of god through carol singing etc..... Dare I mention operation Christmas child?! If you enjoy Christmas then at least try to accept it is actually about the birth of Christ or at least respect that others will celebrate this fact and may try to share that with those around them with the best intentions.

Basically cheer up, be accepting, be kind.

ringaringarosy Sun 03-Nov-13 11:42:58

because all of the "christian" festivals are basically festivals which everyone celebrated anyway and then the christians just decided to take over and make up that someone was born/died on that day,theres always been celebrations at winter and spring.

gordyslovesheep Sun 03-Nov-13 11:44:34

exactly Hettie - I'm not disagreeing - but I am wondering if you call that CHRISTmas or something else

I am not denying that Christianity stole other religions festivals - just that the name is Christian

I am a humanist so a faithless wonder but I do think the name is Christian

Heartbrokenmum73 Sun 03-Nov-13 11:44:54

then the christians just decided to take over and make up that someone was born/died on that day

Wowzers ringa grin.

All these threads are making me feel proper Christmassy!

<spectacularly misses the point>

Branleuse Sun 03-Nov-13 11:45:48

christmas was never about jesus, it was the saturnalia pagan festival and the solstice combined in an attempt to win people over to christianity.

Now its just part of western culture, whether youre christian or not. Id be quite happy to never celebrate, but the kids like it. I will not make it about religion

ringaringarosy Sun 03-Nov-13 11:46:48

in america dont they call it "the holidays" so as not to offend anyone?

PatoBanton Sun 03-Nov-13 11:47:43

I imagine they enjoy them for the same reasons as Christians.

Whenever someone posts on MN asking if it's ok to go along to church just for the social life, biscuits and singing, hundreds of Christians pile in to say 'yes come on in! We want everyone, it doesn't matter if you believe'.

Yet we still get threads like this.

Bonkers in the nut.

curlew Sun 03-Nov-13 11:48:12

No. They call them "holidays" so as to include everyone.

AnyBagsofOxfordFuckers Sun 03-Nov-13 11:48:33

Actually, OP, it would more correct to start a thread saying something along the lines of "Hey, Christians, when you enjoy the traditional UK trappings of Christmas, you need to accept you are taking part in Pagan traditions and secular Victorian trends that have zero to do with Jesus or Christianity". Decorations, feasting, gifts, group singing of traditional celebratory songs (albeit not carols, of course): Pagan. Xmas tree, cards: Victorian fashions.

But you don't get threads started like that because no-one wants to stop Christmas having a very special meaning to Christians. So why do you think you have the right to try to tell others how they should and must enjoy Christmas in return?! People being non-Christian or Atheist or Agnostic doesn't mean Christians can't enjoy whatever things are meaningful to them. If other people not believing the same things as you, or enjoying something for the same reasons as you, upsets you or shakes your faith or enjoyment, OP, then that means you either have a very shaky faith or need to work on incredibly low self-esteem. Either reason means that you need to take responsibility for your reactions, not others.

What on earth does it matter to you if other people don't enjoy the same aspects of a thing as you, or celebrate it for the same reasons? Your attitude is an appalling advertisement for Christianity, you know.

ringaringarosy Sun 03-Nov-13 11:48:39

i do plan on telling the kids the "story" of baby jesus though,it is just a story to us (a lovely one in some ways" they get told about it all at school too but we make sure we balance it out with some non brainwashing stuff (they go to a CofE and from what they have told me they get told things as fact)

ringaringarosy Sun 03-Nov-13 11:49:38

curlew thats the same thing to me really.i didnt mean it in a bad way i think its a good idea.

Morgause Sun 03-Nov-13 11:49:41

We pagans really enjoy our solstice celebrations and we don't mind if Christians join in.

80sMum Sun 03-Nov-13 11:49:54

Yes, of course, Christmas is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus and it has great significance for them. But the thing is that the majority of the traditions and celebrations are not Christian and have nothing to do with the Christian side of Christmas.
All the feasting, decorations, trees etc are pagan in origin.
I've often thought it would be nicer for Christians if they could have a different date for their celebrations and feast days, to separate them from the secular festivals.

Beccagain Sun 03-Nov-13 11:50:41

Terrific post Anybags

HettiePetal Sun 03-Nov-13 11:52:52

exactly Hettie - I'm not disagreeing - but I am wondering if you call that CHRISTmas or something else

Well, I would call it something else, but no one would know what I was on about!

I wasn't being flippant about Saturday - that really was named after Saturn, and none of us has a problem with that. Or Thursday after Thor. Or Wednesday after.....Wotan?

You don't to believe in any of those gods to us those words. Hence it's of no consequence to me to use "Christmas". It's just a word.

