Prof Dawkins said atheists were not a threat to Christian traditions
He told the BBC's Have Your Say that he did not want to "purge" the UK of its Christian heritage.
The comments came after Tory MP Mark Pritchard accused "politically correct" people of undermining Christmas.Professor Dawkins, author of the God Delusion, added that he liked "singing Carols along with everybody else".
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He added: "I fully recognise the full historical and cultural significance [of Christianity] in our country.
"We should all be aware of that and celebrate that."
And the head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, said schools were wrong if they thought celebrating Christmas excluded children who were not Christian.
He said: "Christmas and the celebration of Christmas in this country, though it is a religious festival, is one in which people who are of no religion - or other religions - can share."
I also feel this way.
Because I do not believe in God does not mean that I want to take religion away from people, I think that religion is a huge power for good. The religious festivals are also a large part of our cultural heritage and as such should be remembered and celebrated.I have read many instances in the UK of how Christmas and other religious festivals are being marginalised so as not to cause offense to the peoples of other religions in the UK. I think this is totally wrong and we are meant to celebrate our diversity.
When I went to Turkey, being awoken by a CALL TO PRAYER was what happened in that country and any suggestions of stopping it to prevent causing offense to non-Muslims would have made me angry.When I go to Spain I love to see all the shops with Nativity scenes in their windows, I was pleased to see quite a few shops with Nativity scenes in Cardiff's shopping centre when I visited last.
At Beauty's Nativity play Whoops a Daisy Angel the audience consisted of many Muslim parents who all seemed to enjoy the play very much and if they had not wanted their child to participate then they had the chance to opt out.
At the school play I talked to Beauty's best friends mother, they are African Muslims who have lived here for a number of years due to to the fact that there is war in their country and they cannot go back. Beauty's best friend is high functioning autism and so he is extremely bright and questioning and this year he asked if they would be decorating the house for Christmas.
I explained to his Mum that in the UK we have celebrated at this time of year(any historian who wants to correct me-not a problem)back to pre-Christian times, the winter solstice and the fact that the longest day of the year is over and the days are getting shorter. I also suggested decorating the house for Eid-al-Adha-The festival of Sacrifice, the festival that marks the end of Hajj. She thought that this was a brilliant idea and she will be decorating her house with snow and other non-religious items.Beauty's friend thought this was great and when he asked his mum if they were going to decorate she said 'Of course, Christmas is for everyone'.
Again, as Richard Dawkins saidHe said: "Christmas and the celebration of Christmas in this country, though it is a religious festival, is one in which people who are of no religion - or other religions - can share."
Christmas is a time to share and for families to be together, and I as a humanist will be celebrating it within the cultural traditions of my country or any other traditions that bring us all closer together.
Oh as a by the way, Anastasia bought me a copy of The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins as a Christmas present one year and it was very good,
Thank you Anastasia.
Last night I had another of my crazy dreams!
Due to the fact that I do not sleep very well, I do not get a lot of deep sleep so any dreams that I have i seem to remember quite vividly.
I dreamed that Anastasia had been doing missionary work for the church she belongs to and had been gone for 18 months doing this work-not a chance!I do not think that I or Dimitri would be too pleased with that idea.
Now if I had dreamed that she had done a VSO year abroad that would have been totally different. I have never been too enthusiastic about people who go away JUST to SPREAD THE GOSPEL but if they were to go to Africa to help build wells etc AND talk about their religion, that sounds good.I have also thought that Health Educating in needy areas sounded good or working in a homeless hostel in Cardiff but going away just to preach doesn't do it for me.
I have also found the thought of Enclosed Orders a bit worrying but if it floats your boat then who am I to criticise.
However, the one most likely to get itchy feet is SnowWhite, she is presently considering working in Special Needs Summer Camps-who can tell where she will be next year? She has friends she went to school with who are currently living in Israel(one is doing is national service) so she could end up working on a Kibbutz!