Weapons in the ‘War on Christmas’

Dr Rotwang! has a list of weapons atheists can use in our “War on Christmas.” I’m a personal fan of this one since I deploy it more than any other one:

WTF-1 LOOK OF SKEPTICAL DISBELIEF

Still standard-issue, this year’s WTF-1 has been slightly upgraded in response to changing battlefield conditions. Extensive testing ensures that “The Look” can be successfully deployed in response to Rick Perry TV ads, Doomsday Predictions and anything that Michelle Bachmann says.

What weapons do you have in your arsenal?

Truth be told, if there’s a war at all (and there really isn’t), I would suspect more Christians are on our side than not. They celebrate Christmas however they want and they don’t care how your family celebrates it. They get pissed off whenever they hear a small faction of loud Christians proclaim that everyone must celebrate Christmas the same way they do: Saying “Merry Christmas,” going to church, or celebrating the birth of Jesus. The more secular and diverse the holidays get and the more we celebrate that, the faster those boorish Christians lose the fake war.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Anonymous

    Most of the atheists I know enjoy saying “Merry Christmas” to those who like to hear it.  No need for fake war.

    • http://xbowvsbuddha.blogspot.com Dr Rotwang!

      I actually did that while shopping this year.  “Do you celebrate a holiday?” I’d say to the clerk at the store.  And if they said “Yes” and then “Christmas”, I’d say, “Well, Merry Christmas!”

      EASY.  It’s just being nice.  So much easier than being a dick.

      • Anonymous

        I actually did that while shopping this year.  “Do you celebrate a holiday?” I’d say to the clerk at the store.  And if they said “Yes” and then “Christmas”, I’d say, “Well, Merry Christmas!”

        EASY.  It’s just being nice.  So much easier than being a dick.

        Just perfect :)

    • Anonymous

      The “Happy Holidays” stuff isn’t due to atheism like some Christians assume. It’s about accommodating other religions

      • M G

        Well, when you acknowledge that there ARE other religions–they find that offensive, too.

        • Asm

          I work in retail management and often calm down angry Christians (of course, it’s always a Christian) who hear “Happy Holidays” by reminding them to have a nice New Year’s too. Bunch of ingrates.

        • Anonymous

          That’s actually quite true with the vocal segment that I’ve seen.  They don’t want “their” religion watered down with accommodations towards other beliefs.  Happy Holidays has been around for a long time, I think to also include the new year’s holiday

          I find it hilarious that they’re so blind to the fact that demanding the shrines of consumerism say “Merry Christmas” in order to get their business also waters down their religion.  It’s like fighting someone to do something that’s actually in their own best interest, but they refuse to understand it that way.

  • BdrLen
  • Trickster Goddess

    Something interesting I noted: all the cards I’ve received from my religious relatives this year, even from the fundamentalist ones, say some variation of “Happy Holidays” and none have the word “Christmas” on them anywhere.

    One shows a picture of a church inside a snow globe but other than that there is no indication of religion on any of them.

    I’ve never made any complaints about Christmas so it isn’t like they are trying to be sensitive to my feelings or anything. These are just the cards they chose to buy on their own volition.

    I don’t mind if someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas”, I’m cheered by their friendly greeting. And I’m happy to celebrate any holiday just for the sake of having a holiday, if nothing else.

    So Merry Christmas to all my fellow atheists and Happy Boxing Day shopping to my fellow Canadians.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      My sister gave a card to our father, which said “Happy Holidays”. He just had to complain about it, albeit a small one (“Happy holidays? Well which holiday is it?”). Ugh. Way to show appreciation and a Christ-like attitude.

      • Anonymous

        My father ranted about this topic more times than I can count over the holidays……and he’s not the LEAST bit religious!

        His reason for not liking ‘happy holidays’?  Yep, you guessed it.  It’s about ‘those’ people coming here to ‘our’ country (your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the ‘connection’ there)  *rolling eyes*

        I….just……aaaaahhhh.

  • http://twitter.com/apsalartoll apsalartoll

    I have a number of relatives who the past couple of days have been putting MERRY CHRISTMAS (caps and all) in their Facebook status and I imagine that the war on Christmas is some part of it. But I think mostly it’s because for them, the religious aspect of the holiday really is the most important, and I can’t get too annoyed at them for thinking that. Also, I’m just a sucker for Christmas. I love the cookies and the decorations and the ugly sweater parties.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-A-Anderson/100000016895400 John A. Anderson

    My weapon is proper spelling. It’s Michele.

  • Newavocation

    Maybe it’s a indication of losing market share. I mean this time of year is when churches can fill those pews and get tithing or pledges caught up. Celebrating a plural holiday without going to church really hampers that effort. Easter just doesn’t bring people out like it use to. 

    It also seems some of the typical Merry Christmas greetings I get are not given with a big warm smile, instead its more like a jihad or struggle to keep their xmas holiday sacred above all others.

  • Greisha

    What about Happy Issac Newton day?

  • Anonymous

    I think atheists would do well to avoid making an issue of a “Merry Christmas”.  Many atheists enjoy celebrating Christmas without any religious significance at all.  Aside from commercialism, the problem among atheists with Christmas is at least two-fold.  No self-respecting atheist would wish a “Merry Christmas” on Bill Donohue or David Duke.  More complicated is the fact that many people with alternative to a Christian background, even after abandoning their own religious upbringings, take the traditional carols or The Messiah as an exclusive code.  The issue is one of background, rather than atheism, and should be dropped to curb the infighting and, more important, to avoid alienating people still on the fence.

  • Sware

    Most check-out clerks I heard it from were basically “reciting the line” Merry Christmas, as though it was a canned response they were made to say.  Sort of like, “would you like to super-size that?”  Very few times this season, upon hearing someone say “Merry Christmas” did it even sound like a sincere greeting.  That probably bothers me most to think that they may feel like they have to say it rather than want to say it in which case I’d rather not hear it at all.

  • Redyj91

    My weapon of choice in the War on Christmas is the O Tannen-bomb.


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