March 18th, 2013 | Posted by: Vlad Chituc
Kimberly Winston, a reporter for Religion News Service, has a really thorough and nice write up of our secular Lenten fasting. Reflecting a bit, it’s been a really cool experience and I’m glad to see it’s largely been received so well.
Readers of the blog might find our comments to be pretty familiar. And for anyone who wants my take on Flynn’s comments and objections to our practice, check out my response from a few weeks ago. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that Winston had interviewed a Catholic theologian for her perspective. I’ll limit myself to quoting this section, but do give the whole piece a read:
Virginia Kimball, a Catholic theologian at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., who mentors people in Lenten practices, sees nothing wrong in atheists borrowing Lent. The desire to find meaning in ritual, she said, is a universal human desire.
“I give every credit to these young people who are humanists and atheists because they are sensing that human life is more than just animal processes and that is worthy of the great philosophers,” she said.
That made my day a bit. And now that I’m over my really nasty flu, I’ll be updating and reflecting more on Lent as a practice.
And in case you missed it, it looks like we’re not the only nonbelievers who think Lent is cool. The New York Times had a recent cool writeup about a few other atheists taking part, which seems to connect more to cultural Christianity I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more of in the coming years:
Mr. Corvino, the author of the new book “What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?” says that his Lenten observance has something to do with cultural nostalgia: “I wore a black suit and a purple tie on Ash Wednesday this year. Didn’t tell anyone why I was doing it, but for me, it signaled the first day of Lent.” But he also appreciates Lent as an opportunity for “discipline and self-improvement.”
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Vlad Chituc is a lab manager and research assistant in a social neuroscience lab at Duke University. As an undergraduate at Yale, he was the president of the campus branch of the Secular Student Alliance, where he tried to be smarter about religion and drink PBR, only occasionally at the same time. He cares about morality and thinks philosophy is important. He is also someone that you can follow on twitter.