Interesting thought for me, possibly because I like the idea of of atheists giving up meat for a while. Though we reason and talk and talk and talk, action would be better. Developing community would seem to be a worthwhile goal.
Kimberly Winston | Mar 18, 2013 | 36 Comments
What would an “atheist Lent” look like? A group of young nonbelievers are finding out, observing the Christian practice minus its religious context.
Vlad Chituc, 23, stirs Quinoa Tabbouleh near an already-made portobello burger at his apartment in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Chituc, an atheist, is participating in Lent by converting from vegetarian to vegan, something he hopes to continue indefinitely as an act of good morals and good health.
RNS photo by Ted Richardson
They have given up alcohol, animal products, and various Internet and cellphone interactions. One has vowed to make a daily Lenten practice of telling those he encounters how important they are to him.
But their observance of the 40-day period in which many Christians abstain from worldly desires in a bid to come closer to God has upset some atheists who say borrowing religious traditions is antithetical to nontheism.
The exercise has also illustrated a divide in the nontheist community – between older atheists who see religion as inherently evil and younger atheists who are more open to interactions with religious belief.
“I really like the idea of Lent,” said Chelsea Link, 23, a Boston-based Humanist who is abstaining from alcohol. “It’s giving yourself a set amount of time to break a bad habit or form a new good one, and that seems like a really healthy practice. But we are not doing it because God told us to; we are doing it because there is a benefit to us.”
The idea of atheist Lent came from Vlad Chituc, a 23-year-old atheist blogger, who was inspired by the Swiss-born Humanist Alain de Botton, whose recent book, “Religion for Atheists,” suggests adapting religious rituals can create community and meaning among nonbelievers.
Vlad Chituc, 23, prepares Quinoa Tabbouleh and a portobello burger at his apartment in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Chituc, an atheist, is participating in Lent by converting from vegetarian to vegan, something he hopes to continue indefinitely as an act of good morals and good health. RNS photo by Ted Richardson
Download this photo. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.
“Religions have been working on how to live as good human beings for thousands of years,” Chituc said. “So it made sense to me that they have figured out some stuff that those of us trying to live good secular lives can learn from.”
Chituc observed his first Lent last year by eating a vegan diet. His success was limited, but he was inspired by the mindfulness of the experience.
It would be nice to take back christmas and easter. =)
I think they took Halloween from the Pagans too and then it was turned into a demon/Satan worshiping holiday by the fundamentalists. How was Easter a non Christian holiday before they got their holiday altering hands on it? I forget.
WIKI: According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianised feast originally influenced by western European harvest festivals, and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.