Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Faithlessly Thankful!

What is a non-believer to do when the holidays come along?  First off we can recognize that the
term "holiday" itself is result of semantic digestion and secular mastication.  Sure, the United States still endorses a Christmas "holy day," but the secularization of the outlandish virgin birth story has pretty much transformed the magical delivery of a messiah into the technological delivery of millions of gift-wrapped Amazon purchases, drone airspace regulations notwithstanding.

Thankful Item # 34,543: Unholy Deliciousness!
Moreover, Penn Gillette gets it right when he describes the non-conundrum with ostensibly religious holiday season, when he proclaims "Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!"  We non-believers simply don't need no stinking gods, miracles or new age energy to celebrate the beauty of the Universe, a joyful, meaningful life, time spent with friends and family, and involved with our personal ethical actualization.

Still, if there is one holiday that seems designed for the secular mind, it is Thanksgiving. Sure, Thanksgiving can celebrated accompanied by praise the lords, praise allahs, praise vishnus or none of the above.  Being deeply thankful requires absolutely zero faith in anything supernatural, yet Thanksgiving also is the perfect holiday to peacefully come together one and all to celebrate community and delicious high calorie nom-noms.

How can we give thanks and maintain our atheistic integrity?  Well, here are a few ways that I have found to express thanks with secular flair.

First, thank individuals for bringing meaning to your life.  This endeavor should be a sweet never-ending series of expressions.  Sure, a nice little gift out of the blue, say of some vegan, fair-trade chocolate never hurts.  Alas, sharing experiences with another person is the foundation of building a stronger connection, in particular when these experiences are buttressed by honest, kind conversation, conversation which can include our feelings and positions as non-believers.

Second, thank the greater secular community at large.  This can take the form of volunteering to do highway cleanups, providing services to the elderly, or any of a number of community beautifying and strengthening acts.  If we leverage our humanist and atheist organizations to be part of these efforts, we spread the heartfelt ideal of doing good for goodness sake that is a positive fundamental of our movement.

Finally, thank yourself every day.  Too often we forget to take the time needed to center our minds and allow joy to spread within us for the good things we have done daily.  I personally close out my day with remembered moments for which I was thankful that day, in particular how an ethic of rational perseverance aided in bringing a little more well being to the Universe.

And with that last, I'll simply say to each of you out there "THANKS!"


  1. Learning to think of every day as a holiday - and while some are like the 4th of July and other are more of a Groundhog's Day - I am enjoying each one for what it brings!
    And that you for providing this blog as a weekly reminder that larger issues are out there.

    1. Building on your thought, some might say the idea of every day being special condemns each day to being deplorably everyday. As the creator of this blog I officially declare yesterday the official holiday of such naysayers!


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