General Question

Jiminez's avatar

Would it be out of line to send an overtly atheistic holiday card to a devoutly religious person?

Asked by Jiminez (1245 points ) April 18th, 2009

I’m sorry. I’m just still kinda disturbed by the responses I got to this question.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

37 Answers

fireside's avatar

What’s an example of an overtly atheistic holiday card?

Jiminez's avatar

I’m sure they exist at, like, Spencer’s Gifts or something. Just use your imagination.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

It wouldn’t be appropriate. I’m not a christian buy my parents send me easter and christmas cards. They don’t do it because they think I’m a godless heathen, they do it because it means a lot to them. I respect how much Christianity means to them and I respect that even if I don’t agree with it. What I believe teaches respect for all religions that respect life.

Facade's avatar

I dislike receiving cards anyway, so yea I’d just be extra annoyed to get an atheistic one.

Jiminez's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic So, they can have no respect for your religion/belief system, but you respect theirs and that’s an equal situation? What if my atheism means a lot to me (it does)?

casheroo's avatar

My holiday cards just say “Happy Holidays”

I think everyone should respect others, I don’t care if I get a Christian themed card, Jewish, or Atheist…it’s just a card.

ragingloli's avatar

It would not be out of line at all. The Religious send overtly religious cards all the time, so it would only be fair for atheists to do the same.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Jiminez They respect my beliefs as I do theirs. I don’t think that’s something worth fighting with family about. Life’s too short. Your parents will be dead one day and it would suck to be left with memories of fighting with them over abstract views of the afterlife.

Jiminez's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic No one implied anything about fighting. Life is too short. One of my parents is already dead. You don’t have to tell me. You teach people how to treat you. If you don’t say anything then they won’t know. What if their response was “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it bothered you. I’ll make a note of that.” and then that’s it?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I’m sorry for that @Jiminez. It was not my intent to be insensitive.
I can only speak for my relationship with my family. We had our rough patches but we’re past that now. Both of my parents have been close to death before and after that, any etiquette based transgressions over a holiday card seemed trivial. I just take it as that they are thinking about me and that makes me feel good. Now I’m thinking about this, I’m actually feeling a little guilty that I didn’t send them an Easter card.

hearkat's avatar

Isn’t “Atheistic Holiday” an oxymoron? If you don’t follow any religion, why acknowledge their Holy Days at all?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Now I’m thinking about what Atheist greeting cards would be like…

“On your special day,

Know that there’s nothing waiting for you except a box and a hole in the ground.
Worms will be eating your eyes in just a few short years.

Happy Thursday!
Love, your son ”

hearkat's avatar

And why not simply take the mature route and explain that you are annoyed by their cards, rather than attempting passive-aggressive ‘retaliation’, if all you seek is a response like “we didn’t know it bothered you, we’ll make a note of it”.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

How could there be atheist holiday cards if atheist don’t celebrate holidays?
The closest thing I can think of are the “Seasons Greetings” cards I used to send out at Christmas and Hanukah when I’ve bothered with physical cards at all. I’m a bit more lax though because I’m agnostic, I can’t rule out what other people believe and most of the time I feel it gives them a vehicle to get in touch with the connection all living things share so I don’t make a big deal of it. Just me.

Jiminez's avatar

@hearkat That’s the point. That was my original question, as seen here:

But everybody just basically said “Just shut your mouth and take the freaking card.” I don’t think that’s the way it should be.

Jiminez's avatar

Most holidays are secular now.

miasmom's avatar

@Jiminez Most holidays may be secular, but some people aren’t and choose to celebrate those holidays for what they believe regarding them. I don’t see why it would be so hard to tell them your feelings about the cards. If someone in my family approached me and said they didn’t like my religious cards, I would make sure not to send them one, it wouldn’t be a big deal to me.

hearkat's avatar

That’s why I suggested that you ‘man-up’ and directly and respectfully tell them that sinceyou do not share their religious sentiments, you would prefer that they didn’t waste their time and money sending you holiday cards.

squirbel's avatar

My mother sends me religious emails all the time. She prays in those emails. Those are more frequent than some piddly card.

I don’t subscribe to mainstream religion. I don’t like being prayed over, unless the person genuinely cares about me.

Do I fuss and complain, and expect my mom to adhere to my belief system? Fuck no. She’s my elder, I respect her [but I do not love her, that’s another matter]. Old dogs can’t learn new tricks. I just skim the emails for substance, and delete them.

There’s no point trying to make it a two way street with your elders. Just take what is handed to you, filter it, and toss it aside. Doing otherwise will just cause unnecessary rifts.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I would totally send solstice cards.

Jiminez's avatar

@squirbel That’s assuming the person is closed minded and that a rift would exist. My family members are not like that.

Qingu's avatar

If they sent me religious cards and actually expected me to send a card back to them for some reason, yeah, I would.

fundevogel's avatar

I want to get a pack of these and send them out to everyone. I could get them in bulk and use them for every holiday.

squirbel's avatar

@Jiminez : No, I could easily tell my mother – “Please don’t send me anything religious. I know how much you care about it, but I don’t care for it.” And she would stop. You are assuming I was speaking of a close-minded person – but I’m not. I’m talking about my mother.

But since you are so argumentative [asked the same question twice in two different ways], why don’t you just send the card and see what happens?

I don’t understand indecisiveness.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

My husband and I are Christians who send Christmas cards to friends and family. If we know of a friend’s religious beliefs being different from ours then we purposely don’t send them a Christmas card. I don’t want to seem disrespectful of their right to choose their beliefs, and in my opinion if you are sending a Christmas card- for a Christian holiday- then it is not “just a card”. If you want to send “just a card” they make those too…

Jiminez's avatar

@BBSDTfamily That’s very considerate of you. But Christmas is not a Christian holiday. It’s a festival that’s been around for thousands of years. Did you think Santa Claus and decorating trees were Christian traditions? They’re not. Purely pagan. I’m surprised they’re not seen as heretical, actually…

Jiminez's avatar

@squirbel – You said: “Just take what is handed to you, filter it, and toss it aside. Doing otherwise will just cause unnecessary rifts.”

Why would it cause a rift if the person wasn’t closed-minded?

I don’t know why you’re so grouchy. I’m not being argumentative at all. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of this practice. It seems like people of other persuasions get treated differently than Christians in this society.

squirbel's avatar

I just feel like you should send the card and find out what happens.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Jiminez Didn’t know that about Christmas. Christians associate a specific meaning with Christmas though. My point is still the same anyway- if a Christan sends a Christian-themed Christmas card, then it’s not “just a card”. I used to work in Hallmark when I was in college so I know there are thousands of “just to say hi” cards. That’s why I don’t send Christmas cards to my friends that are known atheists… I don’t mean them as “just a card” so I don’t send them to those people!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

There are also specific “Christmas” cards that come out at the same time of year, that do not mention Christ, Christmas, or anything remotely religious. They are just “happy holidays” cards that are meant for both Christmas/Hannukah/New Year’s and whatever else you want to throw in!

cwilbur's avatar

I think that if you’re celebrating a religious holiday in the first place, you really don’t have standing to be snarky when people send you religiously themed cards celebrating that holiday.

mrswho's avatar

Merry Christmas :)

mattbrowne's avatar

I wouldn’t call it out of line. Even dogmatic religious people should tolerate other views. If the potential receivers you are talking about are really narrow minded, why add fuel to the fire. Send them a neutral card. As @BBSDTfamily mentioned, there are ‘Happy Holiday’ cards.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

I think that would be a little out of line… I think that we should all be tolerant of each other’s beliefs, and not imposing our beliefs on another cuts BOTH ways.

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