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Atheists at NAHS: Practicing Non-Belief In a Season of Belief

Lore+of+the+Tree%3A+Atheist+students+at+North+Atlanta+celebrate+the+usual+classic+Christmas+traditions+while+taking+out+the+religious+aspect%2C+instead+focusing+solely+on+the+cookies%2C+presents%2C+and+holiday+cheer.+
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Atheists at NAHS: Practicing Non-Belief In a Season of Belief

Lore of the Tree: Atheist students at North Atlanta celebrate the usual classic Christmas traditions while taking out the religious aspect, instead focusing solely on the cookies, presents, and holiday cheer.

Lore of the Tree: Atheist students at North Atlanta celebrate the usual classic Christmas traditions while taking out the religious aspect, instead focusing solely on the cookies, presents, and holiday cheer.

Olivia Chewning

Lore of the Tree: Atheist students at North Atlanta celebrate the usual classic Christmas traditions while taking out the religious aspect, instead focusing solely on the cookies, presents, and holiday cheer.

Olivia Chewning

Olivia Chewning

Lore of the Tree: Atheist students at North Atlanta celebrate the usual classic Christmas traditions while taking out the religious aspect, instead focusing solely on the cookies, presents, and holiday cheer.

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From November to January, jingle bells and dreidels rule the holiday season. But what about those who don’t follow a religion or don’t believe in God? For most atheist or agnostic North Atlanta students, they participate in Christmas and other related activities but leave out the more religious aspects. They celebrate Christmas with their families but either do it out of respect or don’t even see Christmas to be very religious based to begin with.

Stringing up lights, getting a Christmas tree and opening presents are all common Christmas traditions for most people. And to be sure atheists do all these things as well. In respect to their family members most students said they participate in the activities and see Christmas as more of a family tradition rather than a religious holiday. “Spending time with my family on Christmas is the best,” said junior Charlie Olson.

Others don’t even see Christmas as a religious holiday and celebrate just like everybody else with a Christmas tree, presents and Santa. They just do it without the backstory of the birth of Jesus. Junior Lachlan Pipkorn cited the fact Christmas was a pagan holiday and birth of Jesus was made Christmas day to help convert pagans to Christianity. “Christmas isn’t even Christian,” said Pipkorn.

Christmas means presents and for some atheist students at North Atlanta presents are one of the reasons they continue to celebrate the holiday. “Getting presents is fun but I also enjoy spending time with my family,” said junior Javier Manzanarez.

No matter what religion you follow or what you believe about the holidays, this season is a time dedicated to family and friends. Christians celebrate Christmas and atheists do as well. For those who profess non-belief in this season of belief, family and friends are at the core of their practice.  

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