I recently watched an interesting video on YouTube where magician & proclaimed atheist, Penn Jillette, claims that atheists are excluded from Christmas. Penn calls Christianity a club, saying they “want to close other people out”. In his commentary, he actually asked, “why are you forcing us not to have our joy?”
My, oh my!
OK, I’m totally against the commercialization of Christmas. It’s really not about racing around to stores for the best deals, eating until we feel like popping and the endless stress of getting everything just right.
People from other faiths celebrate other holidays around this time of year, too. That’s awesome and I’m happy for them! But to be clear, I’m talking about Christmas, not to be confused with the other holidays. I’m not going to get into the entire history of wintertime holidays, but Christmas itself is about commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Even the name comes from the words Christ’s Mass. It’s celebrated in December because that’s when scholars believe Christ was born, based on historical accounts of His conception in the spring.
It’s For Everyone
Granted, there are all kinds of people out there and even some Christian may not really have the true Christmas spirit. But, I really don’t believe that the general consensus is to leave out non-Christians from Christmas. In fact, any true Christian will love and want to include all people in the celebration of Christmas. Jesus loved everyone and asked no less from us all.
It’s obvious that people who complain about being left out of Christmas because it’s called Christmas and because of what Christmas is about, want to somehow change the meaning of the holiday. Typically, it’s those people who aren’t religious themselves who seem to be uncomfortable with other people’s’ expression of spiritual belief.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Those who have the true spirit of the season want nothing more than to include everyone, regardless of race, religion or any other factor! I wouldn’t want to see anyone left out of Christmas – it’s a wonderful time of the year! I’ve had friends who are Buddhist, Jewish – even atheist, and they all have been gracious in giving & receiving Christmas gifts.
An atheist who feels left out for me celebrating what I believe in should get some solid beliefs of their own to celebrate – because atheism itself is non-belief in God or a higher divine power. Someone who doesn’t believe in God is going to have no hope or faith for anything after this worldly existence…and therefore, no reason to celebrate hope. It’s no wonder they would feel excluded – they’ve excluded themselves.
Feeling Left Out?
My sincere, loving recommendation would be this: if you really feel left out of a Christian holiday because you don’t believe in God and Christ, then maybe you should re-examine that lack of belief or simply establish your own set of solid beliefs and then celebrate them. But don’t try to change the meaning of what I believe and celebrate because you don’t like it.
In his video, Penn Jillette also suggested we just call it “the holiday”. Well, doesn’t that just change Christmas if we don’t call it what it is?
It’s ridiculous to change Christmas so that people who believe differently aren’t uncomfortable. That’s someone imposing their beliefs on another person in an effort to change how they think and what they celebrate – just so as not to feel left out. I have nothing against atheists but I don’t think the same way they do. I believe in God in Heaven with all of my soul – and in His son, Jesus Christ.
A Welcome To All
I believe we help others feel comfortable by respecting their individual beliefs, loving them as fellow human souls and welcoming them all to share in the joy of Christmas!
So Penn, no one is forcing you to not have your joy. To my knowledge, no one is excluding you from Christmas. In fact, I’d love to include you for Christmas, even welcoming you into my humble home and would want you to bring your joy along! I’d welcome everyone. We may not have a huge tree or tons of fancy food to feast on but we practice love & understanding. In my home we believe in God and Jesus Christ, discuss the story of His birth and life, then give thanks in prayer before Christmas dinner.
This time of year is special to billions or people around the world for various reasons. It’s a time to forget segregation and denomination, expressing brotherhood with everyone. Though we may live under different roofs or decorate differently, we all came from the same place and now share the same planet as our home.
From my heart to yours, I wish you a very merry Christmas!