Manila, Philippines – A group of young atheists has started a campaign to protest about the celebration of Christmas in the Philippines. The Filipino Atheists and Thinker’s Society (FATS) marched towards Batasang Pambansa to persuade the lawmakers to stop the official celebration of Christmas in the Philippines.
Filipino Atheists and Thinker’s Society
The protest is made up of 30 young atheists ranging from 14 to 18 years old. In an interview with James Ardon, the leader of FATS, he said that “Celebration of Christmas creates a division among Filipinos, it alienates non-catholic citizens and violates the separation of the Church and State”. According to the teens, “Filipino Christians are mostly intolerant of other beliefs so they deserve it, besides, Christmas is not originally a Christian tradition as it originated from Pagan beliefs”.
The group originated from a small Facebook Group, they have one united goal even though they have different reasons why they became an atheist. One member explained “Sometimes we scout some youtube videos for intelligent comment, such as videos about Richard Dawkins and other famous scientists, then we talk to them and try to convince them about atheism, so far have about 10% success rate on enlightening them to the only belief that everyone should believe in”.
Most of the Christians who saw the protest reacted in a negative way, they said that these kids should just focus on their studies instead of trying to make “papansin” on their belief. Some conservatives said that they might be possessed by the demons. A concerned parent even said that internet has really poisoned the minds of the youth, where even some entertainment material pushes kids to satanism. She pointed out that Abra’s song is a good example of how they twist the mind of young people.
Some critical thinkers also pointed out that this protest is pointless, even though some of them are not believers of the same faith, they said that they should just leave this old tradition as long as it doesn’t harm anyone. Some workers also pointed out that Christmas break is one of the moment where they can spend time with their family and the 13th month pay is also a big help.