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Offline inveni0

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Easter for Atheists
« on: April 03, 2012, 12:18:43 AM »
I have three children.  I used to be a Christian.  But Christianity never sat well with me.  When I was in my early teens, I came up with the online (online was text-only in those days) handle "inveni0".  It's latin.  It means "to seek or find out", and I've stuck with this my entire life.  <--history

I eventually rejected the fairy tales of my youth, but not until after the birth of my first child, and not completely until after the birth of my second.  I had thought early on in rejection that I would teach my kids as many belief systems as possible...so that they could choose on their own.  I wanted to encourage them to make their own decisions.  <--naive

I soon realized that it would be stupid to teach my sons about fairytales and then allow them to believe in said fairytales.  So I dropped this.  Instead, I teach them the truth.  There is no god.  <--not exactly

I don't ACTUALLY teach them that.  That's what's funny.  They realize there's no god all on their own.  <--prelude

So yesterday, we were driving home from my in-laws' house (Christians), and they had just given my kids some Easter presents.  My son asked me, "What is Easter?"

I chuckled a little, thinking about the story I was about to tell my son...  I answered, "Well, here's how it goes...  People believe in God, right?  And they believe that a long time ago, people were really evil, and they were all dying and going to Hell.  So they believe that God made a little girl pregnant so that she could have a little baby, and that that baby would be God's son.  Then, when the little boy grew up, God would let people kill his son.  Those people believe that murdering God's son would make it so that no one has to go to Hell, as long as they believe that he had been God's son.  That son's name was Jesus...that's who Jesus is supposed to be.  Well, they also believe that a few days after dying, Jesus rose from the dead...he came back to life.  And that's what they're celebrating when they have Easter."

No hesitation, he said, "That's not true.  There's no god."

I asked, "You don't believe in god?"

He answered by basically saying that God is just a character on Family Guy who sometimes has an afro.  <--the end

That being said, we still gave the kids a little candy and a gift for Easter, but we don't celebrate it ON Easter Sunday, or even for any particular reason.  It's the same with Christmas.  We celebrate, but my kids have no idea what Christmas means...and I like that.

Does anyone else have any stories about how Christian holidays are shared in your home, if at all?
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Offline Nick

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 08:05:02 AM »
There was a thing on Yahoo news yesterday showing pics of children sitting on the Easter Bunny's lap and yelling/crying/going nuts.  I laughed for an hour lookingat the faces of those kids.  They will need counseling for life. ;D
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 09:21:58 AM »
Husband and I don't do anything now, but be annoyed that various things are closed on Easter Sunday.  When I was growing up, large amounts of preserved pork and boiled chicken ovums seem to have been the only way we really celebrated.   My parents hid baskets full of candy that we had to find, telling us that the Easter Bunny brought them. My brother was quite convinced for a long time that he saw said bunny. 

great story that you told, inveni0  ;D  very accurate and makes it extremely freakish.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 02:43:53 PM »

I sort of answered this question on another thread, and rather than re-write it, I thought it wouldn't be a serious breech of forum protocols to cut and paste a personal story. 

I’ve always said that I would not lie to daughter and tell her the Santa myth. 

So for Christmas, I have told her that “Many many years ago a good man, who some people call St. Nick and some people call Santa Clause, and gave presents to poor people that he didn’t know.”  I go on to say that “to celebrate his generosity, we give presents to the people we love on the darkest nights of the year.”  I go on to say “we put lights on the trees that remain green when all of the other trees are bare on the darkest nights of the year, to remember that the longer days will return as the earth rotates and the seasons change.”  I’ve gone on to tell her that “Some people believe that the baby Jesus was born on Christmas, and that some people think that Jesus is God.”

My efforts have been a partial failure. This year, at 5 years old, my daughter was the EXPERT on Santa Clause.  We went and got her picture taken on his lap.  We baked cookies for him.  We spent a great deal of time debating whether the reindeer prefer carrots or broccoli.  She really wants to believe in Santa, in spite of my efforts.  What is it?  Two or three more years?  Ok.  We’ll do Santa.

God has presented less of a problem, and Santa certainly wins over.  Holday celebrations in general are a big deal for her.  Me too, actually.  She was very taken this year by nativity scenes.  I live in a very diverse neighborhood with a huge Latin American population, so she celebrated Three Kings Day by helping a neighbor move the three kings close to the manger, and then getting some presents.  But she also celebrated 3 nights of Hanukah, went to a street festival for Diwali, and was not allowed to eat in public this summer during Ramadan because I explained to her that many people are fasting and it is not polite to eat in front of people who cannot eat, even if they can’t eat for religious reasons.

For Easter last year, we had a secular egg coloring over at a friend’s house, and the little girl’s mom is a secular humanist as well.  I carefully prepared a whole presentation about “What is Easter?” and quizzed the girls about the upcoming spring and the colors of spring and rambled on about all of the life that comes in the spring, and that many baby animals come from eggs so we color eggs and rabbits have lots of babies so we think about rabbits.  The girls half-listened, as they dipped their eggs in the wonderful colors. 

