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Atheists at Christmas: Eat, drink and be wary
AP ^ | Dec. 9, 2009 | PATRICK CONDON

Posted on 12/13/2009 9:14:32 PM PST by smokingfrog

Angie O'Neill recently moved into a new apartment complex for seniors and she's trying to make new friends. But Christmas is a tough time of year for an atheist.

"All the planned activities at this time of year revolve around the church," said O'Neill, a retiree and an atheist for decades.

O'Neill sought an escape this week, joining a group of her fellow nonbelievers for a weekly "Atheist Happy Hour" at a suburban Mexican restaurant. The group, Atheists for Human Rights, is active year-round but takes it up a notch this time of year with a Winter Solstice party, a charity drive and good attendance for the weekly gathering at Ol' Mexico.

** snip **

"What we're celebrating this year is the promise of the sun returning. That's S-U-N, not S-O-N," said Bill Weir, a retired marketing executive from Plymouth.

"Then the Christians stole it," added Marie Alena Castle of Minneapolis, the 82-year-old founder of Atheists for Human Rights and an atheist activist for two decades. It's a season of celebration for the Jewish faith as well, with Hanukkah.

Still, none of the atheists interviewed for this story expressed a wish to be left out of Christmas entirely.

"Food, we like. Presents, we like. Seeing family, we like," said Val Woelfel of St. Paul, an aspiring archaeologist. Woelfel, 47, and her boyfriend, Bjorn Larsen, 32, planned to erect a tree in their living room: "Sacred trees are an ancient custom. It's pretty, it smells nice and it's pagan," Woelfel said.

** snip **

Castle, the veteran activist, said people shouldn't cave in to the notion that Christmas belongs to Christians.

"Baby Jesus is just an excuse for a lot of people to party, anyway," Castle said. "Enjoy your friends. Eat, drink and be merry."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.google.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: athiest; xmas
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1 posted on 12/13/2009 9:14:32 PM PST by smokingfrog
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To: smokingfrog
oh, cry me a freaking river.

the anti-church media is as the anti-church media does.

2 posted on 12/13/2009 9:16:51 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
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To: smokingfrog
"Enjoy your friends. Eat, drink and be merry."

For tomorrow you die? Would that it worked that way.

3 posted on 12/13/2009 9:18:11 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
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To: smokingfrog

Anyone who’s been in the military remembers the old saying -there are no atheists in fox holes.


4 posted on 12/13/2009 9:19:29 PM PST by Rembrandt
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To: smokingfrog

Pagan isn’t the same as atheist. Tell me these Mensa members knew.


5 posted on 12/13/2009 9:21:22 PM PST by RichInOC (Jesus is coming back soon...and man, is He ticked off. (I'm trying to keep it clean.))
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To: smokingfrog
"Food, we like. Presents, we like. Seeing family, we like," said Val Woelfel of St. Paul, an aspiring archaeologist. Woelfel, 47

ASPIRING?

At age 47?

Sounds like a subsidized professional student -- who should be given a mop and broom and sent off to do something productive rather than having their parasitism rewarded.

Cheers!

6 posted on 12/13/2009 9:22:09 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: smokingfrog

I have done Posada with my Mexican American neighbors and, while I do not share their version of Christmas, it is a lot of fun and is a great celebration of Christ’s birth.

I wish my Jewish friends a happy (C)hannuk(ch)a. In fact, I have done Seder once (although I won’t sit Shiva).

Encouraging others to embrace and enjoy their celebrations, whether or not you share their particular faith, is only a “burden” and a time to be “wary” for those ready and willing to be insulted at the drop of a tree decoration.


7 posted on 12/13/2009 9:23:01 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: the invisib1e hand

>>For tomorrow you die? Would that it worked that way.<<

Are you sure? I mean, to die just because you ate, drank and were merry? Wow — tough standard there! ;)


8 posted on 12/13/2009 9:24:27 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: smokingfrog

Paranoid bunch, aren’t they?


