Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

What’s a Good Atheist to do During December?

Well, hopefully spread good cheer.  Right?

(Plus all the other stuff I talked about in The War on christmas Pt. 3)

One way we can spread good cheer is to just spread the good.  I’m broke, a new grad student who’s had almost no luck finding a job, but I could at least spare $5.  Donate a small amount, or whatever non-perishables in your pantry that you know you won’t eat to a food bank, clothing to Goodwill or a few hours to a soup kitchen.  Even better, do all of them! This year, at the request of one of my Religious Roundtable friends, I donated to a charity that helps find homes for disabled orphans in other countries such as Serbia.

Another way to spread the good holiday cheer is to get involved in holiday events in your community, like these good folks from the Brazos Valley Vuvuzela Atheist Marching Band did by participating in the Bryan/College Station Christmas Parade.

[The idea that a vuvuzela is an instrument that’s players can  be organized into a “band” is another topic altogether that makes me cringe mightily.  We’ll let that go for now.  (It’s not nearly as annoying as it sounds…or loud.)]

Apparently, and certainly not surprisingly, the efforts of the Marching Band were not seen as cheerful or particularly welcome as you can see by a local mother’s reaction in this news cast.

As you can see in both videos (or by reading the write-up in the Examiner) the band played several traditional Christmas songs, wished people Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa, so as to be inclusive of as many people as possible in their greetings.  This was met with “disgust” that local children might be exposed to a different world view.

We are, as they say, damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

I’m starting to realize that there is no “high road.”  We are to be silent.  We are to especially be silent during the Advent, Lenten and any particularly patriotic seasons, lest we tarnish them with our presence.

So, what is a good atheist to do during December?

Shut up and hide.


Written by thelittlepecan

December 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Posted in atheism, religion

Tagged with , ,

10 Responses

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  1. […] What’s a Good Atheist to do During December? December 2010 9 comments 4 […]

  2. And how many times have I said in RR that our role is to sit back, shut up, and toe the party line?


    December 10, 2010 at 12:12 am

  3. Dammit, do we eat babies or don’t we? I have a big baby-eating planned for Erin in March, I need to know. Invitations have already started going out!


    December 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm

  4. But ya know, situations like this are why it’s so important for atheists to continue to show their presence in the community. The non-religious are frequently subjected to the prejudice and intolerance of ignorant people, and I’m sure the Atheist Marching Band knew their participation would spark controversy. Yet, controversy can spark dialogue, and I’m so glad to see a group like this participate in a Christmas Parade and I hope they continue to do so. Perhaps one day people will figure out that we don’t eat babies! 🙂


    December 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    • Seriously. If we ate babies, Graham would have been dinner already!


      December 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

  5. Rach, yes, Jingle Bells, if tooted by atheists, would be part of our evil agenda. I’ve had people find out I an atheist and no joke, suddenly everything I had ever done good for them, and every good time we ever had was suspect because it turned out I was an evil devil-worshiper when it all happened.

    And, yes, plenty of people get seriously offended anyone would dare say such horrible words aloud to “decent” (read god-fearing) people.


    December 9, 2010 at 3:14 am

  6. It’s so amazing to me, how different public opinion is from place to place, even in our own country (even in my own state). That Atheist marching band would have gotten a very welcome response here in Portland, OR.

    Man I love this town.

    I especially liked how the news caster referred to the Atheist Marching Band “spreading their ideas” in the Parade, as if tooting “Jingle Bells” was part of some secret atheist agenda!


    December 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

  7. The mom’s attitude is unfortunate, but not surprising.. she said she has taught her children to love everyone-HA- she was basically disappointed that they would be exposed to something that made them question her/her religion.


    December 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    • As Marie is always saying, it’s offensive that we even exist for some folks.


      December 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm

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