This is just sorta random stuff. Recently, I've been reading about the string of ad campaigns that many Atheists have been posting around the holiday season including one over the Jersey turnpike (I'm assuming New York) which reads You KNOW it's a myth. This season celebrate reason. They say it's to get closeted atheists to come out. I kinda see it more as a campaign to convert the religious but I suppose it's meant to get closeted atheists to come out. Not sure how that will work though. There are too many holiday parties in December to refuse to spend time with co-workers or family over being an atheist. I don't think it will suddenly make my agnostic hubby (I guess that's the best description) suddenly stop celebrating the holidays. Especially since he's married to his very Catholic wife who takes their Catholic baby to Mass every Sunday.
Oddly in response the a Catholic group set up a billboard opposite of the sign saying You Know it's real. This season celebrate Jesus. I guess that they saw it as the atheists trying to convert the religious.
The whole reason thing is ridiculous too. I've known personally many many people (and a few saints) who were scientists and philosophers of high merit who came to God through their intellect and reason. My friend, Jennifer, for example. Came to know Jesus one Christmas. She was an atheist for all intensive purposes and her family were believers but not practitioners. She said her conversion came about because on Christmas eve her parents were fighting. She went to bed praying. Who to she didn't know. She just needed to ask for help and so she prayed. The next morning she said she woke up and knew that Jesus was real. And she said she couldn't explain it any further than that. And Jennifer is an intellectual.
But there you go. There is also this huge campaign by this group of Humanists quoting the Bible and Koran out of context. The Bible quotes are about slavery, woman not being allowed to speak, etc. without any historical context or current practices of Christians. Very very silly. The ad campaigners are saying that they are going against the "Bible literalists." One big problem. Not all Christians believe the Bible literally. Catholics are taught to view the Bible in context. Genesis is not a science text book, etc. We are also taught to study the historical context as well. And furthermore the quote about a woman being told to remain quiet doesn't include other quotes from the Bible where women are told to teach or take roles in the church like Phoebe and Lydia do. The Archdiocese of Washington blogs about all these ads here and here.
On a positive note, I read an article by this family who moved to Haiti. Their experience is interesting so I peak in from time to time. Here's what they had to say about Advent that I thought was cool.
We started celebrating Advent. We're Baptist, and advent is not a Baptist thing. I was a little leery. Come to find out, Advent has nothing to do with a denomination. It simply means a time of waiting...of preparing our hearts for the Lord. All month long we celebrate Advent with our family in the evenings, telling the greatest story ever told, singing songs, and praying. It's a sweet time of focus on the gospel and God's faithfulness during the month of December. When Christmas Day arrives, our hearts are literally full to overflowing with the wonder of the Christmas story. Yes. Rock on. This is what we have always wanted for our family. If Advent had hands, we'd high five it.....We do this advent study. It's four nights a week. We read the study, sing some songs, then we pray. We don't sing the songs they suggest, because we don't know all of them. We use some of them, just not all of them. We add in other songs that we know and that have solid truth in them that we want our kids to remember about the Christmas Story. All you need for advent are five candles. Four smaller ones that are all the same color and then one big one in the middle that is a different color. Here's an example of a fancy advent wreath. Ours looks nothing like that picture. If you're wondering what the heck advent is and what this all means...here's an old post that explains.