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article imageOp-Ed: What am I giving up for Lent

By James Dickenson     Feb 20, 2013 in World
London - What will I be giving for Lent, chocolate, beer? Even as an anti-theist I believe I every right to take part in this tradition!
What will I be giving up for Lent?
Christians may feel they have monopoly on Lent, Cuaresma, Quaresma, Careme or Quaresima, but like so many of the ideas they claim to be there own they are simply wrong.
When services were conducted in Latin only, Lent was known as Quadragesima which is in itself a translation from Greek the original word being Tessarakoste. After we started using our vernacular in services the word Lent was supplanted. Lent which simply means Spring, it is Lenz in German or Lente in Dutch, interestingly also comes from the German for Long as quite obviously in Spring the days do get longer. Vassa or Buddhist Lent was introduced by Buddha some five hundred years before Christianity. This is of course not to mention Eastern Christianity which most Christians surprisingly have never heard of, but I think for now we should leave this well alone.
So as a non-believer I feel I am quite within my rights to have my own Lent, my own fasting of some sort. So what is it that I should quit?
I think this year I am going to give up debating with Christians, especially the fundamentalist type. Yes you heard me right. You see I enjoy debating with Christians, I have done it since I was about nine, when my friends kindly and succinctly told me I was going to go to hell for not believing in God, its a kind of hobby of mine. I enjoy it, relish the debate. But it is tiring and draining.
As far as I can see there are major two types of believers.
The Sunday Christians, wishy washy oh Christianity is so beautiful its such a lovely idea, or I 'just love the buildings". This can be fun, but inevitably the conversations never last very long as they simply do not know much about the subject. No the real fun is with the Fundamentalists, Fire and Brim stone, Noah's Arc, Adam and Eve. These debates I find endlessly fascinating, especially with the rebirth of Creationism coupled with the Internet they have "evidence" to support their claims. I had one Monotheistic believer who sent me a time chart of the different periods of the Earth's history and then written above was Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, as if the writers did not mean a day just a different period of geological history, brilliant!!!
Funnily enough what most Fundamentalists fail to recognise is that the debate between Creationism and Science is long over and actually finished mid way through the 19th Century in Oxford. They also forget that it is fundamentally up to the Creationist or Christian to prove their ideas, not Science's job to prove they are wrong. I don't think any scientist has gone out of their way to disprove religion, but none of them have had any need for it, which is a major major problem for them.
Just so you know, whenever confronted by a Creationist I aways ask these four questions.
Firstly, can the Cosmos can be identified in the light of design?
Secondly can you prove life is not an accident?
Most never get past this point, but if they do, I think we could say that they have proved some sort of deistic belief.
Now, if you want to get to the Theistic position that they occupy you need to prove the following:
Thirdly that God has some interest in us, in what we do, in what we eat, what days we take off etc.
And fourthly that in some way God can suspend the laws of nature, and that the laws of nature are susceptible to prayer or human sacrifice.
I have never had a believer be able to answer all these questions.....
No as much "fun" as this is, I shall deny myself this pleasure until after Easter Sunday. Perhaps afterwards you would join me?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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