Why don't you give up being a moron for Lent?

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...

Views: 62

Comment by Dave G on February 24, 2009 at 3:46pm
Lent was always weird as a kid. I mean, you give up soda or something for Lent, and you know that once Lent is over, you're just going to eat a lot of it to make up for lost time.
Comment by noisician on February 24, 2009 at 4:44pm
sure, atheists see Lent as pointless, but i don't really follow why you think it is "very, very selfish"
Comment by Whispers on February 24, 2009 at 6:05pm
Good post:)
Comment by Scadilla on February 24, 2009 at 6:09pm
I was never a fan of Lent. Especially the surrendering meat on Friday, gawd that killed me. As I got older I would always sneak a burger or say it was tofu. I'm with you on the it being pointless part. To me it seems like a mini resolution, but with religion tied to it. I mean why do you have to wait until a certain date? If what you're giving up is bad for you then give it up for yourself not some bloody ritual.
Comment by Dan on February 24, 2009 at 8:19pm
The only good thing to come out of lent is Mardi Gras.
Comment by Sniz on February 24, 2009 at 9:02pm
noisician, i probably should have elaborated on that opinion. for christians, the lent season is all about getting ready for the celebration of christ coming back to life and all that. you are supposed to think about what a miraculous gift jesus was and thank him for saving your soul. considering one of jesus' main teachings was kindness to others, love thy neighbor etc etc, i feel that lent would be better off spent acting out these teachings. i guess the concept of sacrifice in itself is not that selfish at all, but lent today seems more of a personal test of will power than a celebration of christ's love.
Comment by Morgan Matthew on February 25, 2009 at 9:43pm
A fantastic post Sniz! "
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." haha awesome :)
Comment by Scott Ferguson on February 28, 2009 at 3:50pm
Unlike candy or other small trivial things; they cant give up being a moron for lent :-) it is their false sense of security and if all Catholics actually used their brain and opened their eyes during lent they would all tell the pope to fuck off.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on March 14, 2009 at 5:23am
Oh.. Damn.. I thought that said to give up being morMon.. I was like 'Wtf? Do LDS have Lent, too now? '

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