5 holidays to celebrate this year that aren’t Christmas

Going mad with Christmas cheer? Try one of these alternatives.

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  • Christmas is an all consuming holiday, celebrated even in cultures where Christianity never took root.
  • However, some people just can't take it anymore. Some of them even invented new holidays as alternatives.
  • While some of the holidays are celebrated half jokingly, they all offer an escape from an often overbearing Christmas season.
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10 atheist quotes that will make you question religion

From psychology to neuroscience, what we believe is not nearly as relevant as why we do.

Photo: Daniel Hjalmarsson / Unsplash
  • Belief systems arise to address the time and social conditions of each era and culture.
  • Your relationship to your community and environment is very influential in what you believe.
  • Neuroscience explains many of the questions as to why we believe in the first place.
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Why the U.S. is an anomaly among democracies

Eboo Patel explains how America's political philosophy broke the democratic mold.

  • From the time of the ancient Greeks, political philosophers believed the only way to have diversity in a society was for it to be an empire or a dictatorship. They thought homogeneity was the core of democracy: one ethnic group, one racial group, and especially one religion. Then America broke that mold in 1787.
  • Eboo Patel cites historical examples of how Benjamin Franklin donated funds to different religious communities and built a pulpit for the Grand Mufti of Constantinople to preach Islam, if he so wanted. George Washington assured the Jewish people protection in a very famous and beautifully written letter. Religious diversity? Turns out it's as American as apple pie.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Why spiritualizing the cosmos is a disservice to science and religion

Where is God? Michelle Thaller lays out a cosmic view of religion, science, and the human condition.

  • Ancient humans believed lightning, seasons, and other unexplainable natural phenomenon were the acts of gods, but what happens when scientific discovery unravels those mysteries?
  • NASA astronomer and science communicator Michelle Thaller explains how scientific discovery has changed the search for God, and that religion may be something that happens between people, if they choose, rather than out there in the cosmos.
  • It's not a miracle that Earth is the perfect incubator for human life—we were created by the laws of the universe, and in those laws we can find great beauty and belonging.

Why are Americans still afraid of atheism?

You'd think we'd be over this fear by now.

NEW YORK - MAY 10: GOD FRIENDED ME stars Brandon Micheal Hall (pictured) in a humorous, uplifting drama about Miles Finer (Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him. (Photo by Jonathan Wenk/CBS via Getty Images)
  • 51 percent of Americans would not vote for an atheist president.
  • Though America wasn't founded as a Christian nation, religion has always had a strong influence.
  • It wasn't until the 1950s when religion gained its current prominence in the national imagination.
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