9 posted on 12/13/2009 9:26:30 PM PST by dr_who
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To: smokingfrog
""All the planned activities at this time of year revolve around the church," said O'Neill, a retiree and an atheist for decades. "

Sucks to be you, huh Angie?
10 posted on 12/13/2009 9:27:41 PM PST by FrankR (SENATE: You cram it down our throats in '09, We'll shove it up your ass in '10...count on it.)
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To: grey_whiskers
ASPIRING? At age 47? Sounds like a subsidized professional student

Yep...when I read that a mental picture of that guy appeared...glasses halfway down his nose, white hair pulled back in a pony tail, sandals and khakis. Lots of professional students here in Mass., going out job hunting with their newly minted degrees in 'diversity' at age 58.
11 posted on 12/13/2009 9:28:18 PM PST by LostInBayport (When the riders in the cart outnumber those pulling the cart, the cart stops moving. My back hurts.)
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To: smokingfrog

“Angie O’Neill recently moved into a new apartment complex for seniors and she’s trying to make new friends. But Christmas is a tough time of year for an atheist.”

“All the planned activities at this time of year revolve around the church,” said O’Neill, a retiree and an atheist for decades.”

Yeah, it’s called freedom to worship. How about instead of whining about it, you go out and try and create your own atheist holiday?

I wouldn’t have such a problem with atheists if they weren’t always whining about how invasive religion is to them while taking steps to see it banned from public view.


12 posted on 12/13/2009 9:32:25 PM PST by RWB Patriot ("Need has never produced anything. It has only been an excuse to steal from those with ablity.")
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To: smokingfrog
So is this what the atheists go from house to house singing this time of year?

"Adeste Malefidus"

Oh, come, all ye faithless, mournful and despondent,
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye, to Minnesota.
Come and behold Him, born the bane of bri-i-ights;

(chorus)

Oh come let us deride Him
Oh come let us deny Him
Oh come let us reject Him
Christ, ignored.

Sing, choirs of atheists, sing in consternation;
Oh, sing, all ye citizens of Manhattan!
Glory to Mankind, glory in the highest;

(chorus)

Nay, we defy Thee, born this pagan morning;
Jesus, to Thee be no credence giv’n;
Fraud of the Ages, now rednecks deceiving;

(chorus)

Good luck with that one, wankers.

Cheers! Cheers!

13 posted on 12/13/2009 9:38:12 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers
oh wait, there's more:

Woelfel, 47, and her boyfriend, Bjorn Larsen, 32,

14 posted on 12/13/2009 9:40:08 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
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To: grey_whiskers

Bwah!


15 posted on 12/13/2009 9:40:21 PM PST by RichInOC (Jesus is coming back soon...and man, is He ticked off. (I'm trying to keep it clean.))
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To: smokingfrog
I think I got the link wrong.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i7tADnxuR79MJPcf7h0C8jxGSMGQD9CG23P80

Here's Val.


16 posted on 12/13/2009 9:40:55 PM PST by smokingfrog (Don't mess with the mocking bird! - http://tiny.cc/freepthis)
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To: grey_whiskers
16
17 posted on 12/13/2009 9:42:00 PM PST by smokingfrog (Don't mess with the mocking bird! - http://tiny.cc/freepthis)
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To: grey_whiskers

Very cute and funny!


18 posted on 12/13/2009 9:43:48 PM PST by dixjea
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To: smokingfrog
Unless you sell winter gear, run a ski resort, or other such things only a moron would celebrate winter. Most everyone celebrates it being over in one way or another.
19 posted on 12/13/2009 9:45:21 PM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: smokingfrog
Guilty.

Add about 80 IQ points, shave the legs, armpits, and moustache.

Then suspended sentence.

Cheers!

20 posted on 12/13/2009 9:46:01 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: smokingfrog

Oh, boo hoo wahh wahh. They ALWAYS have a reaction to God. If He doesn’t exist, why get your panties in a bunch over people celebrating Christmas? They’re not athiests, they’re anti-Christians.


21 posted on 12/13/2009 9:59:43 PM PST by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: ReneeLynn

Most of them are nothing but bitter contrarians.


22 posted on 12/13/2009 10:00:13 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: Rembrandt
"...there are no atheists in fox holes."

and there are none in hell either...

23 posted on 12/13/2009 10:04:28 PM PST by Outlaw Woman (If the First Amendment is taken away, we will be forced to move on to the next Amendment)
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To: smokingfrog

Evil SOBs


24 posted on 12/13/2009 10:05:43 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: smokingfrog

I have a few atheist friends that are firm about their non-belief, but respectful. These old people are mostly just disgusting. “They stole it!”.


