(Why) Christmas is the Most Atheistic Holiday of All

From Unscrewing the Inscrutable:

Mind you, I don’t mean that odd little religious holiday of the same name–the one with Baby Jesus and Three Kings and Manger scenes.

I mean the one that tends to be celebrated: The obvious parody of the Chrisatian holiday. Instead of Jesus, we have Santa Claus, who could be described as “What God would be like if he had a sense of proportion.” He brings gifts instead of eternal life and coal instead of eternal hellfire. He has magical powers as ridiculous as those of Jesus, like the ability to climb chimneys and make ruminants fly, which are much more useful than Jesus’ ‘casting out demons into pigs’ kind of thing.

He’s a clearly what Jesus would be if he was real. Nobody would ever consider nailing this omnibenevolent deity to anything, would they? Nor does he hold anything against you longer than a year.

Of course, only the very young or foolish actually believe he exists. And a mark of maturity is the admission that he doesn’t. People who believe are ridiculed…just as it should be. All it takes is a critical look at the evidence. That’s the purpose of ‘Fat Man + Chimney’ after all: to make the impossibility more obvious for children.


  1. Come to think of it, I find the Santa Clause character more plausible and a lot less creepy than that ancient cult leader guy who reanimates dead people and hangs out with lepers. At least I have gotten christmas presents… many of them throughout the years. Never heard anything from the other guy even though I was a firm believer in the strength of his magic as a child. Then of course, I put aside childish things and became a man. And amazingly, I still get presents. Just not as many as before.

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