February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day: Some Christians Still Worship Saints

Valentine's Day

I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day, which might explain why I've never written a post about it. But since I've written at least one post about almost every other holiday, including several of the ones I don't like, I figured it was time.

I think that Valentine's Day provides atheists with an opportunity to remind ourselves that some Christians still worship saints. Is worship too strong a word? Fine. How about we just say that some Christians still make a huge deal about saints? Or perhaps we can use the word "venerate" if you prefer. The point is simply that we are surrounded by people who believe superstitious nonsense and are often quite proud of themselves for doing so!

I'll come back to that in a moment. For now, I want to stick with this concept of veneration. As I understand it, some Christians venerate saints because they believe that saints are far more "holy" or "sacred" than the average person. Many saints appear to occupy a middle ground somewhere between humans and angels. They aren't quite angels, but they are clearly better than the rest of us. That means they are to be regarded with a much greater degree of respect, even reverence.

Why am I bringing this up? Come to think of it, why does it seem like I've been writing a number of posts lately that seem to be highlighting the silly things some Christians still believe? Atheists, do you remember that experience you probably had shortly after you first realized you were an atheist where you felt like a stranger in a strange land? It was as if my eyes had finally opened and I was recognizing the strange things my neighbors believed for what they were. At the time, religious beliefs I had heard all my life and never really questioned suddenly seemed bizarre. Remember that?

For whatever reason, I have been feeling like this again lately. Just like I did all those years ago, I'm hearing much of this religious nonsense and marveling at how incredibly strange it sounds. How can modern adults still believe this stuff? Next, you're going to tell me that some adults still want priests to rub ashes on their face because...Jesus.

This re-experiencing of the atheist version of the "stranger in a strange land" syndrome is one I haven't had, at least not regularly, for over 15 years. I'm not sure why I'm having it again now, but I plan to ride it out the best I can.

Happy Valentine's Day!