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Is it hypocritical for me, as an atheist, to celebrate religious holidays?

Family is very important to me, so, though I don’t believe in some all-seeing, all-knowing magic being, I still enjoy spending time with family, sharing different food dishes, and exchanging gifts in the case of Christmas. Religious holidays are the perfect time for me to do that as most of my family are religous, to varying degrees, and I have the major holidays off from work. Is it hypocritical for me to celebrate or is it ok to just look at it as a social gathering?

Leeshi 7 Apr 16

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45 comments

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1

It is Thanksgiving I am ambivalent, or more, conflicted about celebrating. Being with family and eating and drinking to celebrate the mass murder of Native Americans which began white rule in this country

2

It's a social thing. My mother pulled me up on this. I don't really think we are celebrating the religion when the holiday has lost all of its original meaning. Should we not do Thursday because we don't believe in the God of War? As I said to my Mother about Christmas. Santa was the Patron Saint of Prostitutes so I'm celebrating that!

2

Most if not all current religious holidays are stolen from the pagans and they at least worshiped things that are real. The sun is a great example, actually did create us and everything on earth. Christmas is a great example as well. Take away jesus and you still have presents, family gatherings, feasts and a decorated tree. So go and enjoy guilt free 🙂

3

Absolutely okay. I see holidays about togetherness.

2

There's a lot of goodness, warmth and comfort that comes from sharing Religious holidays with family. You don't have to proclaim your stance as Agnostic/atheist to be one; and the traditions of Religion are very friendly, warm, and peace-loving....so by all means....enjoy them, share them. If religious family members challenge you with a debate, keep it friendly - and they might grow out of their religious "dependence" thanks to you! If they challenge you in a hostile way, give your apologies and smile; they aren't at your level - yet.

2

I often think about this.
I have 4 children and do easter and christmas.
oddly I don't involve any abrahamic things at all in regards to jesus.
It really is just Santa and the easter bunny, Its a weird thing to do but its fun and in a total non religious way.
Now when my children ask me about the bible I explain there are many religions and this is just one of them so explore them all and question everything.
I also explain holiday traditions are a mix from many differant cultures.

Parenting done right! Teaching tolerance and acceptance of others

2

Christmas and Easter are borrowed from other religions anyways, so they mean nothing. Enjoy your turkey and your chocolate.

3

Is it wrong for christian people to celebrate seclar holidays?
All Christian and other religious holidays, all have much older meanings than the ones a particular "faith" assign to them, and most are just to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
If it makes you feel better just call them the winter, summer, spring and autumn festivals.

3

I don't think its hypocritical if you know what you are doing and why. I wouldnt hesitate to support any of my family in anything htey wanted to do because Its just a meeting of friendship and we all have so many different ways of showing our love and understanding. i think there is a core set of values within me that I adhere to and as long as I am not required to break them I feel Okay, I don't have to buy into the meanings of what I am doing I am onnly required to be part of hte ritual - Its Ok .

Thank you

3

For some,a holiday isn't about the religious aspect but the whole spending time with family and good feelings thing.

Exactly!

0

No, they stole it first

Source:

Owh, is that a film based on the Neil Gaiman book? Cool.

TV show not a movie but based on Gaiman's graphic novel yes it's pretty good actually ??

3

If you're having fun with your family you are just taking advantage of a situation when all your family are together. it's just logical. it's a damn shame people need fairy tales to get their family together but what can you do.

Personally, I’d rather celebrate Zeus and Hera. Everyone could wear togas and throw lighting bolts at their annoying relatives...

I prefer the HULK

4

Most holidays have pagan origins, and that is what I keep in mind while everyone focuses on the perceived religious aspect. If I’m feeling especially ornery (which is most of the time), I will bring that up when someone goes over the top with the religiosity. We mostly just enjoy the opportunity to be together since those tiles are few and far between.

3

Enjoy the food, gifts, family time, whatever. Don't worry about it and relax and enjoy yourself.

4

My perspective is similar to most on here: I celebrate holidays as a time to be with family and friends. Most of our family celebrations don’t involve prayer or anything actually “religious” per say, so that helps.
My birthday falls on a Christmas so, that’s also gives me a bit of perspective (and probably led to my studying religion and deciding they’re all flawed, leading to my atheism).
On the VERY rare occasions where prayer comes into play, I use that moment to be grateful that I actually get along with my family. That gratefulness (for me) is directed at myself to remind me to work at my relationships in my life in order to maintain that peace/happiness.
Long story short: it really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it and don’t feel pressure to celebrate as a religious person. It’s an excuse to get together with friends/family just because you can (in my opinion!).

3

It's fine, tons of religious people celebrate Halloween and JW don't celebrate anything but anniversaries. I enjoy spending time with Family and Friends Regardless of whether it's for some holiday. I just no longer make it a huge deal and take the religious part out of it.

3

Your fine, I do the same but try my best to educate people on the real origins of most Christian holidays.

Do you do this on the holiday and, if so, do people get upset with you for trying to discuss it then?

@Leeshi Most are so brainwashed that they listen but it’s going in one ear and straight out the other

Oh well, at least you make an effort to share your knowledge. You must be doing so in a respectful way, too, if people aren’t getting offended. If they choose continue to ignore facts, there’s not much you can do about it other than politely disagree.

5

I think its fine to allow the day (holiday) to mean whatever it means to you. I don’t think its hypocritical at all to want to gather with family and friends and loved ones and spend time together.

3

I look upon agnosticism as searching for Truth and wisdom. Recruiting people to understand science and how religion is morally degenerate should always be considered. Agnosticism is not declasse, but religion should be. Look on these get togethers as an opportunity to enlighten or inhibit the willfully ignorant. Know and be able to deliver the best arguments and counter-arguments against Christianity/Judaism (or whatever). Know your audience and gauge whether it is appropriate to discuss the perversity of individual holidays. If people are unreachable and you want to remain 'close', then hold your fire. Otherwise, planting seeds of doubt is Holy/Wholly laudible!

6

Most religious holidays are just piggybacked onto pagan holidays anyways. I don't think it's hypocritical to get together with family.

2

I celebrate the companionship of family and loved ones, not any of the stuff about invisible, make-believe friends. Plus the structure of holiday time off from work kind of makes it inevitable. My vote is "no" to your original question.

2

it is not, what is hypocritical is people who pretend to be religious but are not.

2

Less hypocritical of you to celebrate something knowing it is bogus than it is for those who believe to profess devotion and treat people like crap. It is amusing to me how many 'good' Christians only practive a few select hours each year. Those are your hypocrits. Most of us know that Christmas is a marketing holiday more than a religious holiday, so enjoy your presents!

3

Seriously dude you're fine. You're not pretending to be anything you're not. You're just respecting long held customs. It's not like God's going to be mad at you for turning up to his party uninvited. "Yeah yeah I'm a mate of Dave's"

Hahahaha! It would suck so bad if God had me escorted from the premises

2

Enjoy time with your loved ones and with family. Does not matter dates chosen... have fun. Pagan or christian holiday... make it your own. Enjoy!!!

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