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.