Atheists push own holidays

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now that Earth Day is over, let the planning begin for the summer solstice and World Humanist Day in June.

The Institute for Humanist Studies, an Albany, N.Y.-based nonprofit, is calling attention to its calendar of atheist holidays on its Web site, http://www.secular seasons.org. The group wants nonbelievers (or at least people who don't celebrate religious holidays) to have a handy reference guide of the calendar of holidays honoring free-thinkers, banned books and nature, among other themes.

Matt Cherry, executive director of the Institute for Humanist Studies, said his group is trying to expand options and alternatives for secular holidays. He said he hopes even people affiliated with a particular religion will consider the options.

"Some religious holidays are about culture and tradition, not theology," he says. "Even people who go to church only on Christmas or to synagogue on the High Holidays do so out of cultural heritage, not because they believe the religious doctrines associated with it."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths

15 Comments
Posted April 28, 2008 at 1:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Pb wrote:

I am certain that persons “affiliated with a particular” religion will be attracted to this idea. It should go over big in the House of Bishops.

April 28, 1:25 pm | [comment link]
2. St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse wrote:

Umm, atheist Holy Days?  Isn’t that an oxymoron? I thought the purpose of atheism was that nothing is sacred or holy, or is atheism only a religion with the Self as god?

April 28, 2:08 pm | [comment link]
3. Hal wrote:

Two quick comments:

(1) Isn’t there some inconsistency between, on one hand, claiming to be an atheist, and, on the other hand, promoting the celebration of traditionally pagan holidays like the equinoxes and solstices? 

(2) It’s interesting that they seem intent on setting their holidays as close as they can to Christian ones.  E.g., Dec. 23: Human Light Celebration, “[a] glorious event, celebrating the wonder and excitement of life and the exuberance that the humanist and rationalist worldview provides.”  vs. Dec. 25: Nativity of Jesus Christ,  a glorious event, celebrating the day that “[t]he true light that gives light to every man [came] into the world.”  I rather think we get the better of the contrast grin.

April 28, 2:12 pm | [comment link]
4. Undergroundpewster wrote:

I believe the above link was mistyped. I should be,
SecularSeasons

April 28, 2:16 pm | [comment link]
5. Bernini wrote:

Jimbob, you beat me to the punchline! Perhaps they should be Atheist “Days of Particular Significance.” Or more to the point, “Excuses to Take the Day Off From Work.”

April 28, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
6. stevejax wrote:

Life immitates Seinfeld— Remember “Festivus for the rest-of-us” ?  Or as we in the South would say… Festival for the rest-of-y’all!!  smile

April 28, 3:49 pm | [comment link]
7. Baruch wrote:

# 3 Now we know they are not Humanists they are really Pagans.

April 28, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
8. libraryjim wrote:

Will they let Christians put up Christian symbols at their celebrations as they want to put up secular symbols for OUR Holy days?

Jim Elliott <><

April 28, 5:37 pm | [comment link]
9. tjmcmahon wrote:

Umm, atheist Holy Days?  Isn’t that an oxymoron?

I used to think so too.  But then an atheist I know tried to convert me.  Literally, he is a proselytising atheist.  Not only does he not believe in God, but it is absolutely imperative to his salvation, and yours, that you not believe either.  They are making a religion of atheism.  Kinda like some people in TEC.

April 28, 5:49 pm | [comment link]
10. Ken Peck wrote:

One of the problems in the late Renaissance that fed into some aspects of the Protestant Reformation was that there were so many Holy Days, and the number was growing, that it seriously affected productivity.

Perhaps we are headed in a similar direction—what with “Holy Days” for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, pagans and God only knows how many other religions and now athetists—soon the calendar will be filled with so many “holidays” that no work will get done.

April 28, 9:28 pm | [comment link]
11. AlfredNorth wrote:

Maybe this story would not be inappropriate here:

COURT SETS ATHEISTS’ HOLIDAY

In Florida,an atheist became incensed over the preparation of Easter and Passover holidays. He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while atheists had no holiday to celebrate.
The case was brought before a crusty local judge, well known as a pillar of his church. After listening to the long passionate presentation by the lawyer, the Judge banged his gavel and declared, ‘Case dismissed!’

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, ‘Your Honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case?  The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances.  Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah…yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!’

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, ‘Obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate, his own atheists’ holiday!’

The lawyer pompously said, ‘Your Honor, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists.  Just when might that holiday be, your Honor?’

The judge said, ‘Well it comes every year on exactly the same date—-April 1st!  Consider that Psalm 14:1 states, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God.” Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday!  Now, as I say, your complaint is dismissed, and have a good day!!’ And banging his gavel down once more, the judge left the bench.

April 28, 9:52 pm | [comment link]
12. Larry Morse wrote:

#9 has made the matter correctly. Atheism, unlike agnosticism, is a religion of its own; that is, it engages the human need to believe, to hold a belief as an act of pure faith, and for this reason it generates proselytizers, evangelicals, and charismatics for this belief. Accordingly, it hates all those who are unbelievers. Listening to the present loud and aggressive atheists makes all of this very clear. Dawkins is both filled with hate and anger and with a passion to convert. Larry

April 28, 11:23 pm | [comment link]
13. CharlesB wrote:

There is a book on this.  Goldless, The Church of Liberalism, by Ann Coulter.  Atheism is being actovely promoted as a belief system.  You can’t really believe in nothing.  You have to replace a belief in God with something else.

April 29, 5:54 am | [comment link]
14. CharlesB wrote:

Sorry for careless typos.  Should be: There is a book on this.  Godless, The Church of Liberalism, by Ann Coulter.  Atheism is being actively promoted as a belief system.  You can’t really believe in nothing.  You have to replace a belief in God with something else.

April 29, 6:25 am | [comment link]
15. Larry Morse wrote:

Well, in fact, you can believe in nothing. The human mind is remarkable that way, for we treat zero as an integer. For us, nothing exists, a phrase that quite correctly be read both ways. If you are a Dawkins, the belief in no-God leaves you with (a) someone to hate, namely those who believe in a God and who need to be converted and (b) the belief that the human mind is the final arbiter - not the brain, please note - and therefore a belief in an intuitive and unquestionable reality whose judgments cannot be falsified by any force greater than itself. This is, of course, the logical extension of egotism into transcendence, and a particularly high-priced article for sale in Vanity Fair. Larry

April 29, 10:58 am | [comment link]
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