OC Atheists Special Christmas Day Message: Jesus is NOT the Reason for the Season

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After opening your presents this morning and turning off the 437th straight showing of A Christmas Story on the tube, you may feel like taking a summertime stroll (thank you, global warming!).

But should that stroll pass the Huntington Beach Pier, expect to be greeted by Orange Countians with this special holiday message: Jesus is NOT the reason for the season.

Bruce Gleason Wants Your God to Noexist: Forget Christianity, Judaism, Islam and the rest. It's all about us, says Orange County's most famous atheist

Bruce Gleason of Backyard Skeptics sent along word that members of his Orange County activist group for atheists, humanists and non-theists join Riverside Atheists and Freethinkers in distributing their "Origins of Christmas" hand outs from noon to 2 p.m. today ("Yes, Chistmas Day") at the foot of the Huntington Beach Pier.

Why?

"Jesus is simply not the reason for the Christmas season," reads a Backyard Skeptics announcement. "Unknown to most Christians, there is not one of the Christmas traditions that can be linked with Christianity. The Christmas tree, the Yule log, giving of presents, candy canes and ornaments on the tree all come from pagan traditions.

bruce-gleason-mug_square.jpg
Bruce Gleason
"Christmas as we know it today has its origins in the winter solstice celebration observed by many pagan religions, and it was co-opted by the early Christian cults who had no equivalent holiday of their own. Most biblical scholars admit that Jesus was most probably not born even close to the winter solstice, which in many cultures was the largest party of the year celebrating the return of longer days and of their Sun god.

"The commercialism of Christmas has largely contributed to its current popularity, and the general public's lack of knowledge about the history of this winter holiday helps perpetuate the myth of the 'War on Christmas.' It also contributes to the widespread public ignorance of Christmas."

The OC and I.E. atheists and freethinkers swear (to ... uh ... hmmm?) that the purpose of this event "is not to eliminate Christmas but to celebrate the real reason for the season: to find a source of joy, happiness, hope, goodwill and generosity."

The should hope Christians they encounter by the pier today share that goodwill toward non-Christian men.

"The second purpose is to let other non-believers know that there is a community of non-theists in Orange County which supports science, rational thinking and reason," concludes the announcement, that adds a hope (but not a prayer) that those who check out the hand-outs might want to learn more about the local secular community.

It's like they're tearing a page from the Jehovah Witnesses' Watchtower playbook!

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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98 comments
bphood
bphood

"He joined with atheists from riverside"....That makes sense...the probability of there not being a god is higher as you go inland.

terryevd
terryevd

OK, I'll try to post this again.  I have to really wonder what Christians believe when I see a child die from cancer. Their usual response is, "God works in mysterious ways." Really, is that all you got?!!  A child dying of cancer (if it's god's will) amounts to murder, abortion, suffering and sheer torture. What loving god would do that? And, of course, all those unanswered prayer chains are such a waste of time. But I guess it makes the survivors feel better.

Mike Larsen
Mike Larsen

Go for it Otis. Just don't have children with her because there is a high probability that the child will have birth defects. Simply marrying your sister hurts nobody.

Mike Larsen
Mike Larsen

Because Christianity is not some benign institution. It affects peoples lives, often times negatively.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

Honor diversity, as long as you are diverse like me.


Otis Denim
Otis Denim

I want to git hitched to my sister !

Jon Lundin
Jon Lundin

Those are miserable unhappy people.

Barry McPhee
Barry McPhee

I guess the guy who DIVIDED TIME into BC and AD has nothing on Bruce Gleason in HB Ca.

cynthia.curran8
cynthia.curran8

In spite of Rick Warren or Chuck Smith, actually Orange County according to Pew has less religious people than the national average. Its 44 for church attendance versus 50 nation wide. Its just that Saddleback and Calvary are pretty vocal and make the area look more religious than its actually is. It has to due with the fact that Orange County in the 40 and over group is full of former mid westerners and Southerners that came here up until 1990 and some rather go to the beach or somewhere else than church.

