letter to the editor

Paul D. Heckman: Here’s real 'reason for the season'

2012-12-27T00:15:00Z Paul D. Heckman: Here’s real 'reason for the season'By Paul D. Heckman | La Crosse La Crosse Tribune
December 27, 2012 12:15 am  • 

Early humans noticed and acknowledged changes in the night sky. They began to connect certain annual celestial motions and positions with certain earthly events. People began to celebrate these events with rituals.

Simply put, the real “reason for the season” is the tilt of the Earth’s axis, resulting in the winter and summer solstices, giving a reason to light fire (lights) for warmth, gaiety and security in the northern hemisphere, and dances and feasting in the south.

These astronomers, astrologers, magicians and minor gods made major discoveries and declarations. But I dare say that controlled fire, beautiful music, and yes, even children’s cartoons could have been invented by atheists.

It takes a real committed believer to determine whose god is the right one and which pagan rituals are really not superstition.

Most atheists are not opposed to religious teachings, only government support and enforcement of any one’s particular religion.

We would not ban religious books or burn Christmas trees as Fox News host Bill O’Reilly perennially suggests, or refuse to help the less fortunate. Our concern is with reason and protection of all people’s right to celebrate their beliefs privately and to help one another as we can.

As for Monsignor Bernard McGarty’s column (Saturday’s Tribune), no, atheists do not close their eyes when passing historical architecture, nor are we immune to the wonders of stained glass or beautiful music, but thanks for considering our two skimpy dimensions and for your blessed blanket dismissal.

Copyright 2016 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. Dagda
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    Dagda - January 01, 2013 9:21 am
    Keep Saturn in the Saturnalia.
  2. allcav
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    allcav - December 27, 2012 5:09 pm
    Hush. Be quiet. The real trolls are those who get all worked up over this subject. Just be quiet and tolerant. Your blood pressure will be lower, and you may live longer.
  3. Bill O'Rights
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    Bill O'Rights - December 27, 2012 2:54 pm
    abbeyedwards--Thank you for taking the time to express your well written and thought out beliefs.
  4. abbeyedwards
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    abbeyedwards - December 27, 2012 12:21 pm
    My own reluctance to submit letters to the editor is that they are often misread or msunderstood. I am an atheist who believes in your right to your own beliefs. But the United States, at least the intial colonies, wanted to preserve their freedom of religion. How would you react to Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, et. al. placing their religious symbols on public land owned by "the people"? The author is not saying Christianity is wrong nor that it can't be publicly celebrated in front yards or windows on private property, even chuches, temples, mosques. Protecting everyone's rights protects all our rights. No "there is no state-sponsored religion," but to prevent that from ever happening we need to understand that the government has to stay out of religion in every way (see much of the Middle East). That's why many states are passing anti-Sharia laws. They are worried that one will religion will take control of everything. Nonsense, indeed, sir.
  5. Seriously Now
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    Seriously Now - December 27, 2012 11:24 am
    "Most atheists are not opposed to religious teachings, only government support and enforcement of any one’s particular religion." There is no state-sponsored religion. Monsignor Bernard McGarty’s opinions are no more or less valid that the nonsense spewed out here on a regular basis by a handful of people with nothing better on their minds.
  6. Napoleon
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    Napoleon - December 27, 2012 3:06 am
    Re: "Most atheists are not opposed to religious teachings, only government support and enforcement of any one’s particular religion."

    True. I don't oppose fairy tales, such as Christianity or Mother Goose, at all. Some things are just too ridiculous to oppose. How does one oppose something as silly as Voodoo, Astrology, Humpty Dumpty, Islam, the Easter Bunny or Scientology? I mean, how would you go about it?

    Talking Heads - "Road To Nowhere"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0
  7. Napoleon
    Report Abuse
    Napoleon - December 27, 2012 2:51 am
    Re: "Most atheists are not opposed to religious teachings, only government support and enforcement of any one’s particular religion."

    True. I don't oppose fairy tales, such as Christianity or Mother Goose, at all. Some things are just too ridiculous to oppose. How does one oppose something as silly as Voodoo, Astrology, Humpty Dumpty, Islam, the Easter Bunny or Scientology? I mean, how would you go about it?

    Talking Heads - "Road To Nowhere"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0



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