A Christmas reflection

I always liked Christmas. Something mystical, magical and special about this time of year. But do we need religion to celebrate?

As I humanist, I am always aware that people might question why atheists and other non-believers celebrate Christmas a mixture of tradition and familiar obligations force people together at this time of the year. Sometimes causing tensions and arguments. Why would you want to spend a wonderful time with people you barely speak or have absolutely nothing in common?

I visited my old church and had lunch in their parish centre. People I have known for over thirty years sat and gossiped and chatted over their food.

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I began to realise that we have moved further away from the true meaning of Christmas that ever before. No room in the inn for the homeless, young, disabled and young people. Described by one church member of ‘teenage yobbos’ when talking about the youth that must have be behind the recent drone incidents at Gatwick Airport. Her predictions have been proved wrong so far.

My view of Christmas is based (like some Christian traditions) in pagan origins. The belief that the old year has ended and we celebrate the coming year with greenery, fire, food and celebrations. A celebration of Yuletide.

We look back at the year 2018. What a bad year for some and opportunities for others to create mayhem and mischief while those less fortunate are cast aside.

Attitudes have changed. Christmas has changed. I believe we should change and open our hearts and lives to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

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Easter as a Humanist

My religious past is there for all to see. Majority of the friends I have were met at church and youth events related to the church. I have known some for over thirty years and count them as closer than my actual family. But when it comes to religious events during the year it’s a different thing.

During the 80s and some of the 90s, I used to take part in a walk of a witness on Good Friday which was a silent walk from the Catholic Church in the town to the bottom of the front street to the marketplace. I took part in music and drama during this time as a witness to my Christian beliefs.

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As a humanist, I see these religious events in a different light. I don’t think someone should be ridiculed for any religious belief that they hold but I myself have no belief in them. I still like to listen to music of The Sixteen as it has beautiful, calming, relaxing feel and much like reading a book provides escapism.

Take away the Religion

I was watching a clip on YouTube last night of Pat Robinson who, if you aren’t sure who he is, is a transphobic, homophobic and downright ridiculous man who spouts crazy bile in the name of Christianity.

Thoughts then turned to the people who had been killed by the gunman in Orlando and his crazed ideology that killing a group of LGBT people would be pleasing to his god.

As you know I am a humanist. I don’t believe in god, I used to be a church-goer but the belief and faith I had died a long time ago.

I thought if you take away the religion and look at how people act it proves a lot about who the person is in the beginning.  How is the person with their friends and family? What are they doing for the good of everyone?

Someone that causes harm and distress to others under the name of their religion should be ridiculed for what they are. If it’s some old irrelevant man who has no idea what true life is like and doesn’t realise the damage he causes isn’t a true follower of faith.

People assume that those who don’t have a religion to follow are bereft of morality and principles. This couldn’t be further from the case. Humanism is about treating everyone fairly as they are all beings that share the same planet.

Christmas Message

I was thinking about what message or post to write for Christmas. I came across this post from the British Humanist Association of which I am a member. I think it puts it very succinctly of what I wanted to say this year.

Happy Christmas!