Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Who does an atheist thank on Thanksgiving?

By popular demand (OK, one of my readers asked) I am re-posting my 2008 Thanksgiving blog.
It's as relevant now as it was then, and as it always will be.  Enjoy... and a wonderful, safe, and godless Thanksgiving to you and yours.

There are all kinds of stories, real and embellished, which speak of the earliest thanksgiving feasts in the 17th century. In 1863 Lincoln proclaimed it an annual event "…as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Uh huh.

So, every fourth Thursday in November believers bow their heads, and presumably mumble some words of groveling thanks to their super being for allowing them to have their turkey, their homes, their jobs, their freedoms, their families, indeed everything that makes America good and life worth living.

As an atheist I mumble not.
I have no need of a single day of praise to thank a magical being whose non-influence due to his non-existence has had no effect on anything for which I am thankful. Instead, I have many days of thanksgiving:

- Every Election Day as I cast my vote, I thank our Founding Fathers for their bravery and foresight.
- Every Veterans Day and Memorial Day I thank every fallen comrade and every vet who ever fought to acquire and retain our freedoms.
- Every Columbus Day I am conscious of the contribution of that great explorer.
- Every Lincolns Birthday, and Martin Luther King Day I remember men whose words and deeds set people free.
- Every Independence Day I remember to thank those men and women who risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in order to bring this Great Experiment to fruition.
- Every family birthday, every anniversary, and each Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for my family… and thank them for being the people I love and who love me.

Yes, thanks are due, but not to some boogie man, not to some mythical sky being, not to some imaginary thing that hovers above, or within, or about, or below. Thanks are due to genuine human beings; real physical men, women, and children, past and present, whose sacrifice, foresight, commitment, dedication and love make our country unique, and our lives worthwhile. That’s who I’ll be thanking this Thanksgiving.

But, if you just can’t deal with reality, and must bow and grovel to some unseen god may I recommend Garuda, the Hindu bird god. He’s as close to a turkey god as you can get.


paul said...

As we're preparing to make the three-hour drive to my brother's home, where some ten or twelve family members will be congregating for Thanksgiving, I couldn't have said it better. We'll be celebrating family, prosperity, and freedom, grateful be part of a cohesive and universally secular family without delusions or a need for imaginary overseers.

Have a great feast day, Hump!

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks for that Paul.
Back at ya!

Drive safely.

WhyNot said...

The picture... lol, fuck me dead! I certainly don't fancy a sheila who looks like that one!

You have an interesting list of people to thank. I can empathize with all of them, even though I'm not directly concerned since I'm not American. But hey, they can be transposed to and found in any other country, right?

But I have another person I wish to thank, and very much so: my wonderful Irish girlfriend Deidra, for her great friendship, moral support, shared sessions of hysterical giggles, and last but not least, the nirvanesque times spent in copulation and fornication. All the while toasting to sweet lil fuckin' Jesus, of course!