realitybites (13041)

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Journal of realitybites (13041)

Monday December 24, 07

a reasonable christmas

05:04 AM

'Twas the night before christmas and all through the house, the only thing stirring was
a woman with a keyboard and a mouse. While the others were sleeping all sound in their beds, she was thinking how grand it was to be alive when atheists were selling millions of books.

When I was a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a woman, I put away childish things. Others never grow-up, instead choosing to live in a world of make-believe where there are fairies, unicorns, rising signs, psychics, angels, lucky numbers, demons, and gods.

When I was five years old—not a woman yet, I said goodbye to Santa Claus forever. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Most adults who celebrate christmas no longer believe in Santa Claus. But many still believe in Jesus. I never believed in Jesus or any gods. I learned Greek Mythology in sixth grade. I learned about Zeus and Hera long before I knew much about Jesus and Mary. My knowledge of Christianity and the Bible comes from learning about these things on my own. I was never ‘churched.’ But I did, and still do celebrate 'christmas culture'—the lights, decorated trees, music, and gift giving.

But this year, I feel a bit uneasy. It has been difficult for me to muster any good cheer. I’ve never liked the rampant consumerism associated with this holiday. It seems so vacuous. And with my parents living across the country—well family is not what it was when I was a child—still ‘feeling the magic’ of it all. It seems to me that the saying, "christmas is for kids." is actually true. And as I get older—and my son gets older—it is losing its place in my heart. Maybe if I become a grandmother one day—with little rugrats running circles 'round my bad attitude—making me forget what I was so pissed about, my enthusiasm for this holiday will return to me.

Until then... Last year I got “The God Delusion” for christmas. And I finally got rid of a Bible that I had. I used it during my college years as a resource for my research papers. But it was just collecting dust and adding nothing to the aesthetic look of my bookshelf. So it got tossed into the fireplace. Better to use it as fuel than bury it in a landfill, no?! Some of you who are reading this may be collecting your jaws off the floor by now. Others will understand the symbolism behind the Bible burning. It was my way of saying that religion is not apart of my life nor will it control how I feel.

Unfortunately I did not let religion go completely. It still runs its course through the hallways of my mind. While I have always called myself an atheist, I only adopt the anti-theist label on occasion—usually in the company of other atheists—which until recently was no more than five persons. This is no longer the case. Atheists and anti-theists are coming out everywhere. Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are showing by example that being an atheist is a good thing—something to be proud of. And I am proud to be free from superstition and make-believe gods. And, as Hitchens would say, "free from living under a celestial dictatorship."

And so on this Christmas eve, I glance over at the holiday packages that are so neatly placed on the table by the fire, and I wonder if one of them just might be a book for me—a book by Hitchens: "The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever." My.New.Bible. And this notion makes me smile.

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