A leader in the New York State Republican Party (admittedly not a powerful domain) recently concluded a dinner presentation with the following joke: “To those of the Christian faith, Merry Christmas! To those of the Jewish faith, Happy Hanukkah! And to those of no faith, good luck!”
LOL. Let us be grateful for this theological kissy-wissy between Christians and Jews, a trait that is particularly pronounced among conservative defenders of religiosity, but that characterizes virtually all of Western life today. “Jesus the Son of God? No? Hey! No prob. Whatever.” This easy amicability would have been unthinkable when Religion ruled the West.
As for the fate of non-believers, possessing faith does not seem to provide much protection against disaster during earthly life. God allows the daily slaughter of the innocents to claim believers with as much indiscriminate abandon as non-believers. Church vans appear to be particularly prone to fatal accidents, I have noticed; avalanches, like earthquakes, floods, fire, and crippling genetic abnormalities, show no solicitude for victims of faith. As for the afterlife that believers hold so dear, if God would consign to eternal damnation a moral, generous, and honest human being simply because he has not bent his knee to God in worship and supplication, you’ve got to wonder about the Divine One’s fragile sense of self-worth and the impartial justice with which He allegedly governs his creation.
Still, on this Christmas eve, we can all celebrate the marvelous world, so filled with uncountable comforts and beauty (including Christmas traditions and all its music), that men have built for themselves, whether through their own innate hunger for knowledge or with divine assistance. Merry Christmas!