This morning my Christian in-laws came over, then turned around and walked out when they saw what we had done with the nativity set they had given us

Comment by Gaytor on December 4, 2010 at 1:48am
@Maya, if they do this in their home and the in-laws drop by, should they change for them? Do you think that the in-laws didn't know that they aren't practicing Christians? It was rude of them to have sent it in the first place.
Comment by William M on December 4, 2010 at 3:04am
pass the garlic toast
Comment by Martha Everett on December 4, 2010 at 4:49am
Wow! That's the best thing ever! Now you just need little pirate hats for the rest of them...
Comment by Reggie on December 4, 2010 at 6:06am
That is just awesome.
Comment by D. Joseph Purcell on December 4, 2010 at 12:31pm
Way too funny!
Comment by Jeff Parsons on December 4, 2010 at 12:33pm
Laugh out loud funny!
Comment by Maya Bohnhoff on December 4, 2010 at 1:05pm
@Gaytor: Isn't that a bit disingenuous, though? Why would an atheist family display a nativity set— Except perhaps to poke fun at someone to whom it represented something dear?

I'm not at all suggesting that they don't have a right to do whatever they want in their home. What I was curious about was the intent and the result of it. Did they get the reaction they wanted? If so, why did they want that reaction?

If the intent is to not get caught up in the pseudo-religious fervor around Christmas, why not just avoid Christmas altogether? Be a proud atheist by not buying into the hype. Or decorate with only commercial Christmas imagery—Santa Clauses et al.

There's so much conflict and nastiness in the world already, I just scratch my head when people create more just for fun.
Comment by Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco on December 4, 2010 at 1:17pm
The central theme of Christmas, as we have it in the New Testament, is the event of God becoming man: “The Logos became flesh and dwelled among us full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 14) or to use the statement from Philippians, “he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7) This is the fundamental message of Christmas, a message presented in a veiled form in the Old Testament but fully, splendidly, and definitively in the New Testament.

As objectively as I can, I will draw an explanation. God’s incarnation, with al its consequences, seems to have a unique place and function within a secular context. Secularism, under all its aspects and forms, emphasizes the absolute importance of the human element, the centrality of the human condition. It is more or less anthropocentric. What more could secularism ask than that offered by the essential message of the Gospel, namely that God become fully, irrevocably, and genuinely man? What teaching could place human existence higher than a teaching in which God assumes the fullness of human nature?

Just the person of Jesus creates for anthropology possibilities unheard of by any anthropocentric philosophy. To put it boldly and somehow paradoxically, the fact of “The Logos having become flesh,” truly understood, offers a far more radical and advanced anthropocentric speculation. The development of human existence to its optimum and its maximum, both individually and socially, constitutes an absolute imperative for the Christmas message viewed as focusing on God’s incarnation.

Where does leaves us, the modern atheists?
Comment by Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco on December 4, 2010 at 1:54pm
Dear Revolution MacInnes,

Thanks for saying that my writing is “amazing.” However, if my words don’t make “even a modicum of sense” to you, that is not my fault.
Comment by John Siqueiros on December 4, 2010 at 2:06pm
@ Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco: Well, your words make a "modicum of sense," in the sense that you made me think that Christianity is as bat-shit crazy as Scientology. Let's compare your rendition of the Gospel with the Good News of Xenu ():

Gospel: "The central theme of Christmas, as we have it in the New Testament, is the event of God becoming man: 'The Logos became flesh and dwelled among us full of grace and truth.' ... 'He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men'."

Xenu: "He brought billions of his people to Earth in a DC-8-like spacecraft, stacked them around volcanoes and killed them using hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology dogma holds that the essences of these many people remained, and that they form around people in modern times, causing them spiritual harm."

God became man? Or God sent men to earth in space ships?? I can't figure out what makes sense. Can you?

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