The Salt Lake Tribune published an article about atheists celebrating Thanksgiving. It turns out — who knew? — that non-religious people can be thankful, too!
West Valley City resident Ken Guthrie and his partner will be at his aunt’s house on Thanksgiving, sharing a table with his grandmother, siblings and cousins — a veritable holiday crowd.
But when it comes time to express thanks, Guthrie, a board member of Salt Lake City Pagan Pride, will not be speaking to the Christian God his relatives might address.
“I’m thanking, first, the universe for allowing me to be alive. I’m thanking my family for being with me, and I give thanks to the turkey that gave its life, the plants on our table, to the Earth itself for being abundant.”
Even the college atheists have plans of their own:
Elaine Ball, a co-founder of Secular Humanism Inquiry and Freethought at the University of Utah, says Thanksgiving is “more of a time for family than gratitude toward a god.”
This year, she and several friends will pitch in to buy a free-range turkey, because ethically raised animals and plants, she says, replenish the Earth.
Gratitude to an abundant Earth, Ball says, leads her toward greater charity. “Having so much food and so much good food makes me think of those people who don’t.”
I didn’t realize that Thanksgiving was thought of as a “Christian-only” holiday and it’s strange to talk about how atheists might celebrate it — mostly because I suspect theists and atheists have similar Thanksgiving traditions.
But I suppose we should welcome any article that portrays atheists as “just like everybody else.”