Conversations with a Pantheist

I e-mailed my step-brother, who lives in Chicago and is (I think) a pantheist, and asked if he was coming down for Christmas.

He replied back, with exclamation points I might add, that he does not celebrate the holidays and he was surprised that I did.

Little back story here: Not too long after I deconverted I was chatting on FB with my step-brother. He was telling me that he was trying to figure out some religious stuff and was really thinking about it and knew he was not Christian but didn’t quite know what he believed. He asked me if I ever struggled with my belief? Ha! He had no clue and I really surprised him when I told him I was an atheist. He never really conformed to the beliefs of the rest of the family and at one point, several years back, I tried to show him that Jesus was the truth, the light the way. Obviously I didn’t convince him.

Anyway, he was surprised that I celebrated Christmas, even though he knew I did last year. Maybe he thought that was just for show for the rest of the family? He wanted to know why? Why would I celebrate a holiday that is about worshiping and idol?

This is what I told him.

Though our family is Christian Christmas at our house has never really been a big Jesus deal. We have never really talked about it on Christmas and the only thing that we have ever done is someone has prayed before the meal. That will continue and myself, the kids and the AH will be respectful of what the rest of the family wants to do. We don’t have to pray or close our eyes, but we do have to allow others to do so in their own home.

I love the holiday’s and I enjoy spending them with all my family. That won’t change. The only thing that has changed will be what the holiday means to me and what I tell my kids it means.

He says he’s not buying it. Whether it be Santa or Jesus an idol is an idol and he doesn’t want to celebrate it. I’m cool with that. If you don’t want a present I’m down with that, but if you are deliberately staying away from the family because you don’t want to worship idols,even though my house will be praying to no one or thanking no one, then you are only isolating yourself.

He went on to tell me he can’t come anyway due to work obligations, but I was welcome to visit Chicago anytime.

I know some Christians get worked up because it’s “their CHRISTmas”, but I don’t know of any atheist or non-believers who do not celebrate it with their family, whether they are Christian or not.

So, I’m still celebrating Christmas. I’m still saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday’s it doesn’t matter to me. I just want to see my children light up with joy and excitement over the decorating and presents and the food and the family. We won’t be telling any birth of Jesus stories or attending any Christmas church services but we will be making about family and giving and excitement.

How about you?

About theagnosticswife

Living in the bible belt, in middle America, with a once Christian husband who has turned Agnostic. I no longer know what I believe.
This entry was posted in Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Family, Holiday, Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Conversations with a Pantheist

  1. D'Ma says:

    I’ll be celebrating Christmas, just the same as I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. For me it’s about family and togetherness. The food doesn’t hurt either. I get it that you think your step-brother is a pantheist, but what is this business about worshiping idols? Can pantheists do that? Do they know who the real gods are? I’m not asking that in a smartypants kinda way. I just don’t understand is all.

    • theagnosticswife says:

      I myself am not exactly sure what he meant. I am assuming he meant that Christmas is a Christian holiday and Christians worship God? So since I don’t do that why would I celebrate a Christian holiday.

      You know what I’ll email him and ask. If/when he gets back to me I’ll let you know. πŸ™‚

  2. Same as you. I will say, however, that it’s not the same as when I (tried) to believe in the Christmas story. It’s such a beautiful tale. Now that I’m comfortable with my belief in the world, Christmas almost seems as silly to me as it does to my husband, who is a cultural Jew. A big celebration, food, presents, …for what? But we still have a fantastic time!

    • theagnosticswife says:

      I can understand that. I mean really why do we continue to celebrate it? For me I think it’s because I don’t want to be left out and I don’t want my kids to be left out. I don’t like the idea of my whole family getting together and having a good time and my family being left out because we don’t believe in God.

      I am actually pretty big on tradition and I think that’s one of the reasons that deconverting was so hard on me. It bulked tradition and disappointed and saddened a lot of people I love.

      I’ve had to try to figure out where I fit in.

  3. ... Zoe ~ says:

    Lawn chair, Florida beach, SPF 60, sun hat, good book . . . weather permitting. :mrgreen:

    I’m with D’Ma . . . what’s with the *idol* thing?

    • theagnosticswife says:

      Hello! I wanna visit Zoe for the holidays! In Florida! Though it might not be as restful and relaxing to you with two 5 year olds. It’d be a holiday you wouldn’t forget:)

  4. Michael Mock says:

    We celebrate Christmas. Or solstice, or Saturnalia, or whatever. Stockings, Christmas trees, presents. Firstborn will help set up the manger scene at my parents’ house. (It has a delightful collection of little pewter animals, and my father built a sort of lincoln-logs-on-a-wooden-base setup for the manger itself.) We won’t be attending services, let alone midnight mass, because, y’know, we’re not actually Christian in a religious sense.

    But, contrary to what your step-brother seems to think, there’s plenty of Christmas that isn’t actually Christian in a religious sense. And culturally, we are Christian: Christianity is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of religion, Christian holidays are the ones we grew up celebrating, and Christian churches are the ones that we will definitely not be attending.

    Step-brother’s reaction seems weirdly fundamentalist: as if, in order to not believe the truth of Christianity, he (and by extension the rest of us) must wholly reject anything connected to the faith. And that, in turn, seems to give Christianity rather more power, or authority, or importance than I think it really merits for an unbeliever.

  5. Ashley S says:

    First, I love your site πŸ™‚ Just found it and I think I have a bit of a crush lol. Anyhow. I come from a fairly religious Christian family, but my husband and I are not. I like holidays, and Christmas is, for us, about traditions. We go into the woods with my entire family and cut a wild Christmas tree. We decorate, do stockings and presents and Santa for the kids. I muster the small amount of domesticity I have in me and bake cookies and make goodies with my kids like my mom and I used to make. I truly enjoy it, and much like every other aspect of my life, I don’t care if others want to speculate or label, because I know what it is to me.

    • theagnosticswife says:

      Hi Ashley, glad you found the blog!

      Cutting your own tree sounds fun. I’ve never done that before.

      As far as the cookies and such I try to make some and let the kids help. I try to work my domestic divaness, haha.

      Thanks for commenting!

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