I was brought up in an essentially non-religious home, though the values in the community I grew up were christian-based. I think, this has defined me to be the person I am today. As a child, I did not learn much about religion and as far as I remember myself (and I remember things since I was 2 years old), I was always a bit suspicious about everything related with religion, in particular religious people and rituals.
As a young adult at the University, then I started engaging into religion, mainly because some of my close friends were religious, and I was a christian for some years. I tried being catholic, protestant, and then catholic again until I finally gave up. Religion was just not for me and believing in God was just not for me. My issues started with the people, and that´s something which still startles me today. If some religions are good, how come we don´t notice it among religious people on our day-to-day life? If I look among the people I have met during my life – and I have met a lot from all over the world and all types of religions – then I must admit that I don´t see any correlation between “goodness” and religion. I have met the most wonderful people who are atheist, agnostic, christian, muslim, buddhist, etc, but on the other side, I have also met the most horrible people who are atheist, agnostic, christian, muslim, buddhist, etc. I haven´t seen any correlation so far – there are good and bad people in all religions. My observations just make me think that there is no correlation between being religious and how good you are in your day-to-day life. What I observe is that there is a correlation between having moral and ethical principles and how good people are, but those are basically religion independent. What I particularly disliked, and I still do, is to see how any religious institution is corrupted by power, and how the most horrible atrocities are dismissed and hidden underneath the carpet to keep an image and the followers, in a way seen by any political party!
In the same way, my disbelieve in the existence of God started growing. In particular, I can´t believe in the concept of a God, who is almighty, omnipresent, omniscient and good. The concepts are just impossible all together because a God who loves its creatures as its own children wouldn´ t allow anything really bad, like torture, dying of hunger, rape, to happen to them. Either God is not almighty, not omnipresent, not omniscient or not good. This example is enough for me: will ever a mother or a father who lets their child die of hunger, having food on the table, be a good parent? For me the answer is clearly no.
The only time I question the non-existence of God is as a scientist. In my day-to-day life as a scientist, I am studying biochemical pathways of the human organism and how these are regulated and kept in balance by the most complicated machinery ever designed. Sorry, but the evolution theory can´t explain it. I am not saying that there is no evolution, because I do believe there is. However, the events that lead to the formation of the human being couldn´t have been random otherwise not even in a billion years a creature as complicated as us could have been formed. No random events could have created such complicated creatures as we are – only if the mind of the most intelligent biochemist (God?) had directed evolution in such a way.
And so it happens that a person as I, non-religious, not believing in the existence of God as usually is taken as almighty good, believes in a creator who has created all the good and beauty in the world and as such believes in Christmas! It is a fact that Jesus existed and that his values and messages about loving and accepting the others have changed the world. (But please erase temporarily from your memory all the atrocities committed in his name by religious institutions). Sure I don´t believe everything about Jesus, like his virgin birth, though it has been documented in several animals, and I am still convinced that he was a bit mad otherwise how could he have convinced himself as being the son of God? Nevertheless, I believe that the story of Christmas and Jesus nativity is beautiful and has lots of good and can bring people´s goodness. Christmas is a time to stop, to enjoy the small little things in life, to be with the ones you love and because it is so close to the end of the year, it is also a time to reevaluate your life, to make plans for the new year, to make the world a better place. So with these thoughts,
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!