I recently viewed the Christian movie Christmas with a Capital C What follows is my comments on it.
I find it ironic that the lead character is played by Ted McGinley, an actor best known for playing gigolo Jefferson D'arcy on Married... With Children. Ted was once on a show boycotted by fundamentalists, and now he stars in a movie that they will love.
The plot of the movie is that two former high school rivals, Mitch Bright (the unbeliever) and Dan Reed (the Christian) butt heads when Mitch moves back into town and brings his evil atheist ideology with him. We learn that Mitch, after graduating from high school, moved to San Francisco (the source of all abonimable liberal evil in America). Mitch is a mean bastard, a liberal, and an atheist. Why, I can't believe he's not also a homosexual!
Mitch seeks to file a lawsuit over some overtly religious Christmas decorations paid for with tax dollars. Mitch has a point there (not on Christmas decorations as such but on overtly religious decorations paid for with tax money), though I personally would never be so bothered by such decorations to file a lawsuit. Mayor Dan Reed is rightly advised that Mitch will win the case, and so he removes the Christmas decorations. The Christians in the town decide that the best way to resolve the conflict is to put up Christmas decorations in privately owned quarters and to "overcome evil with good" and give Mitch Bright a proper and generous welcome to the town. This is a message that I endorse: Yes, Christians, use your freedom of expression when and where it is legal and fair to do so, just as we atheists and everyone else does. And be nice. Represent your faith properly.
Despite that good message being in the film, there also seems to be some scoffing that I found ridiculous. Mayor Dan Reed asks rhetorically if the town is also supposed to have a manorah and a kwanzaa "I don't even know what the symbol is." A comedian featured in the song "Christmas with a Capital C" mockingly says, "I just say happy holidays because you don't believe in Christmas because I don't want to offend you, blah blah blah blah...." as if that were something to laugh about. Ahahahahah! Those people with their tolerance and their inclusiveness, what idiots! The attitude present in these scoffing Christians is remarkably poor, wrong-headed, and hypocritical. They are too arrogant and self-righteous to stop for one second to imagine how people of other faiths, or no faith at all, feel about some things.
How Should Atheists Feel About Christmas?
At one point in the movie the character played by Daniel Baldwin asks rhetorically if the next people Mitch will go after are the ones who say "God Bless You" after you sneeze (he supposes even that would offend an atheist). I'd like to take that and use it as analogy. Though no one knows the origin of that custom for sure, HowStuffWorks reports that "Some people believed that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose. Saying 'bless you' would stop the devil from claiming the person's freed soul." No one believes this today, but people still practice the custom of a post-sneeze blessing. Likewise, I think it's completely acceptable to continue Yuletide traditions, even if we know longer endorse the reasons people used to practice them. Little known fact is that the real origin of Christmas is thoroughly pagan. If Christians don't view Christmas as a worship of pagan gods, neither should any atheist think that Christmas is an endorsement of Jesus. It isn't. It was created to celebrate an event in nature, the winter solstice. Regardless of the origins of Christmas, it's fun, and we can have different reasons for liking it than the reasons that people once celebrated it for.
That's my story.