Sunday, April 08, 2012

how do the godless celebrate easter?

you can dye eggs in wine!
eggs and chocolate, of course. i suppose i can't and shouldn't speak for all atheists, but i celebrate major christian holidays.  for easter there are dyed eggs, buckets of chocolate, baskets for the children stuffed with toys and treats.  for me, i grew up with those things, they are fun, the story behind it is pretty amazing, and life is short so why should i miss out on the fun?  plus, i'm not sure where the kids are in their beliefs; they're both at an age where religion interests them, and they're busy making up their minds.  if anything else, i don't ever want to become one of those sour-faced atheists who make all holidays miserable experiences for everyone around them. 

this is one of the things i've thought about more ad more lately.  my husband and i had an interesting conversation like a month ago that i'm still thinking about, because he brought up all kinds of good points.  to start with, he doesn't feel i'm really an atheist, regardless of what i say to him.  this makes me absolutely fucking crazy because i'm a grown-up and i know who i am and how i feel.  at the same time, i know he feels that way because he doesn't see me as conforming to his idea of atheism.  in his head, atheists are angry and aggro and condescending, unhappy and looking to inflict discomfort on those around them.  i am, as my sister has pointed out, pretty jolly.  the fact remains, however, that i do not believe in god.  not the christian, benevolent (if confusing) sky daddy i grew up with, nor any other.  i don't believe in a higher power, i don't believe there's anything out there watching us and tending to us, or anything intelligent that put existence into motion.  i'm not an ass about it either; i don't spend a lot of time making fun of people who do believe, although you have to admit, some of the most fervent believers in anything, be it religion or nascar, are jokes that write themselves.  for me, atheism happened like this: i never felt belief, or faith or any of the things i was supposed to feel at church.  i realized that it wasn't my thing.  i looked back at my life, and could honestly say i never feel comfortable with religion.  instead of hiding that part of myself, i decided to just be open.  well, kind of open. i admit that my in-laws are very religious and i'm okay with not being "out" to them.  not because i'm ashamed, but because i don't want to cause them any grief.  i think they would actively worry about the state of my soul, and they're nice people, i love them, and would feel bad about that.  over the years, i've become a bit more outspoken, and stopped feeling weird when saying "atheist."

i think at this point i have a good opportunity to show that atheists are nice folks, that i am one, it's not so crazy, and that even without any belief in god i'm a good wife, a good stepmom, and an overall good human being.  i think i represent what a lot of atheist look like, and think you might know more than you realize.  in fact, you might be one but not be "out" about it.  so on this big, happy christian, pagan, fertility holiday, i'd like to wish you a good day.  eat some eggs, be with your loved ones, nibble on treats and celebrate spring however you like!     


Indifferent said...

Nicely said, Thank you!

amanda said...

thanks, sue!