November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...
"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For many people, Thanksgiving is a great excuse to get together with family and friends, eat too much, and partake in various traditions one enjoys. For others, it is a time to pay homage to our alien overlords. I've never had much use for holiday traditions, but that does not mean I do not enjoy having a day off of work even though I do not celebrate Thanksgiving. For me, using the day to do something I enjoy and do not usually get to do on a work day is plenty satisfying.

As for the frequent claim that atheists cannot (or should not) celebrate Thanksgiving because we have no god to thank, I think this ranks up there with some of the stupidest things I can recall hearing from Christians. Of course atheists can be thankful! Many of are thankful for every day of our lives. We have people to thank. You know, people who actually exist and do positive things in our lives. Imaginary beings are not needed.

I am thankful for many things this year, starting with having the day off work. This always seems to be the time of year when I could really use a break. I am also thankful for the recent legal decision overturning Mississippi's ban on same-sex marriage. I realize it will be appealed, but I cannot help viewing it as a step toward equality. I continue to be thankful for all the secular activists who work so hard to preserve what is left of church-state separation. Their efforts inspire some much-needed belief in humanity this time of year and improve our lives in countless ways. I continue to be thankful that most Christians do not seem to believe much of what is in their bibles (or else I probably wouldn't still be here). And of course, I am thankful for the opportunity to have this platform with which to express myself and the many great readers I am fortunate enough to have.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope you enjoy the day in whatever way you have planned.

For some additional thoughts on secular Thanksgivings, see this post from Michael Stone (Progressive Secular Humanist).