It’s that time of year again when all atheists hide behind darkened doors and refuse to answer to the call to alms of the christians.
I don’t mind christians, either individually or collectively. Most mind their own Christian business on a daily basis and don’t inflict their ideals on other, more or less plebeian souls such as myself. They dare not least they will be set upon by my indignation at any suggestion I might not have my own code of ethics which, by the way, excludes the admiration of any god or recognition of thought as a crime, although the consideration has crossed my mind from time to time to mentally lust after a neighbours wife as a candidate for a tempestuous dream sequence.
The end of December and the preceding weeks does appear to be a time when every member of every faith, excluding the obvious, press upon the rest of us how important it is for us to be aware of how Christian they are. I can only say to them: “Didn’t you do this last year? Why is it necessary to remind me again and again?” After all, we atheists don’t have a public awareness campaign once a year. Perhaps it’s like The LGBTQ Mardi Gras or Mental Health Day or Fathers Day. I don’t need reminding I am not LGBTQ. Nor do I need reminding of my persistent insanity or my claim to parenthood.
Once is enough, thank you.
As my Old Man would have said: “I’ll tell you once, Tommy. Then I’ll tell you once more. I won’t bother a third time.” And there I was thinking I had at least 9 chances. After all the cat got that many.
Yet there’s no escaping Xmas. The festivities infest every part of our lives. I’m not sure of the relevance of most Xmassy regalia. Snow seems a bit pointless on the streets of Darwin. The closest we come to a Xmas tree is a banksia or capok. Reindeers aren’t prevalent. And the fat man in the red suit usually requires resuscitating from time to time from heat exhaustion or intoxication.
I’m told all this is symbolic. Love is the main theme. That seems quite a nice thing to do but surely not loving everyone. Can’t I pass on a few? Better still, how about I make a short list; say, 5 or 6, a backup list of an even dozen and the rest of the population can buy their love elsewhere.
Then I ask the christians when has it been a thing to be reminded of loving those on your list? Surely my day will do.
Mind you, there are the faithful, the churchgoers, the devout, to guilt ridden and the socialites, who gather in their domains and sing and pray as they did last year. I should note at this point that the churches are less patronised for the other 364 days of the year, suggesting that, for some, Christianity is seasonal.
There are expectations as well; demands, on our time, pocket, diet, patience, hospitality, to name a few.
“What are we doing for Xmas?” I hear the call from Others. I recoil, then hide, and pretend I didn’t hear.
Others are persistent.
“Don’t be like that,” Others demand. “It’s Xmas. It’s that time of the year when families get together and we express good will to others”.
What others really mean is we buy unwanted gifts for people we might not like or see from one Xmas to the next, who then turn up to every bbq, eat, drink and be annoying, have sex with their best friends mother-in-law, park on the grass and run over the cat as they leave. There also appears to be one child left behind in the rush to get to the next party.
At that point of inquiry into my Xmas intentions I curl into the foetal position and wait for the earth to open up and swallow me; whole or chewed, it matters not. On the way down the oesophagus of Mother Earth I would like to express out loud some discrepancies in the goodwill thing, but refrain. All would fall on deaf ears and I would be accused of being less than I am: a temporary sociopath.
It does seem strange and peculiar that the death of a black Jew 2000 years ago would influence my life so much. As someone more famous than I once stated: “if my wife told me she was having a baby and god was the father I could only assume she was lying or forgetful”.
Meanwhile I’ll wait for my own birthday to arrive. Perhaps some Mir will be forthcoming although I have no idea what use it will serve me. Probably as mush use as the wooly socks I got last year at Christmas from a well meaning relative who had forgotten I love in the tropics.