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A Holiday Tune Few Will Enjoy

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A Holiday Tune Few Will Enjoy: How a D.C. based group is destroying the true meaning of Christmas…and even the songs of the season.

By Nathan A. Cherry

 

            We all love to hear the lyrics to one of our favorite Christmas songs. And kids just seem to light up at the sound of anything relating to Christmas. But a new Washington, D.C. bus ad could prove to be the biggest grinch for adults and kids alike this Christmas season.

                The D.C. based American Humanist Association (AHA) has unveiled an ad campaign this year that is sure to land them on Santa’s “naughty” list, and its causing many others to voice their disapproval as well.

                Starting next week some D.C. buses will carry the ad, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness; sake.” The AHA’s spokesman, Fred Edwords simply says of the ad, “We are trying to reach our audience, and sometimes in order to reach an audience, everybody has to hear you,” reports the Charleston Daily Mail.

 

Ads have already appeared on buses in London, sponsored by the British humanist Association, reading, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

 

                And what exactly are Edwords and the AHA trying to communicate to people using these less than jolly ads? Edwords says in an article printed in the Charleston Daily Mail:

 

“Our reason for doing it during the holidays is there are an awful lot of agnostics, atheists and other types of non-theists who feel a little alone during the holidays because of its association with traditional religion.”

 

                Well I hate to break it to Mr. Edwords but if he wants to break the ties of religion from the Christmas holiday he will have to start by changing the name of the day altogether. The very word Christmas bears religious connotations with it. Consider:

 

The word Christmas originated as a compound meaning “Christ‘s mass“. It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038.[5] “Cristes” is from Greek christos and “mæsse” is from Latin missa. In early Greek versions of the New Testament, the letter Χ (chi), is the first letter of Christ. Since the mid-16th century Χ, or the similar Roman letter X, has been used as an abbreviation for Christ.[8] Hence, Xmas is often used as an abbreviation for Christmas. Wikipedia

Even those who sought to secularize the Christmas season by replacing the word “Christ” with the single letter “X” are in error as the Greek letter is a simple abbreviation for the name Christ.
                But what is really at the core of the AHA’s ad campaign? Is it just an attempt to network people of like mind and viewpoint during the Christmas season? In God We Trust Chairman, Council Nedd believes otherwise. “These ads are a deliberate attack on American traditions, beliefs and customs…The AHA is not some harmless little atheist group. These people hate America and they are working with out nation’s enemies to attack our heritage.” (Christian Newswire)
                The AHA defines itself as a group of people who hold to a “progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity,” according to Mr. Edwords.
              I can quickly cite a few problems with that particular definition:

1. Progressive – Humanism is not in the slightest progressive. The denial of theism and structured religion is as old as mankind. Numerous times throughout the Old Testament God scorned mankind for acting as if there was no God, living as if God did not exist etc. (See: 2 Kings 10:31, Psa. 14:1; 53:1)

Contemporary humanism can be traced back through the Renaissance and back to the Islamic Golden Age to its ancient Greek roots. Humanism can also be traced back to the time of Gautama Buddha (563-483 BCE) and Confucius (551–479 BCE) and the Warring States Period, though the term “humanism” is more widely associated with Western philosophers. Wikipedia (For a full explanation of the ancient origin of humanism see the full article in Wikipedia.)

2. Ethical – Ethics is a system of right and wrong, good and evil. Any system of right and wrong or good an evil must have an indisputable measurement of what right and wrong is. How, apart from God is this even possible?

Perhaps Mr. Edwords and the AHA would say that their ethics go back to the founding of this country and the Constitution. But if they did then they would be admitting that God and the Bible are needed and relevant, considering that our country’s Constitution was based upon the Bible. And if their system of right and wrong and ethics doesn’t come from an absolute such as the Bible, who determines what is truly right and wrong.
              “It’s a stupid ad…How do we define ‘good’ if we don’t believe in God? God in his Word, the Bible, tells us what’s good and bad and right and wrong. If we are each ourselves defining what’s good, it’s going to be a crazy world,” said American Family Association president Tim Wildmon.
                Maybe Mr. Edwords is merely attempting to mask his own loneliness. A recent Pew Forum on Religion article suggests that very few Americans describe themselves as being atheist or agnostic. And a recent Barna survey seems to support those findings:

69% believe in God when described as the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect creator of the universe who rules the world today.
8% believe that God is the total realization of personal human potential.
Barna

                All I know is that to try and use a child’s Christmas song to spread a doctrine of hopeless existence during a time when the world seems most hopeful is about the “grinchiest” thing a person could do.

 

 

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Written by Jeremy Dys

November 14, 2008 at 1:43 pm

4 Responses

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  1. “How a D.C. based group is destroying the true meaning of Christmas”

    If an ad on the side of the bus can destroy the meaning of your holiday, what does that say about the strength of your holiday in the first place?

    morsec0de

    November 14, 2008 at 2:44 pm

  2. “The AHA is not some harmless little atheist group. These people hate America and they are working with out nation’s enemies to attack our heritage.”

    Why is atheism synonymous with hating America? What does a person’s (non)belief in God have to do with their feelings about their country? I’ve got plenty of atheist friends who love their country and plenty of Christian friends who hate it.

    Davo

    November 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm

  3. I’m atheist and I hate America. Just Kidding! I’m really agnostic, and actually quite proud of my country right now. I agree with the above posters. So what if someone’s belief (or lack of) in God does not align with yours? How does that affect /your/ faith and /your/ holiday? I say live and let live. Get over it.

    Karen

    November 14, 2008 at 3:55 pm

  4. Haha! I just found this article on wordpress.com. I read it and responded without looking into this blog or the organization that sponsors it. It’s mission statement talks about how it tries to, “safeguard religious freedom.”

    How does is invalidating a religious belief and advocating for the censorship of their ads “safeguarding religious freedom”?

    Davo

    November 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm


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