If it means more to Christians, fine. But the rest of us shouldn't be made to feel like we're being hypocrites or encroaching on something that's none of our business.

WooWooOwl Sun 03-Nov-13 11:52:58

Christmas is as much cultural as it is Christian nowadays, which is exactly what the early Christians in this country were aiming for.

People celebrate it because it is human nature to want to be involved in community stuff, we are social creatures and there's no getting away from it when Christmas comes. You may as well celebrate when the entire country is geared up to celebrate at that them of year with bank holidays and the like.

I'm happy to celebrate the birth of Christ, but I'd rather celebrate the good will that often comes along with Christmas and the message of kindness and love. I think that's more worthy of celebration tbh.

PatoBanton Sun 03-Nov-13 11:53:22

Anyway do Christian folk really go around saying 'Oh I am so happy today, because Jesus was born on this day 200000 years ago' or do they jazz it up with a nice lunch and presents like everyone else?

That's what makes it fun, not the fact it's an anniversary or whatever.

Bubbles1066 Sun 03-Nov-13 11:54:23

Christmas is just the Pagan festival of Yule with a different story. Before Yule, there was probably something else. I like what the Americans do and call it 'holidays' as that includes all of the winter time festivals - Hanukah, Yule, Christmas and others. People have celebrated that time of year for Thousands of years.
As an atheist I see 'Christmas' as a time of reflection, to give thanks for what we have and spend time with family and friends. I don't like it when a small number of Christians (not all by any means) think it's their festival.

PatoBanton Sun 03-Nov-13 11:54:36

Anyway people would still want to partay around the darkest bit of the year because it's franky a shit time in other ways, so really, if Christmas wasn't already there, we'd have invented it anyway.

HettiePetal Sun 03-Nov-13 11:55:07

You don't have to believe in any of those gods to us those words. I meant.

edam Sun 03-Nov-13 11:56:13

Top post, Anybags.

OP, I don't want anyone to stop you, or other Christians, celebrating your Christmas, but please understand the midwinter feast existed long before the Christians co-opted it.

Operation Christmas Child is a whole other issue. You can celebrate Christmas as a Christian without getting involved in what is, IMO, a deceitful and exploitative scam. And profoundly unChristian. Lying is a sin. Lying to and expoiting children, both in this country and the receiving countries, is a very serious sin. Particularly outrageous when done in the name of a man who said 'suffer [[allow] the little children to come unto me' and warned that if you harmed a child, your punishment would be worse than being cast into the sea with a millstone round your neck. IIRC.

fatlazymummy Sun 03-Nov-13 12:03:20

I only celebrate christmas because my children want to. If I was on my own I would just treat it as another day. I totally ignore any religious aspects, but if others want to sing carols, go to church etc. then I'm happy for them.
I do like seeing christmas trees, lights, decorations though. They do break up the drabness of winter. I guess that's more the pagan side of things, though I'm not one of those either.
The other aspect of christmas I really don't like is the overeating and drinking, roast turkey and tins of roses and so on, so again I don't do it. If other people want to that's up to them.
Luckily we live in quite a free society and we can pick and choose what we want to celebrate.

BackOnlyBriefly Sun 03-Nov-13 12:05:49

Cupcake this started because you said Christmas is about the birth of Christ. Don't like Christmas Christian charities? Don't celebrate Christmas at all problem solved

You should not be surprised at being picked up on it, but it's not just you so it's not personal. Something of this sort gets said every few weeks - actually about 3 times this week.

If we've learned anything from the feminists, it's that casual/unthinking remarks must be challenged. Every time someone says "oh but women can't do that" someone will post "of course they can" and everytime someone says that Dec 25th belongs to Christians someone is going to say "no it doesn't'.

fatlazymummy Sun 03-Nov-13 12:07:39

And I totally agree with edam re . OCC.
I don't agree with evangelising, full stop, and I'm not going to do anything that supports that. However I will make a donation to charity, something that will actually improve someone's life in some small way.

AuntieStella Sun 03-Nov-13 12:12:35

There's a whole separate thread running about OCC (hope this doesn't turn into a TAAT!). And as there seems to be one every year, that in itself is becoming a MN seasonal tradition grin

Christmas is Christian, and widely celebrated, and I agree with OP that it's a bit off to be curmudgeonly towards that celebration.

Yule however isn't. Nor is Father Christmas. Nor is the tradition of a mid-winter festival. nor is all the greenery, the wassailing and the carolling.

There's plenty of space for all sorts of celebration.

DoctorRobert Sun 03-Nov-13 12:14:04

If you enjoy Christmas then at least try to accept it is actually about the birth of Christ

Is it? Actually, the Christian church stamped it on top of a very ancient pagan festival.

As an aethiest, nothing I celebrate at Christmas has anything to do with Christianity.


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