How do you respond to: "Are you against religion?", "Are you against Christmas?"

I was asked by an Xtian if I decorated for Christmas.

When I answered "NO" - I got the questions I have heard before.

"Are you against Religion? Are you against Christmas."

(Religion is bad - so yes I am against religion)

Any of you here get these same questions? 

How do you handle them?

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Sounds like the xtian was looking for conflict, 'cause who really gives a tinker's damn whether you decorate or not?

Totally. My husband and I are too busy to decorate and don't really care too much about it. But we enjoy a little secular festivity with family and may decorate in the future - but really - who cares?!

Claudia, people ask me all the time if I have decorated and put up a tree. Mostly I think they do it to annoy me. If they know me, they know that I don't get involved, and what makes it their business?

June of 2013 was my last year in a factory where my wife and I both worked. She left before me to go to college. I found out last month that people in that rinky dink factory still talk about us.

Get a life! Gossip is life for many people.

The way they ask it is like an ambush:) Raised volume, big eyes. I really don't know how i'd respond to that, because i'd probably realize that my words would be wasted. 

This resonates with me. When I "came out" as atheist, anything I did or said was hyper-analyzed. And there were plenty of "gotcha" questions and comments, some of which had nothing to do with Christianity or Christmas, but are (in my opinion) part of the Christian-Industrial complex:

1. You aren't patriotic anymore?

No, I'm not. The United States has to earn my respect and at this point, it has utterly lost it. When we start wars and torture people, how in the world can I be patriotic? I have worked to change my country and I have failed. At least I tried. Maybe I suck at persuading others and actually cause more harm than good. Maybe because I'm an atheist, no one respects me enough to take my ideas seriously...although they're quick enough to use my analytical mind if it suits their needs: "Laura, fix my computer."

2. You don't like presents on Christmas?

Not really. If you want to give me something, please make sure it isn't going to take up more room in my cluttered apartment. I've reached the point where I can no longer take care of the things I own. It's more like they own me.

3. You don't believe in capitalism anymore?

After watching our country get taken over by rich CEOs and their corporations, I've begun to wonder if capitalism invariably leads to corruption. You can try to enforce regulations, but rich people will bribe politicians to get rid of regulations and they will do so relentlessly. I have similar problems with communism because it has never worked. I wonder if there is some economic model that doesn't have the problems inherent in capitalism and communism. Some European countries have found a mix of socialism and capitalism that seems to be working for them, at least for now. The biggest issue is the need for capitalism to grow and grow and grow. On a planet with limited resources, unlimited growth is a huge issue. The more stuff we buy, the more we contribute to the destruction of the planet. There may be a window of opportunity for growth (renewable energy) if the world's population ever gets serious about addressing climate change, but there will also be a time of austerity as we limit population growth and stop releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. I doubt we have the wisdom or willpower to change our ways. Our religious devotion to capitalism may well signal the end of humanity. On a personal note, I have taken the first tentative steps toward making my life more simple. Even though I believe climate change is poised to destroy us all, I am having a difficult time making these changes. Just think how impossible it's going to be for those who worship god and capitalism. Their bias against science will keep them blind. They won't admit there's a problem until it's too late.

AinF, thanks for thinking.

On your #1. I'm with you totally. As soon as I started paying attention, I decided that America's foreign policy is making many enemies.

A fer instance. Years ago I stopped pledging allegiance. A club I'm in (mostly retired folk) used to pledge allegiance at each meeting. Six months ago they elected me president and I refused to start the Pledge. I told members they would soon vote on whether to continue. I read them highlights of the SCOTUS Minersville case, in which the Court held the Pledge to be a means to bring children into the political culture. I'm an out atheist and most of them are xians, so I read from 1 Corinthians 13 about giving up the things of a child. They took a couple of weeks to break the habit, and so far haven't removed me from office.

On your #2. Without anyone's help, I bring home enough clutter.

On your #3. I want employees to own the companies they work for. By sharing the profits and losses they take Wall Street's gambling-addicted sociopaths out of the game. There are at least 11,000 such businesses in the US. Many are small; some are large.

FYI. From the 1787 Constitutional Convention, here are Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

HAMILTON. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the rich and well-born a distinct and permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the mass of the people, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government. (June 18)

MADISON. In framing a system we wish to last for ages, we should not lose sight of the changes the ages will bring. An increase of population will increase the proportion who labor under all the hardships of life and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings. These may in time outnumber those who are placed above feelings of indigence. According to the equal laws of suffrage, the power will slide into the hands of the former. ... Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests and check the other. It ought to be formed as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. (June 26)

Madison's notes of the convention are online. I will copy their URL to all who ask.

Again, thanks for thinking.

Do you live in the US? If yes, then you are aware that it is unlawful to require anyone to say or lead the pledge?


“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a teacher, a student, a citizen, an administrator, or anyone else, it is beyond the power of the authority of government to compel the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance,”—U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock

I am well aware. I didn't want to hire a lawyer to take my Toastmasters Club to Federal Court.

Where does Judge Babcock work?

I ask because his ruling applies only to his district.

An appellate court's ruling affects all the districts in its circuit.

A SCOTUS ruling affects the nation. They fear an xian reaction and will take the case only after two appellate courts disagree.

The western states' Ninth Circuit held years ago that the Pledge's "under God" violates the Constitution. SCOTUS reversed on a technicality, saying the man who sued in his daughter's name wasn't her custodial parent.

The southern states' Eleventh Circuit held that schools could not punish children for remaining seated while the class recited the Pledge.

In time more courts will hear the case.

Until then, in this land of the free and home of the brave, people who want to be free will have to be brave.

"Until then, in this land of the free and home of the brave, people who want to be free will have to be brave."

Follow your own advice, be brave and free yourself from being forced to say or lead the pledge.

After all The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist, and it was relatively recently that the pledge was interpreted to stand for Christianity, white supremacy, conservatism, fascism, etc, etc. and that there's a law for all residents of the country to recite it every day.

Sure, those who refuse to make the pledge always disappear mysteriously within a week. Witnesses report seeing black helicopters carry them away and others maintain that they are struck down by a bolt of malice by God if they don't recite the "under god" adagio.

Sarcasm is often fun, isn't it?

Try again, Leon; you can do better.

Thanks for having hopes that I can do better

But seriously....there is NO law that forces anyone to recite the pledge. Yet.

With or without the undergod, it's boring when you have to say it every day, and more important, it was written for children. It embarrasses me to see and hear a roomful of adults placing their hands on their upper left chests (where the heart is NOT) and swearing allegiance to what is essentially a battle banner. 

When I was in school we used to rattle the thing off as quickly as we could, just to get the damn thing over with; and that was long before the nitwits in congress (propelled by the Knights of Columbus and Billy Graham-cracker) added the undergod.

Well, I am against greed and consumerism, and regardless of any "true meaning" or "reason for the season", I have to say that the modern Christmas rituals are pretty off-putting for me!




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