God gives atheists the free will to not believe in Him and we Christians respect that.
But what I don’t understand is the atheists’ need for a vociferous denigration of Christmas. Why do they target our religious holiday? There are plenty of other theistic religions to bash.
Christmas by Any Other Name
Christmas is a sacred time of year for Christians all over the world. Yes, I know that Jesus wasn’t born on the 25th December and I know Christianity chose to turn the date of a pagan festival into Christmas day.
But neither of those facts means that Christ was never born. Nor are they a reason to mock Christians’ acknowledgement of the birth of their (and the whole of humanity’s) savior.
Where are the anti-Hannukah ads? Why don’t atheists loudly protest against Allah? Why not have a go at Diwali, the holiest day of the year for Hindus?
What is it about Christmas and Christianity that upsets atheists so much?
If you don’t like Christmas, ignore it! The Jews don’t observe the feast of Christmas, but neither do they put up anti-Christmas billboards or set rival copies of the Torah next to nativity scenes. They’re secure in their beliefs and don’t feel the need to belittle Christianity.
Christians are also secure in their beliefs: they don’t have the puerile need to mock other religions, including the religion of atheism.
Instead of getting bent out of shape over our celebration of Christmas, why don’t atheists boycott the 25th December? If they truly believe there is no God, they shouldn’t buy presents to give everyone on that day or decorate the house. For them there's nothing to rejoice over anyway.
They could save themselves a great deal of money.
Another way to be true to their alleged belief would be to create an Atheism Day. Or they could take Black Friday, that ultimate 24 hours of materialism, and call it Secularism Day.
Doesn’t have the same ring as “Christmas” though, does it?
And what does atheism have to celebrate? Who wants to honor the belief that life is meaningless, and at death one simply becomes a worm-ridden, decaying corpse - end of story?
Now that I think about it, I understand perfectly why atheists don’t have their own holiday. It’s so much easier on the brain to throw stones at Christmas: it saves atheists from thinking about the nothingness that is their philosophy, leading them into a black hole.
Belief in God is not easy, but it is infinitely preferable to the alternative above. To know that we're created by a God Who loves us, is Goodness itself and wants us to be with Him, is wonderfully life affirming.
But faith in God means obeying His commandments - out of respect and love, as one obeys a parent. I think many people call themselves ‘atheists’ because they dislike the idea of a Being who is above them, to Whom they owe allegiance and Who will judge them after they die.
They reject God, rather than not believing in Him. They prefer the cold comfort of nothingness after death to the terrifying prospect of being held accountable for their actions.
But not believing is the coward’s way out. As Rick Warren says, “We want to use our logic and get to the answer in a way that makes us look good – and doesn’t require risk.”
Isn’t it better to take the risk and believe in a merciful God Who loves us so much He sent His Son to redeem us?
Christmas is a time of joy for Christians: it is the coming of our Loving Savior Who was willing to suffer a terrible death on our behalf - because we aren’t able to save ourselves.
Atheists take advantage of Christian humility when they deride Christmas. They know Jesus has told us not to retaliate.
Which makes Christians an easy target. Our religion may be a philosophical and ideological threat to atheists, but there’s no physical risk in publicly mocking our God: we don’t behead those who do or perpetrate other atrocities upon their person.
I invite atheists to examine the meaning of Christmas this year and find the peace that Christ gives those who trust in Him.