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

You don't believe in the existence of God because of the lack of proof that he exists. However, you do believe he does NOT exist despite any proof that he's make believe. There is no proof either way so it's about personal preference. I want to believe so I do. You don't want to so you don't. Why must those that choose to not believe run around shitting on and insulting those that do? Far more intelligent people than me, you, or Josh^^ did believe (Galileo, Einstein, Newton, etc)

Hitman_Corleone
Hitman_Corleone

Being an Aetheist is like being the only sober person in the car and no one let's you drive!

Wendy De La Puente
Wendy De La Puente

Maybe both groups need to learn the origins of xmas...wait...add OC WEEKLY to that group! *education is key*

Mike Larsen
Mike Larsen

Sort of like when a gay couple wants to be happily married and Christians dump on that? Is that what you mean Rachel? Do you mean we shouldn't obstruct someone's freedom to pursue happiness without due cause?

Mike Larsen
Mike Larsen

I never said anything about a god being an impossibility. However, there is a serious lack of evidence for one's existence (especially the Christian conception of a god). That being the case I don't put any stock in the existence of one and neither should you or anyone else for that matter.

StillDrunk
StillDrunk

I can only respond by quoting the famous American philosopher Chevy Chase, who said, " As far as YOU know!"

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

I agree that the Christians appropriated some pagan celebration for their own use but they made it about Christ, hence the name Christmas. Now you and the non believers ought to quit playing along and go back to celebrating the solstice on the 21st. But Christmas, as the believers have crafted it, is about Christ. That is why Christ is in the name.

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

Josh/Mike- So, because you can't understand how there could be a God, that serves as your proof that he doesn't exist? Isn't it remotely possible that if there is a God that somehow created everything that he is exists despite our feeble mind's inability to comprehend how?

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

No, I hadn't at the time I posted.

Richard Cendejas
Richard Cendejas

Atheism is a religion... If I don't believe in anything I wouldn't be wasting my time and money like they do. Fail!

joegomez.facebook
joegomez.facebook

It might not be for Atheists but for Christians it is and we are well aware of Pagan festivities linked to Christmas and frankly I don't give a Fuck We will celebrates the Christ's birthday anyway get your own Holiday and also get over it .

Kit Hope
Kit Hope

"It's like they're tearing a page from the Jehovah Witnesses' Watchtower playbook!" Not hardly - we have better sense than to go knocking on the doors of perfectly innocent people at 8:30 am on a Saturday.

Josh Dutch Schultz Gaitan
Josh Dutch Schultz Gaitan

easy, the old christians tacked on that name couple hundred years ago after the stole it from the pagans. Happy Saturnalia!

marelin
marelin

Nope, much happier and healthier without religion.

wbutterman
wbutterman

'the guy' (a magician named jesus) did not 'divide time'. His cult did so hundreds of years after the magician died.  

terryevd
terryevd

Rick, It's nothing more than defense. I would give my life for you to exercise your right to practice your beliefs. However, your rights cease when you violate mine; e.g. a forced transvaginal  ultrasound wand up a woman's vagina? Why don't you try to sit on one of those. Creationism in public schools? That belongs in your home or place of worship. It also violates the First Amendment. Gay rights? Just "because the bible says so" does not make it a crime against humanity.


Reason is a justifiable life style that deserves to be free from religious criticism, especially when that criticism is based on a book of fairy tales.

wbutterman
wbutterman

@tacardino The last thing one would want in a combat situation is a gibbering cultist begging magical intervention to a callous, imaginary 'god' who wears gold lamé muumuus  and looks suspiciously like Zeus. ONe SHOULD be trying to defend themselves and reject the childlike babble that is labeled 'prayer'.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tacardino ... a true benevolent god wouldn't allow people to suffer and die in foxholes.


hth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Rick Hale ... and also why clueless christians don't even know what month their supposed savior was born.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Rick Hale ... and if there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster that somehow created everything then he exists in all things made of noodles despite your feeble mind.


Jah Pastafari !!


wbutterman
wbutterman

No, religion is  belief in something without any hard evidence.  People afflicted with religion call this trait 'faith'.  Atheists and skeptics simply question the unthinking acceptance of irrational beliefs.   


Humans are prone to become afflicted with religions since most of us are indoctrinated to never ask questions and just accept received 'truth' with NO rational thinking. This is true in so many areas other than religion including politics, economics, social sciences and pyramid marketing schemes. 


