Guardian: I’m an atheist and anti-consumerist, which makes Christmas pretty difficult

Santa receives a cuddle from his little helper, a koala named Forest, from Cairns Tropical Zoo in Queensland, Australia Picture: Getty Images

Christmas is a face-off between people who are spiritual and people who are consumerist. The consumerists never call themselves that, they’re just really keen to let you know that they don’t believe in God. The spiritual ones never call themselves spiritual, they are just very anti-consumerist.

ZoeWilliamsZoe Williams is a Guardian columnist

It’s the dialectic method of identity building: I hate crackers and piped music, ergo I am deep; I hate superstition and unprovable things, ergo I am fun. It’s like a zero-sum game in which the shops helpfully give the spiritualists something to kick against, and the churches, especially with their midnight shenanigans, give the consumerists something to laugh at.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t leave you much room for manoeuvre if you are both anti-consumerist and an atheist. Pretty much everything you say will deliver you into the hands of the wrong ally…

  • winniec

    I see her point. However, atheism is unprovable. You are excluding evidence to maintain your unprovable hypothesis. You’re no better than those you criticize unjustly.

    • Frau Katze

      But she has kids who wants the Christmas stuff. Poor woman, I was practically in tears reading of her dreadful predicament.

      • RevnantDream

        I bet she has no problem buying herself cloths or makeup. Its presents for the kids that bug her

      • winniec

        Oops, kids change every scenario radically! Some days, you can’t win.

      • Just a thought
  • Drunk_by_Noon

    What’s an “atheist” doing celebrating Christmas anyway?
    The holiday is not for her.
    She needs to just go to work that day and not bother the rest of us with her neurosis.

  • Alleena

    For most of my life, atheists merely didn’t believe in God, but they did not attack people who did. This woman is a nasty religious bigot who comes across as a snob.

    • She’s just a sad, old broad who wants to prove herself superior by being an atheist and not giving into commercialism.

      Did she write this screed with a feather pen?

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        Not with “stolen animal products”!
        I’m sure she went into the forest (after asking permission from Gaia) and picked a twig off the ground.

    • Frau Katze

      She is also “anti-consumerist”! That was a new one for me. Had not seen it before.

  • Edubeat

    Ten pounds to one donut says she gets her hair done at an swanky, upscale St.John’s Wood or other type of Regents Park hairstylist. She wouldn’t be caiught going slumming in LimeHouse for a cheaper wash and bob.

  • Gaylord Ponce

    Does anyone really give a rat’s ass what this old broad thinks?

    • DD_Austin


      But seeing her face and the crap she writes i’m surprised she has kids

      She’s absolutely pukelicious

  • ontario john

    The decline of the West is partly because of people like her who have rejected all the sacrifices and traditions that made the West great. People are more interested in their own pity parties, self help groups and liberal leftist thinking and don’t care that forces are moving against our society. Evil like islam are not being confronted and the mainline churches themselves have abandoned the faith. However I have been getting heart moving letters and Christmas cards from my Coptic friends in Egypt wishing me a Merry Christmas and I know that the faith is still strong and growing in many parts of world.

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      The mainstream meaning the church-goers and the ones that claim to be religious and hold political office discredit themselves because they give religion a bad name and thus cause people to want to choose atheism.

      If there is anyone to blame it is the mainstream, the political class, the mainstream journalists.

      When I am talking about the mainstream I mean the big parties that sell the nation down the river and wage the wars and cause people to accept debt.

      • Billy Bob Thornton

        These mainstream types just enrich themselves with taxpayer money and do a little religion gamemanship to fool the public. Oh ya great role models. Don’t make me laugh. These people are careerists.

  • Just a thought

    What’s an “anti-consumerist?”

    Does that mean she forgoes her paycheck? …she doesn’t buy stuff? What?

    It’s pretty clear that she invests an absolute minimum on “beauty aids,” but what about food and transportation. What about entertainment? ….eh, no, probably not. but a computer, phone, a home, etc., etc.?

    • Frau Katze

      Good question. What is an anti-consumerist? I have never heard that word before (fortunately).

      Just a typical Guardian leftist who likes to carry on and whine. Or perhaps she simply couldn’t think of anything else to write.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        What is “consumerism”, really?
        Is that anyone who buys ANYTHING?

        It’s another stupid, made-up word to vilify the innocuous.

      • ontario john

        The united church observer of course has an ongoing monthly piece from a minister or whatever they call themselves now, who happily tells of not buying anything for a year. Its tucked in with the praise of Naomi Klein and gay rights.

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          Sixteen-inch doubleheaded dildos that allow lesbians to consummate their relationship.
          I bet they have no problem with that, even if purchased to a wasteful degree.

        • Frau Katze

          I keep forgetting to check them.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    There is nothing wrong with being atheist and the truth is Christmas is about maxing credit cards nowadays to help the economy and at the same time we are expected to save and be model citizens. You try and square that circle.

    The fact is when economies are built on consumption that is why we have points of valleys and dips.

    A politician can’t explain why the economy must be the way it is. We are simply expected to shut up and accept.

    Being anti-consumerist isn’t a left or right issue but an issue about what type of society we want. Libertarians would argue in favour of anti-consumerism to favour personal responsibility. Socialists would argue for being anti-consumerist because of the needs that a person must live with. So I really don’t see it as a left or right issue. Plus as an anti-corporatist which can be in most anti-mainstream ideologies be it minarchist, democratic socialist, communist, anarchist, nationalist, etc. The fact is I commend this woman for speaking the truth because in society we have to accept the mainstream narrative and that narrative is to conform and be debt-based for the greater good.

  • DMB

    She is an atheist and anti-consumerist. That would make her a Communist!

    • dukestreet


  • dukestreet

    It’s very simple. Sshe doesn’t believe in it and does not celebrate it -period. No need to shop and listen to Christmas songs,shopping to do and no plastic to throw out. She has the granparents to do that stuff for her. She’s just afraid her kids will think she’s the Grinch. Which she is,but, that’s what faith is;sticking to your beliefs and living by them.

  • Erniesam

    I consider myself atheist, that is non religious. I don’t get this anti-xmas nonsense. I love Christmas. I see it mainly as a cultural thing, but I think the biblical story is also beautiful. Yes it is commercialised…so what? Get a life!

    I had a Christian upbringing; not dogmatic, but liberal. I enjoyed it pretty much, later I found out it just isn’t for me. That’s okay, everybody’s free to believe what he wants as long as you don’t bother other people against their will. This woman needs to chill out and get a taste of the real Christmas spirit!

  • DVult

    What the heck is the dialectic method of identity building? Oh, I forgot this woman uses the word salad method of thinking and writing. It doesn’t mean anything.

    • Frau Katze

      Just more incomprehensible leftist claptrap.