Once again, the Lenten season is upon us. For those of you who don't know, Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent, is tomorrow. So of course this means all the good little Catholics are out there deciding what they are going to give up until Easter. Of course this means that I am sitting here and shaking my head at the sheer stupidity of this tradition.
I grew up Catholic, so I am quite familiar with the song and dance that is the Lent tradition. I remember my mom asking me when I was young what I was going to give up, which was usually something stupid like candy or soda. I also remember thinking it was kind of ridiculous then. I understood the whole "Jesus sacrificed for you so you can sacrifice for him," but why the hell would the savior of mankind give a flying fuck whether or not a 7 year old kid ate some jellybeans at the school easter egg hunt? As I grew up a bit, I also began to think that the whole thing became more of a show-off event than anything. Friends would brag about who was making the bigger sacrifice:
"I am giving up soda for Lent."
"Oh yeah, well I am giving up my N64."
By the time I was in high school, my family wasn't really Catholic anymore. While I was still Christian, I sorta gave up the Lent thing. Many of my friends, however, did not. I hated that fucking self-righteous look they would get on their face when someone would offer them a cookie or piece of candy and they'd say "Oh, sorry, I gave up sweets for Lent." Then they would turn around and start gossiping about someone. Oh yes, you are a good little Christian aren't you.
Basically, I think Lent goes against the whole idea of what it is supposed to represent. To me, it is a very, very selfish sacrifice. How much does it matter that you give up something and don't eat meat on Fridays? As much as I dislike the fact that my mom is still all Christian, I have to give her some credit in this area. When I got a bit older, like 10 or 11, instead of asking me to give up stuff, she would encourage me to do something instead. She said I should use Lent to do some good, like focusing on being nicer or more tolerant, etc. She thought that Jesus would probably be happier with that anyways.
But now I am an atheist...and none of that matters. I plan on thoroughly stuffing myself on marshmallow peeps over the next few weeks and playing SuperSmash Bros until my fingers bleed.
On the other hand...Lent did give us fish fries...