The Xian cult is specifically brainwashed to make SURE they bring their offspring into the cult, thus ensuring income for the cult leaders after the parents die.  Since little kids lack the ability to make up their own rational mind, they are dragged into the cesspool of the cult, where they meet fellow cult members, breed and spread the cult like mommy and daddy did.

rrl1965
rrl1965

And slavery is freedom...and war is peace...see how it works?


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Richard Cendejas "Atheism is a religion"


Spoken like the clueless fool that you are.


A-theism = absence of religion


Is NOT playing baseball a sport?


Is Bald a hair color?



Do try and grow a brain before you post.




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@joegomez.facebook  


A careful analysis of Scripture, however, clearly indicates that December 25 couldn't be the date for Christ's birth.

Here are two primary reasons:

First, we know that shepherds were in the fields watching their flocks at the time of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:7-8).

Shepherds were not in the fields during December.

According to Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays , Luke's account "suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night" (p. 309).

Similarly, The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary says this passage argues "against the birth [of Christ] occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted" shepherds watching over their flocks in the fields at night.


Second, Jesus' parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). 


Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating.


http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/when-was-jesus-christ-born-was-jesus-born-december-25-christmas-day




whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

No you don't, you are going to stand out there and be those weird people that make my kids nervous.  


FYI, the religious whack jobs out there preaching make my kids feel nervous too.


Don't be that guy.


wbutterman
wbutterman

Ateists don't pray, but perhaps we could help these poor sufferers find a good therapist.

dubyadawg
dubyadawg topcommenter

...and who would those people be?

fcdorka
fcdorka

@tacardino a t h e i s t ! Can a genius like you learn to spell? PS. The word atheist does not need a capital "A" either.

scarriff1
scarriff1

@DonkeyHotay @VoiceintheWilderness @joegomez.facebook @mayangrl  Since the 18th century, Biblical scholars -- scholars who study the Bible as they would any other historical artifact -- have thoroughly debunked the Christmas story in the gospels. It never happened. With a vast empire to manage, the Romans left tons of records and no empire-wide census was ever taken. This obviates any need for anyone to journey to his home city to be counted. (The gospel writers, whomever they were, had to get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to fulfill an Old Testament prophecy. So they invented the census.) The emperor Augustus and Quirinius, governor of Syria Palestina, were never in office at the same time. Biblical scholarship also dismisses miracles. Strip them out of the Christmas gospel -- the annunciation, the miraculous insemination, the angels hovering over the manger, three Persians following a star, etc. -- and strip out the the other debunked facts, and we’re left with, as my old dad used to say, not a goddam thing.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@VoiceintheWilderness @DonkeyHotay @joegomez.facebook @mayangrl  


So the CHRISTIANS of the United Church of God are unreliable "fringe" fanatics?


Wow! ... who knew that RELIGIOUS followers of Christ could be superstitious imbeciles?


LOL!


---


If Jesus Christ wasn't born on December 25, does the Bible indicate when He was born? The biblical accounts point to the fall of the year as the most likely time of Jesus' birth, based on the conception and birth of John the Baptist.


Since Elizabeth (John's mother) was in her sixth month of pregnancy when Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:24-36), we can determine the approximate time of year Jesus was born if we know when John was born. John's father, Zacharias, was a priest serving in the Jerusalem temple during the course of Abijah (Luke 1:5). Historical calculations indicate this course of service corresponded to June 13-19 in that year ( The Companion Bible , 1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).

It was during this time of temple service that Zacharias learned that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child (Luke 1:8-13). After he completed his service and traveled home, Elizabeth conceived (Luke 1:23-24). Assuming John's conception took place near the end of June, adding nine months brings us to the end of March as the most likely time for John's birth. Adding another six months (the difference in ages between John and Jesus (Luke 1:35-36)) brings us to the end of September as the likely time of Jesus' birth.

Although it is difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated December 25 as Christmas Day, historians are in general agreement that it was sometime during the fourth century. This is an amazingly late date. Christmas was not observed in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, until about 300 years after Christ's death. Its origins cannot be traced back to either the teachings or practices of the earliest Christians.

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