Party is over; it’s Ash Wednesday!

It’s Ash Wednesday today. It’s the first day of Lent, the supposed time Jesus walked around being tempted by the devil. It’s called Ash Wednesday because of the custom of putting a cross of ash on someone’s foreheads as a sign of repentance (looks more like finger painting to me), and it’s the beginning of 40 days of personal sacrifice (not literally, of course). I had to look up this quirky day on Wikipedia, not because I’m an ignoramus, but simply because this isn’t something I’ve actually come across. I live in Quebec; the notion anyone would stop doing something they find pleasurable for more than a day is a foreign concept. These are the same people who smoke in church.

So for now if you’re a practicing Christian, the party is fucking over. You’ve got to sit straight, do your math, file your taxes and give up something you love for a while. I, on the other hand, will be doing the complete opposite. It’s my birthday in 3 days, and the last thing I’d ever do is slow shit down. I think Atheists should use Lent as an excuse to party for 40 days. If anything it should frustrate the hell out of the true believers. Who’s with me?!

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Comments (8)

  • avatar

    Kerrie

    That’s what Ash Wednesday is? Huh. This reminds me of a couple Catholic friends of mine who were going on about giving up something for Lent. I think it was sweets or chocolate or something. And my reaction was the same. “Why? If you like it, why give it up? If you want to torture yourself, use a cat-o’-nine-tails and get it over with already. It’ll take a lot less than 40 days.” It just seems to be a superficial way of saying you’re a practicing Catholic. And I have to wonder if they know why they’re supposed to do it. Another Catholic I knew turned down an invitation for homemade dinner on Friday because it was beef. I asked her about the fish thing on Fridays and the reason why, and she couldn’t answer because she didn’t know. (I didn’t know either, I was hoping SHE could tell ME, since she was the Catholic and all!) It just IS. That crystallized for me the problem with religion and its followers.

  • avatar

    Tom

    As far as I’ve been able to find the whole fish on a friday tradition actually originates from the Norse mythology, and was absorbed into Christianity like so many other traditions to try to convert people.

  • avatar

    Roxanne

    I always tell people I gave up religion for lent.

  • avatar

    Axl

    Oh, hell yea, let’s party

  • avatar

    JohnFrost

    Roxanne–hilarious!

    Kerrie–even more hilarious!

    Also, Jacob, happy birthday! Another Atheist blogger with a Feb birthday? Hmm, I need to go look up my horoscope…

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    Thanks John. Hope it’s going to be a good one.

  • avatar

    lucas

    i have a christian friend and she says before ash wednesday people have a huge party where almost everyone is drunk and guys yell “show me your boobies” to girls and then thats just what the girls do. I dont know if she is lying but if she isn’t…………

  • avatar

    Stephen Buck

    After seeing Joe Biden with the ash on his forehead, coupled with the terroristic plane crash in Austin, I caught myself staring at my Richard Dawkins “A” pin this morning. I don’t want to be a mean person, but I think anyone can agree with me that terrorism is much meaner than any idea that is unpopular. According to wikipedia, Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. Webster defines it as

    1.
    the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
    2.the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.

    During the makeup exercise of drawing a cross with the ashes of last year’s Palm Crosses mixed with the Oil of the Catechumens, the following words are said:

    Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
    —Genesis 3:19
    Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.
    —Mark 1:15
    Repent, and hear the good news.
    —Mark 1:15

    A day of repentence for masterbating? A day of repentence for the meaningless word called sin? Sure it could be a day for turning oneself into the local police and admitting an actual crime. But that would be too much to ask now wouldn’t it? Or how about a day of refunding the excess price paid for a good at the local mall when you can go online and see the exact same thing, in my case a camcorder, for $350 less! Na, just pray to an imaginary deity promoted by a man in a housecoat instead of giving me my money back. That’ll fix it. Theism involves terrorism, threats of hell, and Ash Wednesday is a public way of showing the world that you are a victim of terrorism.

    I am Anti-terrorist, aren’t you? The poor IRS people terrorized simply because Joseph Stack, some propellor head who is smart enough to write software and fly a plane either doesn’t understand the tax code and thinks they’re out to get him, or more likely thought he could get away with it and simply got caught. IRS took his savings? Please, Joseph Stack took money that was supposed to fix my potholes and keep deviants like him out of the cockpit. Then the police chief had the audacity to suggest that they had been “blessed” for it not being any worse than it was. Please.

    So, the A pin finds it’s way on my coat this morning after a minor adjustment to my frame of reference. Atheist. Aterrorist. A-Ash Wednesday. Arepentant. I am sick and tired of people being scared to death by others. I want to stand up and tell people to stop being afraid. I want to tell people that I am not afraid, unless I have a valid reason to be afraid. I want to tell people to go ahead and eat chocolate, and have one too many beers, and please keep masterbating.

    I’m starting a new book called Thinker Toys, and I jump on the next train, the red line, because it’s cold so I can get off underground at the next stop and wait on the correct train safe from the elements. I start reading and begin objecting to almost every sentence I read, but I press on. The perverse dictonomy of Michael Michalko’s writing style is enough for me to toss it in the trash, coupled with his reference to “faith” on the first page. I look up, and the door is closing at the last stop before the tracks split….I’m stuck on the wrong train going the wrong direction. Damn.

    Oh well, it’s happened before. I get off at the next stop, reverse course, get on the next train going the other direction, and get off at Mockingbird Station…not underground, but now I just need to get to work. I start to read again. Along comes a familiar face who I normally see walking the opposite direction downtown and we usually say “hello”, “mornin!” or something else pleasant and short. I don’t know his name or anything else. He says, funny seeing you here, and I told him about my mishap. He shares his previous and similar mishap with me and I notice him looking at my left shoulder. I now feel pressure.

    As expected he says, “So what’s the A for?”. I shy away. “Well…it’s a response to Ash Wednesday.” He says, “But what does the A stand for?”, so I give in. “It stands for Atheism.” He literally loses his balance and takes a step back. “Oh wow. Really? Whoa.” was all that came out. “People need to know that it’s okay to reject that kind of terrorism.” “Oh I don’t know, if you follow the teachings then…” “Look, when people are indoctrinated with the concept of hell and it doesn’t even exist, isn’t that terrorism?” “Oh I don’t know….” Now his face is really grimmacing. “Look, Hell doesn’t exist, and there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that it does.” He walks away and gets on his train. No “have a good one” today.

    Now I feel bad. There was not adequate time for the conversation, and I begin to regret my approach. But then I realize that its okay. The pin did the trick. I may have lost a regular “good morning” on my way to work, but maybe I was the agitator that may make him think down the road. Maybe he will tell someone else about his experience. I hope that I get a chance to apologize for my unrehearsed approach and my focus on the idea and the argument instead of focusing on just being nice to him.

    I don’t want to see myself as an agitator, but in any movement there are the people who do the extremes, who just get the word out, and those people are necessary in order to define the middle. I like Biden, but I don’t appreciate him spreading terrorism , particularly ON TELEVISION. So if my national leader, coupled with an idiot 3 hours south of me are spreading terrorism, I feel a need to finally stand up…..and put a pin on my jacket…

    …and answer questions,,,

    …and respond to “Oh, I don’t know”….

    …because I do know, that terrorism is wrong.

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