This is yours truly one Easter.
The tear was because I absolutely hated this ridiculous outfit and sincerely didn’t want to wear it.
I suppose to really understand the question about why atheists celebrate any holiday you would first have to understand the individual. Neither myself or any other atheist can speak for the entire sect of atheists but we are certainly capable of speaking for ourselves. So that is exactly what I will do with this blog, speak for myself.
There are several holidays that I always looked forward to as a kid. Easter just happens to be one of them. I never looked forward to them because we went to church on Easter Sunday. I didn’t look forward to Easter because I enjoyed dressing up. I enjoyed Easter for every other superficial reason children in America do. The candy.
To be fair it’s was never just about the candy. It’s was also about the toys and the Easter egg hunt as well. You honestly can’t go wrong with some new toys, candy, and an Easter egg hunt. Now that I’m a little older I realize that the superficial reasons were nice but when I really reflect on the past I think about how excited I was to go to my Grandma’s house. Or how much I enjoyed my family’s Easter meals. They weren’t just any ole meals, there was deviled eggs.
Everyone knows in the South you only get deviled eggs like twice a year, three times if you are lucky! So growing up I looked forward to Easter for a variety of reasons. None of which require a belief in a higher power. When I think about my young daughters I see no reason to deprive them of the same experiences. I want to tell you a story about my oldest. To understand this story you should know that she was indoctrinated prior to my deconversion.
We were cruising around Big Lots when she was about the age of two. She said to me, “Mommy, can I have that bunny rabbit.” It was so close to Easter that I replied, “Not right now, maybe the Easter Bunny will bring it to you.” Well bless her sweet little two year old heart. She was so offended by my response that she said, “Mommy, everyone knows there’s no such thing as an Easter Bunny.” I laughed at her intelligence and said, “Well then maybe Mommy will buy it for you for Easter.” Of course she wasn’t impressed with this response either. At two she wanted it now!
What’s key about this story is that later in life my daughter confronted me. She was probably about 5 or 6 when she gave us the most life altering lectures we’ve had to date. In a nutshell she was angry about being lied to. It didn’t matter that the Easter Bunny and Santa were fun imaginative stories. It mattered that she trusted us and we lied to her. In an effort to conform to societies expectations I never considered that a child might be angered by such a seemingly innocent decision.
So that brings us to present time. With our 17 month old daughter we haven’t really figured out how to do it “right”. But as they say there is never a good time to do the wrong thing. We have no intentions on ever telling her that the Easter Bunny, Santa, or even the Tooth Fairy are real. We will introduce her to the characters and let her enjoy the mythology, but they will be presented to her as such, a myth. And when she’s old enough to ask about the religious aspects of the holidays we will do the same.
While we are on the subject this reminds me that a fellow atheist is writing a book that I’m much anticipating. It’s titled, “The Easter Bunny is a Monster”.
They don’t know I’m putting this plug in to my blog so I hope they don’t mind. If you are interested please check out their Facebook page. I believe you can still order their book at http://www.peterskeeter.com/ .
Any ways if you have any questions about this subject please leave a comment. I look forward to engaging you all in discussion.