The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) would like to sincerely wish all Australians, regardless of their religious affiliations or lack thereof, a Merry Non-believing Christmas.

We hear that Peter Dutton would like to bring Christmas "back to its roots". Surprisingly, there might be something we can agree on there. After all…

"Christmas" appears nowhere in the Bible.
December 25? Appropriated from a week-long Roman pagan festival.
Christmas trees? Another pagan ritual.
Christmas carols? We don't think Jesus or anyone around him sang a single one.
There's not too much mention of Santa Claus or flying reindeer in the Bible, either…

So it looks like we're all down for a week-long public holiday for a pagan festival! Thank you, it's great to see our politicians onboard with this!

Back to serious… the predictably breathless "War On Christmas"-type bleatings are not only a fiction of the imaginations of those wedded to a mythical, monocultural 1950s view… they are factually incorrect. Australia was founded as a secular nation under s116 of the Constitution, and has no mandated state religion. It is extremely concerning that our elected representatives, who are supposed to uphold the Constitution, need to be reminded of this.

It's also ironic that, at a time supposed to be devoted to "peace on earth", goodwill" and giving, a few professing Christians seem to want to demonstrate that by… sowing ill-will and discord, and even trying to "take" Christmas from everyone else by enforcing their own narrow views and beliefs onto all. One would almost think they were channeling the Grinch rather than Santa.

Millions of non-believing Australians demonstrate every year how to celebrate Christmas without religion. With an emphasis on family, friends, love, giving and sharing. No need at all for a holy book or deity. Or even Christmas carols.

President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia Kylie Sturgess notes that one of the most popular songs this time of the year is by Tim Minchin, called "White Wine in the Sun" (proceeds continue to go to the National Autistic Society with purchase of the track); in an interview Minchin responded that “Christmas means much to billions of people who don’t believe in Jesus, and if you think that Christmas without Jesus is not Christmas, then you’re out of touch, and if you think altruism without Jesus is not altruism, then you’re a dick.” (Source)

We at the AFA hope that your Christmas is a happy and safe one with those important and close to you… regardless of how you choose to celebrate it.

Kylie Sturgess

Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 3582
Parramatta NSW 2124

Phone: (02) 8007 4503
Email: [email protected]

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