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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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44 comments

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3

It's fine. When we leave the religion we can also leave the guilt. Atheism for me is a "freeing experience". I'm not going to now feel guilty and restricted for doing what I like, in the name of Atheism. Enjoy the holidays

2

Do not think it is violating lol. It brings people together that you have not seen in a long time. Gives cause to celebrate life.

5

Most holidays are secular marketing festivals anyway.

That is the best user name I've seen on here yet!

@tnorman1236 Hah! Thank you!

2

Most Christians don't celebrate on these days . Most just give presents and stay at home with relatives and never see a church .....so nope you are not doing anything wrong

4

Just look up the pagan origins of Every xian holiday! Then enjoy the Solstice, or whatever, as you please.

3

It depends how you celebrate.

If your celebration is a 'religious celebration' then why would you as an atheist?

Yet if you're just 'enjoying a day off' then how is that hypocritical? Do you need less time off than religious folk?

It’s more that my family is religious and I am attending the family gatherings that they hold. They are celebrating the birth or resurrection of Christ, etc, but I am going to spend time with people I love. Does it become hypocritical due to the fact that I am joining the gathering for a different reason than it is intended? Also, I don a pretty sweet Star Wars Ugly Christmas Sweater that I’m not quite ready to give up

No Leeshi - spending time with your family is an act of caring, and love. That cannot be wrong ... ☺

1

I don't think so. Sometimes it's a matter of fitting into the culture at large and respecting their ways. It doesn't mean you have to participate in all the rituals or whatever feels too wrong.

2

Have to remember that many of those holidays are rooted in much older celebrations and taken over as religious events. Christmas is based on celebrating the winter solstice well before 3 wise guys showed up in a manger.

3

Not at all. As an atheist you can celebrate Christmas every day! Christmas is whatever you want it to be.

I like the sound of that! Now, if only my boss would accept my need for “religious holidays” 60 days out of the year ?

2

Gift giving, caroling, evergreen trees, eggs, rabbits, etc aren't even christian in origin in fact I'd wager most people don't think all too much about the jesus aspect then celebrating. (Look up the pagan festivals of Yule and Saturnalia). It's also not like you're giving praise to pagan gods either.

1

We need to review the meaning of “celebrate” . Of course it is not just taking the day off to enjoy what you really like. Celebrate to me is to participate in the meaning, tradition, acts, gatherings of certain event thst happened time ago and we agreed as a “nation” to designate a day of the year. If you are atheist for sure you won’t cekebrate Christmas as it “should be”. Instead you can opt to have a secular event (astronomical, humanitarian etc).

MY definition of celebrate is: acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity. So, as an atheist, I DO celebrate Christmas. Not as the "birth of Christ," but rather a time to be with loved ones and "make merry." Much like birthdays. Or Thanksgiving. Or Earth Day. Religon doesn't have a monopoly on how one decides to celebrate/observe a holiday. Of course, that is just ME. ?

3

I make it clear that I am not celebrating a religious holiday but a secular one. I send people Yuletide or Midwinter Festival greetings instead of Christmas ones and make a point of telling people that Easter is a pagan fertility festival which is why we have eggs and bunnies. I think it is good to celebrate the passing of the seasons and other events so we need never feel guilty about joining in - we just do it for a different reason.

3

If someone invites you to a Christmas party serving food and drink....go..eat....enjoy...and stand under the Mistletoe.​

3

That’s why I’m not an atheist. I get really sick of being told I can’t say things like “bless you” if someone sneezes, or that I’m not allowed to capitalize god if it’s a proper noun, that acknowledging there’s evidence of an historical Jesus is verboten, and this: celebrating holidays is somehow hypocritical. The holidays means what they mean because WE made them up. And they were made up at times of celebration. Christmas, a festival of light in the darkest time of the year. I absolutely celebrate Christmas, and Halloween, July 4, and Veterans and Memorial days... and if I get a day off from work, all the better.

I'm an atheist, and I still say, "bless you" when someone sneezes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

0

Wrong or impossible to celebrate the holiday, but not to party on the day.

2

I don't see anything wrong with it. It's your life, so you get to write the rules. In my family we have dinner, and exchange gifts on Christmas, and we usually have dinner, and lots of chocolate and dye eggs in Easter. Of course I grew up doing these things, and there was never a religious connection to them. Of course all of the fun and celebrating is Pagan in origin anyway.

3

I celebrate the religious holidays in a non religious way. Xmas is about lights, presents, decorations and spending quality time with family. Oh, and eating....lots and lots of eating 🙂

5

I don't think it is hypocritical. I still put up a tree every year. I even still call it a "Christmas" tree and say, "Merry Christmas" when someone says it to me. The only thing that has changed since becoming a non-believer is that when I decorate, there are no 'religious elements.' I got rid of the crèches and Baby Jesuses and instead have Krampuses and Santa Clauses. I love the holidays. I get to be around my family and friends, eat fabulous food, and buy all my loved ones gifts. It isn't like Xtians have exclusive rights to the holidays. In fact, most of them were hijacked from the pagans. Of course, they don't like to readily admit to that, but that is a story for another day.

This is a bit off topic, but speaking of Krampus, there’s a Krampus themed haunted house not too far from me right around Christmas. It’s amazing.

@Leeshi Awesome! I'd like to see that!

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2

Ask yourself this.... Is it hypocritical of Christianity to stomp out other belief systems then take their celebrations and turn them into Christian Holy days? Can you imagine a pine tree in the Middle East? If one showed up, it would have been burned to cook a rabbit that laid eggs in honor of someone nailed to a tree on apparently adjustable dates.

I agree that there is an inordinately large amount of hypocritical Christians. However, their hypocrisy doesn’t make it ok for me to be a hypocrite. It would just give them more ammo (granted not very effective ammo) for why what they’re doing is ok.

Ignore the hypocrisy and enjoy a day for the reasons that make you feel good. I celebrate certain holidays when I am with family, but when alone, they are just another day.

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!!!

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

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!

2

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

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.

6

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

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