The Atheists’ Gift to Christmas

An interesting column: a Rabbi reflects on atheists who are unhappy with public nativity scenes. Thoughtful and compassionate in its tone, and well worth reading: The Atheists’ Gift to Christmas.


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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Danielle baudouin Castronis

    Arogance is on both sides. First one must realize the depth of one’s arrogance. We tend to forget it as soon as we see it. Extraordinary watchfulness is required.
    To “believe in God” or to “believe that there is no God” are both dangerous because one will soon “own” that belief and fall pray to “already knowing”.
    If one approaches God with a desire to know, and the knowledge that one does not know, one might avoid the ego trap.It is when we let everything go that we have a chance to find out… and then, do it over and over again…in that way we can have certainty and confidence without the weight and drag of arrogance.
    It takes tremendous effort to live this way. Who wants to do it? it’s a lot easier to claim that we know the right way and stick to that. Then we are all stuck in the murk of our beliefs.

  • Dennis Barr

    I saw an article referring to the way the atheists in Santa Monica gamed the lottery process for the available sites in the park. Very cagey, those atheists.

    On a more serious note, we should reflect on the fact that atheism, in the same way as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other religion, is a faith. The atheists have a firm faith that all that exists is the physical world. Their faith doesn’t admit to anything beyond the discoverable, or perhaps, beyond the already discovered. My faith admits that I know next to nothing about the manifold wonders of the Universe, or the Multiverse. The wonder of my faith is that I know there’s more than I can discover, or even imagine.

    I’ve been on both sides of this divide. I can say with absolute assurance that I prefer the side I’m on now, to what I now see as the cold and limited world I inhabited before. Go ahead, and pray a prayer of thanks and hope for the atheists you know. And don’t stop there – pray for all g-d’s creatures here on this beautiful planet. Let the prayers roll out. Amen