Local newspaper highlights atheists who celebrate Christmas

Well, this was a pleasant surprise today! The Exponent, Purdue’s student newspaper, ran a piece today on atheists and agnostics who still celebrate Christmas. As a heathen who has pretty much been listening to nothing but Christmas music for the last week, I definitely fit into that group.

“It seems that Santa Claus, rather than Jesus Christ, is the mythical figure around which Christmas is centered,” Stolyarov said.

Chris Komlos, a junior in the College of Engineering, said even though his family is agnostic they still celebrate like everyone else.

“I tend to think of it as more of a second Thanksgiving. It’s more of a family holiday than a religious one,” Komlos said. “The commercialization of Christmas is good for those who are not so religious and want a feel-good family holiday.”

Remington Roberts, a junior in the College of Technology, said Christmas is lost in the commercial aspect and is hardly religious anymore.

Roberts is atheist but his family still puts up a tree, has dinner with relatives, opens presents and hangs up stockings.

“When I was younger I questioned the meaning behind Christmas, but after I found out I just started celebrating it to be with my family,” Roberts said. “There is never any conflict between my relatives who are religious and me; I just go with the flow.”

Success! Though the one downside is the Exponent is no longer taking letters to the Editor for this semester, so no watching those “Keep Christ is CHRISTmas” people spluttering.

I’m a bit bemused, however, that the Society of Non-Theists and it’s members weren’t contacted for this story. You’d think you’d want to use your resources on campus, right? Maybe I should take this as a sign that non-theism is becoming more accepted that they don’t need to go find a local group. Or more likely (since I’ve known people who worked at the Exponent), this reporter had some heathen friends she could call up, and that was good enough research for her. Oh well, good article nonetheless!