25 posted on 12/13/2009 10:07:37 PM PST by DesScorp
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To: smokingfrog

“Atheist Happy Hour”...

What’s to celebrate? Yay, we’re still not dead yet! Our lives have no meaning in the grand scheme of things and ultimately won’t mean anything, but damn that’s a good martini.


26 posted on 12/13/2009 10:14:48 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: ReneeLynn
"All the planned activities at this time of year revolve around the church," said O'Neill, a retiree and an atheist for decades.

And all the planned activites around the end of October revolve around the Wiccans and their ilk.

27 posted on 12/13/2009 10:16:48 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: RWB Patriot

You’d think they would enjoy watching those they think are idiots, act like idiots. Think how much smarter they are than all those people who need religion as a ‘crutch’. Us simple folk.

Hate to tell you, most Christians do not accept Christ on blind faith. We read the bible, we’ve investigated the claims from a historical view, from other secular sources and it’s not that we’ve come to this conclusion without examining evidence and the writings of both Christians and non-Christians.


28 posted on 12/13/2009 10:18:42 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: smokingfrog
I'm not a religious person at all. Neither am I anti-christian. It doesn't offend me that before our family christmas dinner a prayer is always spoken. No, I don't bow my head nor close my eyes and no one has ever rebuked me (which would offend me).
There is much in the article I'm in line with. No atheist here, but having Jesus in christmas is something I was raised with and tolerate.
Neither am I offended by the idea of our ancient ancestors celebrating the winter solstice, looking forward to the sun's return. Its another link to our heritage.
29 posted on 12/13/2009 10:19:24 PM PST by phredo53 (Caution: This post does not comply with White House standards.)
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To: smokingfrog
"Food, we like. Presents, we like. Seeing family, we like," said Val Woelfel of St. Paul, an aspiring archaeologist. Woelfel, 47, and her boyfriend, Bjorn Larsen, 32, planned to erect a tree in their living room: "Sacred trees are an ancient custom. It's pretty, it smells nice and it's pagan," Woelfel said.

So apparently, if the religion is paganism, it's OK. Shouldn't this be called the anti-Christian club, not the atheist club?

30 posted on 12/13/2009 10:25:52 PM PST by thecabal (Destroy Progressivism)
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To: Secret Agent Man
"....and it’s not that we’ve come to this conclusion without examining evidence and the writings of both Christians and non-Christians."

AND, by the Grace of God.

31 posted on 12/13/2009 10:33:10 PM PST by jackibutterfly
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So what? AP blows a Big Wet Kiss to adherents of the creed it respects and admires. Why is this even a story? America hosts a modest but growing numbers of unbelievers. We know that. And if AP doesn't remind us, our godless, baby-killing president will.
32 posted on 12/13/2009 10:36:59 PM PST by Godwin1
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To: smokingfrog

crotchty old non-believing farts.


33 posted on 12/13/2009 10:37:54 PM PST by Tempest (I believe in the sanctity of life... As long as you can afford it.)
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To: smokingfrog

“Another man at the Atheist Happy Hour declined to reveal his last name, saying his employer is a conservative Catholic who would not tolerate a committed atheist on the payroll.”

I’ll be a committed atheist wouldn’t like a conservative Catholic on his payroll, either.

That knife cuts both ways.


34 posted on 12/13/2009 10:42:53 PM PST by Marie2 (The second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: thecabal

“Shouldn’t this be called the anti-Christian club, not the atheist club?”

It’s always this way. Note they have no objection to all the Halloween stuff, from tv specials to decorations to haunted houses.

No mention of Al-Eid, or Hannukah.

It’s just Christmas that drives them nuts.

I wonder about Easter. It’s much less pervasive, from my vantage point.


35 posted on 12/13/2009 10:45:11 PM PST by Marie2 (The second mouse gets the cheese.)
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To: Outlaw Woman
and there are none in hell either...

only former athiests?

36 posted on 12/13/2009 11:12:07 PM PST by smokingfrog (Don't mess with the mocking bird! - http://tiny.cc/freepthis)
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To: smokingfrog

Yes...thank you for making it more clear.


37 posted on 12/13/2009 11:27:01 PM PST by Outlaw Woman (If the First Amendment is taken away, we will be forced to move on to the next Amendment)
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To: smokingfrog

Atheists are about the only people I know of that seek fame and recognition for what they don’t do, rather than for what they do. Like Scrooge or the Grinch they aren’t content to just let what they don’t believe in be.


