An Atheist's Lent

I always observed Lent when I was Catholic. Lent is the 40 days between Ash Wednesday (today) and Easter Sunday. It is a period of sacrifice in order to facilite self-reflection and growth. I could use all of those things. For the next 40 days, I am going to focus on the health part of my Year of Health and Finances. My sacrifice is going to be strict adherence to my post-surgical diet, exercise, and supplement regimen. STRICT.


I am an atheist but I celebrate Christmas and Easter as secular family traditions. Easter starts with the Lenten season, which starts tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days until Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. For Lent, I usually give up something like sodas or Cadbury Creme Eggs or steaks or American Idol.

This year, I am giving up everything. I feel like my life has gotten a little off track. I am putting my energy into the wrong things. I am going to use this time to reset. I am going to see if I can give up every bad habit I have and divest myself of any extraneous demands on my time and energy.

Here is a list of things I can do without:

  • Candy
  • Chips
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies
  • Diet soda
  • French fries
  • Fast food
  • Television
  • Staying up until midnight
  • Graduate school (after this class ends in two weeks)
  • Using Google Reader at work
  • Take out for dinner
  • Skipping breakfast
  • Donuts
  • Frizzy hair
  • Not exercising
  • Facial hair
  • Hairy legs
  • Clothes and shoes that don't fit well
  • People I don't like
  • More stuff to donate
  • Tweeting and texting in the car
  • No division between work and home
  • Paying attention to politics

Prop 8 is Religious Persecution

Prop8bt3 California Proposition 8 would add language to the state's constitution that revokes the right of same-sex couples to marry and does not recognize same-sex marriages as legal unions. I am voting no on Prop 8.

This morning, I was talking about this to my husband and it seemed so clear to me that Prop 8 isn't about homosexuality or even equality, it is about religious persecution. I am not saying that homosexuality is part of anyone's religious beliefs, but the idea that homosexuality is wrong is part of the belief system of the main religion in the United States: Christianity. Proposition 8, by banning same-sex marriage, is forcing this religious belief onto anyone who does not share it. There is no other reason for this proposition.

Like I said on Twitter this week, if you are against gay marriage, don't marry a gay.