Once I got to “Some people believe that Jesus died, and then came back to life, but I think his friends loved him and missed him so much they just thought he came back to life because people don’t really come back to life,” the girls were not the least bit interested, and the other mom was laughing hysterically.   The other mom actually tried to back me up a bit, but the complete disinterest of the little girls was distracting.



I really like your Easter story inveni0.  I might steal it when she gets a little older.  But for now, we are preparing to go visit cousins for the spring break, and she has asked me to make sure I email the Easter Bunny to tell him where we will be. 

Chocolate, fertility symbols, spring colors.  I can do this for a few more years. 

Offline changeling

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 03:02:58 PM »
It might be fun to investigate with him some of the origins of the holidays.

They were all holidays long before Christianity.
Christmas, December 24th, was a holiday celebrating the winter soltice,
not the birth of Jesus.

And as for Easter, one mythological legend says that sometime after Semiramis died, a huge egg dropped from heaven. Out of the egg came a re-incarnated Semiramis, now a goddess. The Babylonian Talmud refers to her as Ishtar, or Easter.
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Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 07:52:02 PM »
I have three children.  I used to be a Christian.  But Christianity never sat well with me.  When I was in my early teens, I came up with the online (online was text-only in those days) handle "inveni0".  It's latin.  It means "to seek or find out", and I've stuck with this my entire life.  <--history

I eventually rejected the fairy tales of my youth, but not until after the birth of my first child, and not completely until after the birth of my second.  I had thought early on in rejection that I would teach my kids as many belief systems as possible...so that they could choose on their own.  I wanted to encourage them to make their own decisions.  <--naive

I soon realized that it would be stupid to teach my sons about fairytales and then allow them to believe in said fairytales.  So I dropped this.  Instead, I teach them the truth.  There is no god.  <--not exactly

I don't ACTUALLY teach them that.  That's what's funny.  They realize there's no god all on their own.  <--prelude

So yesterday, we were driving home from my in-laws' house (Christians), and they had just given my kids some Easter presents.  My son asked me, "What is Easter?"

I chuckled a little, thinking about the story I was about to tell my son...  I answered, "Well, here's how it goes...  People believe in God, right?  And they believe that a long time ago, people were really evil, and they were all dying and going to Hell.  So they believe that God made a little girl pregnant so that she could have a little baby, and that that baby would be God's son.  Then, when the little boy grew up, God would let people kill his son.  Those people believe that murdering God's son would make it so that no one has to go to Hell, as long as they believe that he had been God's son.  That son's name was Jesus...that's who Jesus is supposed to be.  Well, they also believe that a few days after dying, Jesus rose from the dead...he came back to life.  And that's what they're celebrating when they have Easter."

No hesitation, he said, "That's not true.  There's no god."

I asked, "You don't believe in god?"

He answered by basically saying that God is just a character on Family Guy who sometimes has an afro.  <--the end

That being said, we still gave the kids a little candy and a gift for Easter, but we don't celebrate it ON Easter Sunday, or even for any particular reason.  It's the same with Christmas.  We celebrate, but my kids have no idea what Christmas means...and I like that.

Does anyone else have any stories about how Christian holidays are shared in your home, if at all?

My boys and I gather 'round the family tv and watch The Life of Brian while eating chocolate crosses.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 07:54:38 PM by Ice Monkey »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 08:20:22 AM »
My boys and I gather 'round the family tv and watch The Life of Brian while eating chocolate crosses.

oh yes, the chocolate crosses.  My mother always seemed to need to get us one of those for the easter baskets, usually out of white chocolate, which she liked and I despised. 

of course, I also remember getting a white and dark chocolate holstein cow in a basket too.  :)

Life of Brian is good. I also really like the Jesus Christ Superstar with Glenn Carter (eh, it's a good story when cleaned up)  I'm happily singing along with Judas and ogling the fellow playing Pontius Pilate  ;)
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Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 03:15:38 PM »
My boys and I gather 'round the family tv and watch The Life of Brian while eating chocolate crosses.

oh yes, the chocolate crosses.  My mother always seemed to need to get us one of those for the easter baskets, usually out of white chocolate, which she liked and I despised. 

of course, I also remember getting a white and dark chocolate holstein cow in a basket too.  :)

Life of Brian is good. I also really like the Jesus Christ Superstar with Glenn Carter (eh, it's a good story when cleaned up)  I'm happily singing along with Judas and ogling the fellow playing Pontius Pilate  ;)

I can't find the Catholic chocolate crosses.  We've only found the plain ones; no chocolate crucifixes (aka crosses with nuts)
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 03:19:43 PM »
here you go, make your own: http://www.onestopcandle.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?page=OSC/PROD/CM413

this one looks even stranger to me: http://www.amazon.com/CK-Products-5-Inch-Crucifix-Chocolate/dp/B003QP3J0O

but I don't think it has little nuts on it  &)
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Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 04:29:11 PM »
here you go, make your own: http://www.onestopcandle.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?page=OSC/PROD/CM413

this one looks even stranger to me: http://www.amazon.com/CK-Products-5-Inch-Crucifix-Chocolate/dp/B003QP3J0O

but I don't think it has little nuts on it  &)

Sweet!

