An Atheist at Thanksgiving

It’s here again, that time o’ year when the hue and cry from the churches is “Oh, teh poor atheists, they have no one to thank! Horrors! Don’t ever become an atheist because your thanksgiving will vanish in a puff of smoke! And you will burn in the flames forever!!”

What a load of bollocks.

It’s not just that hell doesn’t exist and therefore threats of it are pathetic. It’s this ridiculous idea we folks who’ve given up godbothering or never got in the habit to begin with have got no one to thank. My problem with Thanksgiving is quite the opposite: I’ve got too many to thank! I’m afraid it’s inevitable I’ll leave someone important out. And atheists have had plenty of folks to thank for centuries; tomorrow, I’ll be sharing some thanks for Thanksgiving from the Great Agnostic himself. No atheist has ever had a problem finding someone or something to thank.

Let me give some thanks, although as I’ve said, I’ll miss some folks. This is partial thanks, as it were. Some highlights from the reel.

Thank you, my parents, for giving me a great upbringing and not drowning me in a lake even when given extreme provocation. I love you!

Thank you, my stepmother, for being a fantatic mom and a font of excellent advice. Thank you, also, for putting up with my dad.

Thank you, my homicidal felid, for being occasionally warm and cuddly and not maiming me for life. Much. Yet. Thank you, also, for keeping life interesting.

Thank you, my friends, for putting up with me in all my oddball, workaholic, forgetful, out-of-touch and frankly neglectful aspects. If any of you wish to apply for sainthood for S&G, I believe staying my friend through all that qualifies as one of the necessary miracles!

Thank you, my readers, for dealing with my occasional unplanned absences and my moods and stretches where I don’t write all that well. Thank you for your comments, and your suggestions, and for making my life immensely richer!

Thank you, my friends in the geoblogosphere, for adopting me, and putting me to work as a science writer, and insisting I could be one of you despite the lack of degree. Thank you for the work you do, the papers you coauthor, and the blog posts you write, all of which make a difference in the world, and show us the enormous beauty and fascination of it. You all are amazing!

Thank you, Bora and others responsible, for taking me on at Sci-Am. I still have to pinch myself in the morning. Being part of Scientific American and carrying on that tradition of bringing science to the world is an incredible honor. One which I am extremely thankful for!

Thank you, my fellow Freethought Bloggers, for challenging me and firing me up and showing me that we can change the world for the better. Thank you for letting me be a part of this collective. Thank you for being outstanding people. I love you muchly!

Thank you, all of those who are making differences in this world. Thank you for healing and feeding and teaching and inspiring people. Thank you for all you do to maintain social safety nets and avert disaster.

And thank you, a huge thank you, to scientists. Thank you for the discoveries. Thank you for the wonders. Thank you for always searching for the answers, for finding ways to improve our lives. Thank you for showing us the universe.

Thank you, everyone ever involved in Doctor Who. ZOMG you have no idea how much I adore you all!

Thank you, those not specifically thanked, who deserve thanks, including everyone involved in LOTR, and writers whose books are a comfortable weight on my shelves, and musicians whose music fills my ears with delight, and… oh, just, everybody I’ve not yet thanked but who’ve done something wonderful, okay?

And, finally, thank you universe, for being magnificent. Deadly, quite often, frequently terrifying, but still magnificent! I’m thankful to be a part of you. And I’m thankful that the human brain has this quirk where we can thank natural processes for, you know, processing. Even though you’re not a you, I can say thank you, and duly do.

An Atheist at Thanksgiving

16 thoughts on “An Atheist at Thanksgiving

  1. 4

    I just checked! Thank you for the beautiful imagery! And thank you for the beautiful thanks above! I thank the vagaries of time and chance for bringing people like you into my life. Not that the vagaries pay any attention, but y’know. :-)

  2. 10

    No, thank you, Dana.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all you Over-the-Ponders and keep up the fascinating blogging.

    As you tuck into your feast I’ll be having Thousands-on-a-Raft.

  3. 12

    I’m thankful to Dana for being my favorite blogger!

    And to my sister-in-law for the electric turkey roaster I’ll be using this afternoon. It’s kind of like an oversized slow-cooker and works great.

    I’m NOT thankful to the big box stores for the endless “Black Friday” ads the past few days but I am thankful to my wife for not wanting to go shopping tomorrow any more than I do.

    And I’m thankful that my kitties like getting their furry bellies brushed!

  4. 13

    Oh, and I’ll be eternally grateful to adrian for an explanation of “thousands-on-a-raft”. Or at least for an hour or two. My Google-fu has let me down.

  5. 14

    “Thousands-on-a-Raft” is Transport Cafe (I think you call them truck-stops)slang for Baked Beans on Toast, a cheaper alternative to the Full English. Always washed down with a pint mug of tea.

  6. 16

    I posted this over on Ed’s blog, but I think it fits here, too:

    Had Thanksgiving dinner at the nursing home where my mother-in-law lives.

    I am very thankful for the good people who work hard all year to care for our loved ones when they can no longer care for themselves, and who worked today when most of us were spending time with our families.

    I am also grateful for Medicaid, which is now covering her, since her life savings are long gone.

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