38 posted on 12/13/2009 11:32:02 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America.)
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To: jackibutterfly

He even gives us the faith to believe. Since our sin natures naturally resist anything from Him, He has to do even this for us, give us the ability to believe.


39 posted on 12/13/2009 11:33:30 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Marie2
It’s just Christmas that drives them nuts.

Most people who know something about Christianity recognize Christmas as the commemoration of the day when God first made himself personal, in the largest possible sense, to the world. God up close and personal is the last thing most atheists would care to meet.

40 posted on 12/13/2009 11:35:33 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America.)
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To: smokingfrog
Even Ayn Rand enjoyed Christmas. She loved the spirit of the season; the enjoinment of "Peace on earth. Goodwill towards mankind"; the pageantry—commercially and spiritually; the creative decorations and displays that neighbor and merchant alike would assemble to win praise and customers. In short, she loved the creative effort put into it, the gift-giving to one another, and the happiness people derived from it.
41 posted on 12/13/2009 11:57:45 PM PST by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: smokingfrog
people shouldn't cave in to the notion that Christmas belongs to Christians.

Christmas = Christ's Mass. Hello???!!! Christ is an integral part of Christmas (and actually every other thing that ever existed, exists now and ever will exist, but that is a different discussion!). Without Christ, Dec. 25 is just a day on the calendar.

42 posted on 12/14/2009 12:30:48 AM PST by Jemian ( With fronds like these, who needs anemones?)
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To: smokingfrog
As an atheist, the worst time of year is any time I have to read about the fiction of the persecution of atheists. I love Christmas, respect my believing Christian family and friends, and unlike the turds in this story, don't think everything has to be about MEEEEE and my personal beliefs all the time. I make a point of saying Merry CHRISTmas to everyone, am the loudest one to mock local schools for cutting Christmas out of their "holiday" events...

Complete and utter foolishness. The people in this article are indicative of the liberal mindset at its worst--"inclusion" has been corrupted to mean "pushing Christianity out of a majority-Christian society."

43 posted on 12/14/2009 1:08:03 AM PST by Darkwolf377 (Godspeed, T, on your fourth tour of duty in Iraq.)
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To: the invisib1e hand
For tomorrow you die? Would that it worked that way.

You have any evidence it doesn't?

44 posted on 12/14/2009 5:11:14 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. - Horace Walpole)
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To: Rembrandt

“Anyone who’s been in the military remembers the old saying -there are no atheists in fox holes.”

I’ve heard that before — my boss’s bomber was shot down over Yugoslavia during WW2. He and his buddies spent the night dispersed across a field, hiding in foxholes waiting to be picked up by a daring touch-and-go rescue. He said those tough-guy atheists were crying and praying their heads off for deliverance.


45 posted on 12/14/2009 1:21:48 PM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: grey_whiskers

I bet the carpets in her apartment are spotless.


46 posted on 12/14/2009 1:25:06 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: smokingfrog

“Atheists for Human Rights”

Always the victim


47 posted on 12/14/2009 1:26:22 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

We are commanded to not accept Christ on blind faith -

that’s what the “all your mind” portion is in reference to.
(Mark 12:30)


48 posted on 12/14/2009 1:27:27 PM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: Darkwolf377

As an atheist, I celebrated Christmas. The religious part I just viewed as cultural. I could sing “Silent Night” without being offended. It was a cool song.

As a Christian, I celebrate the Winter Solstice by toasting the coming of longer days and feeding the birds. I see no religious point in it but I don’t get invitations for Solstice parties anyway. Buncha scrooges.


49 posted on 12/14/2009 1:32:04 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: MrB

Totally, yes. Why do people search Scripture for answers? Why does Christ say ‘don’t let your self be deceived by false prophets?’ We see things and see evidence FOR God. Evidence FOR Christ being who He is, and it strengthens our faith. It makes it stronger. Every archaelogical point in Scripture that people have scoffed at has eventually been confirmed to be true. We have history described in the bible confirmed by secular scientists. Trying to confirm the bible was the last thing on their minds. It lends credence that what the bible says is true, and the events that have been described are true.


50 posted on 12/14/2009 1:34:52 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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