We can always decorate it, anatomically.
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Offline atheola

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 04:54:17 PM »
Peter cottontail will get eaten by the feral cats in our neighborhood so your kids better hope he doesn't come by our place first.  :P
I dread these idiotic holidays.. The holy trollers go crazy then hype all the kids with sugar overdoses.  :o
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 08:14:53 AM »
Sweet!

We can always decorate it, anatomically.

I must be getting old. I never even *thought* of the possiblities of decorating it with that sugar paste that many of my prior crosses were decorated with, generally with flowers.  what a great idea  :)
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Offline atheola

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 08:50:06 AM »
You planning on making Jesus a flower child porn star in the cross or something? ;)
Those good lil xtian girls will sing,"My lord in an awso..SHIT! a FREAKIN STUD lord..."
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« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 08:59:03 AM by atheola »
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Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 09:01:35 AM »
Maybe a jaunty easter bonnet, with matching pasties.
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Offline Jason

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2012, 12:42:21 AM »


I chuckled a little, thinking about the story I was about to tell my son...  I answered, "Well, here's how it goes...  People believe in God, right?  And they believe that a long time ago, people were really evil, and they were all dying and going to Hell.  So they believe that God made a little girl pregnant so that she could have a little baby, and that that baby would be God's son.  Then, when the little boy grew up, God would let people kill his son.  Those people believe that murdering God's son would make it so that no one has to go to Hell, as long as they believe that he had been God's son.  That son's name was Jesus...that's who Jesus is supposed to be.  Well, they also believe that a few days after dying, Jesus rose from the dead...he came back to life.  And that's what they're celebrating when they have Easter."



Totally stealing this from you for a FB post. 

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2012, 01:07:11 AM »
At My place, Easter has always about the chocolate and the bunnies.  I'll occasionally do up a nice Sunday dinner with a bottle of sparkling wine, but this year I'm more likely to spend the day painting the master bedroom.

Maybe if I'm not too tired afterwards, I'll pick up a friend for coffee and we'll stage our Easter egg hunt in the candy section of a local 24/7/365 store.
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Offline inveni0

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2012, 07:45:57 AM »


I chuckled a little, thinking about the story I was about to tell my son...  I answered, "Well, here's how it goes...  People believe in God, right?  And they believe that a long time ago, people were really evil, and they were all dying and going to Hell.  So they believe that God made a little girl pregnant so that she could have a little baby, and that that baby would be God's son.  Then, when the little boy grew up, God would let people kill his son.  Those people believe that murdering God's son would make it so that no one has to go to Hell, as long as they believe that he had been God's son.  That son's name was Jesus...that's who Jesus is supposed to be.  Well, they also believe that a few days after dying, Jesus rose from the dead...he came back to life.  And that's what they're celebrating when they have Easter."



Totally stealing this from you for a FB post.

The funny thing about that is that I kept pausing while telling the story because I was trying not to make it sound too stupid...but, well, like most Christian stories, it kind of takes care of itself... lol
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Offline Illuminatus99

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2012, 07:18:32 PM »
Every year on easter weekend there's a science fiction convention in town where myself and some friends throw one of the big room parties with DJs and a wet tshirt contest.

My daughter got one of these in her easter basket.
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Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2012, 07:40:17 PM »
I always celebrate by buying left over Peeps at half price after the Easter is over. That's the closest thing I have to a family tradition. And the Peeps are the closest thing I have to a family. Too bad I eat them.

Edit: Removed confusing edit.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 07:48:38 PM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline atheola

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2012, 07:46:58 PM »
I coulda sworn Illuminatus gave his daughter a wet tshirt contest every year in her Easter basket..  :?
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Offline Timo

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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2012, 08:43:26 PM »
Easter, for me, was always more about the get-togethers than any particular activity or gift-giving.  It was almost identical to Thanksgiving, except we got those nasty Cadbury egg things and we had to go to church before we ate.  Back in 1990 or 91, I believe, it was the occasion on which me and my cousin both got Super Mario 3.  So that was kind of a big deal.  This year, I ended up having to skip the festivities because of logistical issues.  But my auntie hooked me up with some food so it was all good.

As far as traditions go, I think I share a lot of people's concerns about how to pass these on without the overtly religious message.  I mean, I know that I would feel obligated to do the Christmas thing in particular because my mother enjoys Christmas in a very real and very contagious way and in a way that children would love.  I mean, she's a Christian and goes to Church to celebrate the birth of Christ.  But, for her, it's all about decorating the tree, playing Christmas songs and making some super proper hot cider.  (Which she later informed me, goes great with some goldshlager.  Thanks mom.)

I'm not a parent yet, but I am at the age where society is telling me that I need to settle down and be one soon or else I'll end up a creepy old man, so this is all very much up in the air for me.
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Re: Easter for Atheists
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2012, 08:48:49 PM »

a late ;) easter egg for you


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