Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Solstice, Right Here in Dallas

While thumbing through the remnants of the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News, I came across an article entitled, "Ornamental Christmas" written by Michael E. Young.  I dismissed the article during my first pass through the Metro section simply because I assumed it was yet another writer pandering to the religious majority.  Boy, was I mistaken.

Young's article presented a thoughtful and respectful perspective of how (and why) we non-Christians have reason to celebrate during this time of year.  You read that correctly.  The Dallas Morning News printed an article on the front page of the Metro section that informs its readers of the perspective of people without a belief in god.

That Michael Young is my kind of reporter.

He even interviewed Terry McDonald, the President of the Metroplex Atheists.  (My people!)  In the interview, McDonald mentions something about his family that I can relate to.  You see, my family celebrates much the same way that Mr. McDonald does:
"[My] holiday of choice is actually the winter solstice.  The oldest celebration in human history, celebrated for nearly 10,000 years."
Our family has recently adopted the same practice, as we wish each other a, "Merry Solstice!" rather than continue with a tradition that we simply don't believe.  Sure, we decorate a tree and we put up some lights in and about the house.  But like Terry McDonald, our tree doesn't contain any religious ornaments and our home doesn't contain any decorations with religious significance.  You see, we have adopted the holiday tradition of decorating our home with trinkets and collectibles that have meaning to us.

I mean, isn't that what makes sharing holiday traditions fun in the first place?

This article really meant a lot to me, and I would like to extend my personal gratitude to both the editors of the Dallas Morning News and to Michael Young for publishing it.  You gave me some comfort today; comfort that there are enough rational people in DFW where a high volume newspaper chooses to cover the perspective of an atheist.  I knew there was a reason why I pay to receive this newspaper.

I'm starting to get a bit optimistic as I get older.  It seems that as the years pass, there just might be a little bit of hope in the South for people of reason...

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