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They say they want the Kingdom, but they don’t want God in it

December 9, 2009

At this time of year when we are all getting lost amidst the flurry of yuletide activity, it is important that we be ever mindful of those who are suffering — atheists?

This story from Yahoo (along with my comments) chronicles the feelings of atheists attending an ill-named “Atheist Happy Hour”:

“All the planned activities at this time of year revolve around the church,” said O’Neill, a retiree and an atheist for decades.

Aw shucks, that’s no fair!

O’Neill sought an escape this week, joining a group of her fellow nonbelievers for a weekly “Atheist Happy Hour” at a suburban Mexican restaurant…

Well what is the purpose of that group?

For one thing, it’s a chance to share coping techniques during this most religious time of year. They range from the simple, like warning about certain stores that blare religious Christmas songs, to tougher tasks like how to avoid certain topics with certain family members.

Fair enough, y’all have been nothing but understanding when Christians take a zero tolerance stance on something.

These atheists describe adjusting some customs to make them their own, like Nancy Ruhland, a pharmacist who sends out Christmas cards to friends and loved ones — but makes sure to find ones without a Christian message or subtext.

Nancy you sly devil. But if cards are good we have found some common ground!

“What we’re celebrating this year is the promise of the sun returning. That’s S-U-N, not S-O-N,” said Bill Weir, a retired marketing executive from Plymouth.

I was not aware that the S-U-N was missing.

“Then the Christians stole it,” added Marie Elena Castle of Minneapolis, the 82-year-old founder of Atheists for Human Rights and an atheist activist for two decades…

Awww Christians, that was rude. But hey you atheists are starting to talk ugly, let’s see if we can get back to some common ground.

“Food, we like. Presents, we like. Seeing family, we like,” said Val Woelfel of St. Paul, an aspiring archaeologist. Woelfel, 47, and her boyfriend, Bjorn Larsen, 32, planned to erect a tree in their living room: “Sacred trees are an ancient custom. It’s pretty, it smells nice and it’s pagan,” Woelfel said.

Ah ha! Food! Presents! Trees! Now you’re talkin’!

“It’s the biggest family event of the year, and for me it’s about seeing the family,” said Larsen, an auto mechanic. “It’s about taking the good and leaving the bad.”

Cards, food, presents, family, a tree! That is starting to sounds a lot like Chri… oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you Jim. Go ahead.

Jim Wright, a retired merchandiser, lives with his 92-year-old mother in St. Paul. She “believes all that crap,” he said.

Oh, but it’s your aged mother, so you’ll be cool right?

This Christmas, he said, “I told her if she wants lights on the side of the house that she needs to do it. She’s long since given up on the tree.”

I’m sure she is proud of you Jim.

So apparently there are three categories of Christmas traditions for today’s atheist:
(1) Things that are good (e.g. holiday cards, food and presents)
(2) Things that are good if you want them to be good unless you don’t want them to be good in which case they are bad and people that think they are good are stupid unless they are atheists (e.g. decorations and family)
(3) Things that are abhorrent and those who think otherwise are stupid and worthy of ridicule (e.g. Jesus Christ)

Above all be quick to intolerance and insensitivity towards those who disagree with your views — even, nay, especially, your 92 year-old mother.

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