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Giving thanks

I have written before about the hypocrisy and rudeness of religious ceremonies of thanks (see “Let us pray . . . “ and Thank God or Thank Goodness?). Hypocrisy because these ceremonies and prayers are often imposed on people who don’t share their belief in a god. Rudeness because they usually ignore the real people who should be thanked. I am gratified to see that several bloggers are raising the same points to mark the American Thanksgiving holiday.

Curmudgeonly Reflections in Thankfulness of an Atheist rejects the argument that “atheists have nothing to be thankful for because there is no one to be thankful to. ” Simple response – Hogwash. Atheist Ethicist deals with similar arguments in Giving thanks where thanks are due. About.com/atheism has several articles on this theme : Can Atheists Really “Give Thanks”? and Do Atheists Have Anyone to Thank?

The Digital Cuttlefish has a beautiful poem, An Atheist Gives Thanks, showing how we can replace hypocritical thanks to God with genuine and specific thanks those individuals and groups of people really responsible for things that please us and enhance our lives. Intelligent Dissent provides a simple statement Thanksgiving with the same purpose.

Marilyn La Court in her An Atheist Says Thanks expresses sincere thanks to members of her family for the way they contribute to her life.

Lets hope these demonstrations of a genuine way to give thanks have an effect. Perhaps we can look forward to a future where even religious believers will join with us to give thanks where it is really due.

Related Articles:
Thank God or Thank Goodness?
“Let us pray . . . “
Christian prayer problems
Destiny of Christian privilege?
Trends in religious belief in New Zealand
Religious diversity includes “non-believers”
Religious Diversity Statement