I got a kick out of this note below which I found shared online. Here's an excerpt:
...Well, during the share, several women who are big into Christianity, got visibly upset. They stole looks with each other and made disapproving faces. Finally, one of them just couldn't stand to listen one more minute. She covered both her ears with her hands...
I've been at meetings like these, and even have a friend who is my partner in eye-rolling. (I probably owe a 10th step, or two...)
But, as the writer explains, it is typically the Bible-thumping Jesus-lover that has gone on too long and too enthusiastically about personal religious beliefs and experiences. Not the atheist. In fact, in my experience, atheists have a difficult time speaking up.
As an "out" atheist I am familiar with when and how people share their nonbelief in a variety of settings. My own experience leads me to conclude that most people are less willing to "confess" their atheism in an AA meeting than they are in other social situations. The only exception is the workplace, where there are risky consequences for being a nonbeliever... or even a non-Christian.
So why are we atheists reluctant to be forthcoming at meetings? I think it is fairly obvious to even the most casual observer that the literature and lore of AA prescribes that "the way" to good sobriety includes God. AA also dismisses agnostics/atheists as people who are simply obstinant, and who will eventually come around — once they come to their senses. (The Chapter to the Agnostic really gets my blood boiling.)
There are many things I enjoy about the holidays, but most of them are not unique to Christmas. Gift-giving, lights, food, special music, time spent with family and friends... name a "holiday" or celebration that does not include these features!
Anyway... on to our friend's comments about her meeting. Wish I would have been there!
So this topic of the true origin of the Christmas rituals came to an interesting head in my women's AA meeting. I had just shared, with a lot of humor, how "neutral" I've become about Christmas this year. I feel neither good nor bad--just neutral. Believe me, being "neutral" is a big step up for me, who used to get filled with rage during the holidays.
After I shared, a woman who is an admitted atheist (and a very intelligent retired lawyer) almost started a riot in the meeting. She mentioned that Christmas is a pagan holiday, and she brought up references to the solstice, etc. She ended by wishing everyone a "happy solstice."
Well, during the share, several women who are big into Christianity, got visibly upset. They stole looks with each other and made disapproving faces. Finally, one of them just couldn't stand to listen one more minute. She covered both her ears with her hands!!! She happened to glance in my direction, and I whispered, "Hey, it's true." She shook her head with great agitation.
How many times, in how many meetings, have I felt the same way--but about all the references to God and Jesus and "I'm a Christian"? But love and tolerance is our creed--or is it? When the shoe is on the other foot, that tolerance falls straight to the ground. It really made me chuckle to see her face....and the expressions on the faces of most people in the group.
As for me, a Jew at Christmas, I've made no plans for family get-togethers, etc. I will simply do what I did on Thanksgiving: go to the potluck at my "home group." I had such a good time at Thanksgiving, and it seemed to make Christmas much easier to "stomach" as we approach the Big Day. After the feast, a few of us plan to go to a movie. What fun! I'm actually looking forward to the "celebration." And you know what else? I actually ENJOY all the festive lights on people's houses. I have come a long way, baby!!!