I had a strange encounter this week. I was at my favorite bar celebrating my team’s victory in Star Trek trivia. I was at least three vodka tonics and one shot in when I overheard some guy talking about hating Christmas because he is an atheist. Well even sober I would have taken on this discussion.
I don’t know his background but he hates Christianity and all things Christian. I tried to explain my point of view: Just enjoy it for the fun of it. None of it is real. Santa isn’t a real person and neither is Jesus. They might both be based on real people at one point. Now they are just wonderful fiction for everyone to enjoy.
He wasn’t having it. The dutch treat Santa like a real Christian saint so that out. Lights on my balcony are showing I love Jesus. The Christmas Tree is also completely a religious relic and having one is like giving money to the church.
I don’t believe any of this and while sober Daniel might have gotten some where, three vodka tonics + one shot Daniel wasn’t. I pointed out this conversation was a waste of my time and went back to flirting with someone else’s boyfriend.
Countering religious arguments with angry disagreement is completely useless. It just give the crazies justification that their way is correct. The best way to devalue religion is in two connected ways. (1) Treat believers as you would children who still believe in Santa. “Oh how cute, you believe in Jesus. How adorable. That’s precious” Arguing is useless but if you are so confident that you treat them like a child and refuse to debate, they go crazy. And maybe they will start to equate Jesus and Santa as similar fictional beings. (2) Co-opt their religious artifacts and traditions as fun things with no meaning. My lights are pretty. This tree is decorated so gorgeously. The baby Jesus is so cute in this manger.
The baby Jesus has as much meaning as the Micky Mouse on ice skates hanging from my tree. They are both fun fictional characters to have out for a few weeks each year. Don’t over justify it, just say it like it’s the truth. Because it is.
PS, I totally scored with that guy who was someone else’s boyfriend. Don’t tell anyone.