Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hope For Atheists In The Season Of Hope

It’s near Christmas, and the neopagans have begun their Winter Solstice celebration on Vernon’s town green. Some of the celebrants, it is said, are atheists – a hopeful sign. The real pagans who once celebrate the Winter Solstice at least believed in resurrection deities -- Osiris, Adonis, Attis, Baal, Tammuz -- though not in the Christian God whose manger will lie but a few feet from the Vernon atheist’s… ummm… posting. If one has progressed from atheism to paganism, it is but a leap and a jump into theism. The village idiots, crawling towards Bethlehem, may make it yet -- God willing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are inaccurate in describing the members of Connecticut Valley Atheists as neopagans. Our sign refers to, but does not celebrate, the winter solstice. The solstice is not a pagan celebration; it is a scientifically verifiable astronomical event which pagans happen to celebrate. In the same respect, Christmas is a Christian holiday, but December 25th is just a day on the calendar, and looking at your watch on that day does not make you a Christian.

The sign only refers to the solstice to send the message that science is more worthy of our respect than dogma. Jesus is not the real reason for the season--the earth's rotation and its axis are.

So I guess there is less hope than you thought.

Dan Senatro, Vice Coordinator, Connecticut Valley Atheists

Don Pesci said...

Ok Dan, we’ll take it bit by bit. The pagans did not celebrate the Winter Solstice because it was a scientifically verifiable astronomical event, probably because they were less rationalistic in their religious observations than, say, Thomas Acquinas, G.K. Chesterton and the current pope, everyone of whom was no stranger to rationalization. I only mention this because atheists have gotten in the bad habit of calling theologians irrational, when they really mean: I disagree with their theological premises, assumptions and deductions.

If you are not celebrating the Winter Solstice then why have you chosen to place your marker on Vernon’s Town green, a place set aside, this time of year, for festive celebrations? Wouldn’t a letter to the editor have been more rational?

It is quite true that December 25th is just a day on the calendar – for atheists, pagans and non-Christians. But saying the day itself is “just” a day on the calendar is like saying the ocean is “just” a big puddle. Or it may be like saying that because some Islamic fundamentalists are terrorists anyone who believes in Islam is a terrorist. It may be true for you Dan, but a real scientist would have trouble forcing that preposterous notion down his throat.