JOHN OSTRANDER: An Agnostic’s Christmas

John Ostrander

John Ostrander started his career as a professional writer as a playwright. His best known effort, Bloody Bess, was directed by Stuart Gordon, and starred Dennis Franz, Joe Mantegna, William J. Norris, Meshach Taylor and Joe Mantegna. He has written some of the most important influential comic books of the past 25 years, including Batman, The Spectre, Manhunter, Firestorm, Hawkman, Suicide Squad, Wasteland, X-Men, and The Punisher, as well as Star Wars comics for Dark Horse. New episodes of his creator-owned series, GrimJack, which was first published by First Comics in the 1980s, appear every week on ComicMix.

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7 Responses

  1. Jonathan (the other one) says:

    Even the four “official” Gospels contradict one another, if one is a Biblical literalist – that is, one who believes that each and every word in the Christian Bible is literally true. Look at Christ’s death scene. Two Gospels have Him crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” as his very last words. Another has an inarticulate scream. The fourth claims He never screamed, but did whisper.

    Which one is literally true? They can’t *all* be…

  2. louisa says:

    Thank you so much for a very readable essay on a subject much on my mind this year. I’ve felt hypocritical about the rituals of Christmas, since I’m not a believer any more…but I do miss the symbolism, the warmth & goodwill of the season. You gave me a perspective that is encouraging.

  3. Ben says:

    As a person who is not religious, I often wondered why I loved Christmas so much. Eventually I just stopped wondering and enjoyed the season! It’s a great time of year, and I just love it.

  4. Mindy Newell says:

    As a nice Jewish girl with a bit of Wiccan thrown into the mix, John, I’m wishing you a Merry Winter Solstice!

    Great column!

  5. Luigi Novi says:

    I’m an atheist, but I still celebrate Christmas. I don’t go all whole-hog in terms of decorating the house any more like my folks still do (I was raised Catholic), but I love giving gifts to my younger cousins, nephews and nieces when we assemble at my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve, and that’s the part of it I still enjoy.

  6. Efficient and well stated, as ever. Leave it to me to read it after said holiday but what can this Non-Affiliated, Open Minded Skeptic do? I’m just here for the good stories anyway. Cheers!

  7. Rich Lane says:

    I’ve got an inexpensive little manger scene under our tree, and there are little wood and cloth angels flitting around our windows every year. I’m an atheist, and I have no dilemma about this. We also have witches and ghosts adorning our house at Halloween and leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day. My enjoyment of the mythology of a season doesn’t imply my belief in it.

    And I honestly enjoy the mythology of Christmas.