Why Atheists Love Christmas

No one knows exactly when or which Christians stole Christmas, but steal it they did, and the reasons were about as subtle as North Korean diplomacy. One can imagine Jesus's early followers gnashing their teeth as the Ancient Romans feasted and reveled during their winter festival to honor the god Saturn (Saturnalia, December 17-24) and then reprised their heathen ways on December 25 in the sun-worshipping celebration of the winter solstice (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered Sun"). To the Christians, these orgies were an abomination -- perhaps, to Jesus, a shonda -- but somewhere within all this Roman bacchanalia came an epiphany.  Why not appropriate these winter festivals, synthesize them, and replace them with what Romans might consider the mother of all celebrations -- Jesus's birthday?  In one grand act, the Romans could be enticed to convert to Christianity and still celebrate their winter holidays.  Steal the solstice for Jesus! But...(Read Full Article)

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