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Atheist Thanksgivings

November 28th, 2002 · No Comments

So like lots of people today, I’m home at the family’s for Thanksgiving dinner, and was mulling over the significance of the holiday. We non-believers don’t have a God to thank for whatever it is we’re happy about. The secular language of pop culture typically leaves out reference to God altogether, and we just hear people talking about what they’re “thankful for” this time of year. But, of course, without some deity to whom you’re thankful, that doesn’t really make sense either — what you really mean is something like “glad about.” Or so I thought at first, anyway. But then I thought, no, most of the good things about my life are at least partially connected to other people, to whom I owe thanks for making it a better planet for me to live on. So, here’s a thought: why don’t we skip the prayer bit (does anyone really do that anymore at Thanksgiving dinner, anyway?) and actually thank the real human beings we’re grateful to have in our lives? If you’re smart enough to think that sounds incredibly cheezy, you’re probably also smart enough to carry it off in a way that isn’t.

UPDATE: My friend Chuck has a top-notch post about the inappropriateness of the term “Turkey Day.” (I must sheepishly confess that I do sometimes refer to it as “Tofurky Day.” Though another veg friend informs me that Tofurky is, in point of fact, quite repellent.)

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