One in five Americans claim to have no religion, but most of them will celebrate Christmas anyway. That trend has inspired two liberal pundits, both of them atheists, to ask whether its a bad thing that kids have no idea who the Three Wise Men are. Should post-religious parents offer their kids some religious context for Christmas?
Learning the religious roots of Christmas is a good thing, writes Salon's Andrew Park, because it emphasizes the holiday's focus on loving and caring for others. Park cites famous atheist Richard Dawkins, who sings Christmas carols with his family. However, his experiment with reading Biblical stories to his kids ended in bewilderment and confusion when his kids didn't get why Jesus had "two fathers."
Their bafflement isn't surprising, argues Slate's Amanda Marcotte. "The myths and legends of a desert-dwelling people from 2,000 ago" are mostly irrelevant to our ideals of Christmas present, she writes. "The story of Christ's birth...is about how virgins are better than non-virgins, with a side dose of arguing that babies who haven't done anything yet can still be superior to everyone else by accident of birth."
Posted Dec 25, 10am PST.