"Secular humanist" seems to be one of the non-confrontational terms for Atheist lately, along with skeptic, non-theist, "none," and many more. I just found out there is such a thing as "Secular Day," which falls on Thursday, April 23, 2015. You can check it out on YouTube. I'm wondering if any of my fellow atheists are planning anything for this day, e.g. events, celebrations, music, entertainment, chat sessions, letting someone know you're an atheist... I also found out that my favorite atheist entertainer, comedian/musician Tim Minchin is appearing at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX, that evening. Wish I could go, but can't. Anyone interested in a Main Room chat for Secular Day to share adventures/misadventures? Do atheists have a mascot or logo other than the big red "A" to use or wear? Xians have that pointy T-shape torture device symbol and bunnies and bearded guys in red suits. It would be nice to have something to counteract that stuff. Any ideas?
I really like these logos, especially the purple atomic "A" and the invisible pink unicorn. Did you photoshop these? I'd love to get the circular unicorn, but with "I Don't Believe in Your Invisible Pink Unicorn" or "No Beliefs in Invisible Pink Unicorns, Please" on a t-shirt and button. I wore my red "Intelligent enough to be Atheist" 3-inch button for Secular Day and got no comments whatsoever!
Hi L Ross,
I think I can understand why they would have a separate day for Secularism in the US because it is a much bigger issue than it is, say, where I am from, which is Amsterdam. Maybe you could treat yourself to a good book, something that would add to your understanding of Secularism, or indeed wear a t-shirt saying I Am Openly Secular, Now Kiss Me or Sexy & Secular.
I mostly make up my own little traditions and holidays and make sure it stimulates me in some way. There is a Dutch version of Christmas here on December 5th, but I don't like it so I changed it to Mandela Day, he died on December 5th, 2013 so every year I read a book about him, watch a documentary or a movie about him or learn something about South Africa, basically anything involving him. As a gift I'd give someone a South African bracelet, t-shirt or something of the sort.
I'm just spit balling here :) If I'm around on the chat on the 23rd I'll join you for a conversation to ask how Secular Day is going in your region.
Thanks, Mark. Your comment makes me wish I lived in Amsterdam. I'm so bombarded with Xian evangelicals here in California. I like your t-shirt suggestions. Mandela Day is a great idea as well. I'll be looking for holiday alternates for December 25th, Easter, Thanksgiving, and 4th of July!
I personally ceased to celebrate Easter, Valentine's Day and the like. Not for anti-theistic reasons but because I believe that you shouldn't need an excuse to do or be good. I might incorporate the birth of sir Isaac Newton as a fun tradition this year.
Just know, L Ross, that Xians can't hurt you. I can understand how annoying it can be when they verbally throw Jesus in your face but I consider it the same as throwing a grape at a brick wall.
I stopped observing any holiday, most of them even before becoming atheist.
For the winter holiday season last year, Neil DeGrasse Tyson tweeted:
"On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec. 25, 1642."
Olivia Judson suggested a rationale for "The 10 Days of Newton":
It turns out that the date of Newton’s birthday is a little contentious. Newton was born in England on Christmas Day 1642 according to the Julian calendar — the calendar in use in England at the time. But by the 1640s, much of the rest of Europe was using the Gregorian calendar (the one in general use today); according to this calendar, Newton was born on Jan. 4, 1643.
Rather than bickering about whether Dec. 25 or Jan. 4 is the better date to observe Newton’s Birthday, I think we should embrace the discrepancy and have an extended festival. After all, the festival of Christmas properly continues for a further 12 days, until the feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6. So the festival of Newton could begin on Christmas Day and then continue for an extra 10 days, representing the interval between the calendars.
Only 250 days until Newtonmas!
I think I'll be celebrating Newtonmas from now on.
I think I'll celebrate and promote Isaacnewstice. Love the combination of Isaac Newton and winter solstice ideas. Thanks!
This last Thursday, I gave a short announcement concerning the upcoming Openly Secular Day. I also professed my atheism to the fifty or so souls at a poetry open mic in Auburn, Alabama. About a dozen years ago, I was fired shortly after revealing my atheism to a co-worker, in another small town in Alabama. The theory behind the holiday is to try to reduce prejudice by giving a face to the secular community. I was actually working on a presentation addressing the problem along very similar lines when I learned about Openly Secular Day. Here is the first slide from my presentation. - Lance Sullivan
I really appreciate your courage and conviction to combat secular prejudice, even to the point of losing your job. All I've lost so far by coming out atheist was my old dentist! Can you post your presentation here or on YouTube? I'd love to see the rest of it.
Here's a Happy Humanist for you. I wore a pin with this on it for years, but I lost it and haven't got around to replacing it. Nobody knows what it is, but when they ask I'm happy to tell them. I'd rather be known as a Humanist than an atheist; it's about what I am and not what I'm not.
I agree completely. I really like the positive connotation. "Atheist" (no-god person) does sound negative, now that you mention it. I guess that's one reason I liked the Secular Day idea. It seems odd that in the US, one can be openly Xian 365 days a year but only openly secular for one day (if that). Apparently, there are far more secular places like Amsterdam and some areas of Australia and the UK (where I wish I could live). By researching the Humanist symbol, I found out about the American Humanist Association. Thanks for that! Happy Humanist Day to all of you, too!