31 December 2012

Secular Holidays

On Austin Cline's About.com Agnosticism/Atheism website, he asked readers if they thought we should create secular holidays.

In a comment Bill Haines lists days that already exist.

I thought readers might want to add these to their calendars.

January 13 — Ernestine Rose’s Birthday
January 29 — Thomas Paine’s Birthday, Freethinkers’ Day
February 12 — Charles Darwin’s Birthday, Darwin Day
March 14 — Albert Einstein’s Birthday, Pi Day
March 16 — James Madison’s Birthday, Freedom Of Information Day
March 16-22 — Sunshine Week
April 1 — April Fools’ Day
April 12 — Cosmonauts’ Day, Yuri’s Night
April 22 — Earth Day
May’s 1st Thursday — US National Day Of Reason
June 21 — World Humanist Day
July 1 — Chevalier De La Barre Day
July 4 — US Indivisible Day
August 11 — Robert Ingersoll’s Birthday, Ingersoll Day
September’s Last Full Week — Banned Books Week
October 12 — Freethought Day
Novermber 7 — Marie Skłodowska-Curie’s Birthday
Novermber 7 — Carl Sagan’s Birthday
November’s Last Full Week — Church/State Separation Week
December 10 — Human Rights Day
December 23 — HumanLight
December 25 — Isaac Newton’s Birthday, Crispness, Newtonmas

01 December 2012

Silent Monk’s Hallelujah Chorus

Despite my atheism, I do appreciate some holiday music. However, when I was in the Junior Choir and then the teenaged-girls' Chapel Choir at my church (when I was a closet skeptic) we performed the Hallelujah Chorus every year. After countless rehearsals year after year, the music used to make me cringe. But I finally am to the point that I can stand listening to it once a season, then I'm done for the year.

This video presents a very clever rendition of it. (I suggest changing to full-screen mode.) I actually laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks. It made me realize that I might not have been so quick to shun my parents' Christian religion if there had been a little more laughter and a lot less imposed shame and guilt by the church and my parents. I probably would have ended up non-religious anyway, but I might have had more motivation to stick around longer than I did.

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