Saturday, April 14, 2007

Atheist Day!?

A NoGodBlog post from a couple of days ago (4/13) mentioned that it was Atheist Day! I had no idea there was one (that wasn't a joke). I can't find much information about it, but the post indicates that it is due to it being Madelyn Murray O'Hair's and Thomas Jefferson's birthday. Ok, so that's a neat concept -- Thomas Jefferson is one of my favorite atheists people that don't believe in a personal God. I'll try to remember this one next year.

Some theists call April 1st National Atheist's Day. Get it? It's a pun on April Fool's day and the biblical version "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (Psalm 14:1)

There is also the National Day of Reason, the 1st Thurs. in May every year. That is one I will definitely be celebrating this year! It's meant to coincide with the National Day of Prayer. And if any theists get the idea that it's not respectful to land our day right on top of their, just remind them that they landed Easter right on top of Eostre, and Christmas almost right on top of Winter Solstice.

I think having a National Day of Reason is good, but I would like to see a little more connection being made between the day and the atheists behind it. If nobody understands that reason=atheism, then the publicity of having a holiday for us isn't really going to do any good.


Greg said...

I was aware of theist jibes based on April Fool's Day but I hadn't heard of any kind of legitimate Atheist Day. It was also Friday the 13th, we could've had an anti-superstition party!

vjack said...

I agree that we should all work to get the National Day of Reason on the map. Personally, I don't really think we need an atheist day, but I would really like the Day of Reason to grow into something big.

David W. said...

Absolutely! Maybe get an annual event to (re)set its date to the National Day of Reason? I'm thinking something like a collegiate debate competition finals or something brainy like that. The kind of thing that gets a short write up in papers, and make sure it's included that, "So-and-so competition is held every year on the National Day of Reason." We could get a boost by latching on to existing publicity like that.

The Alpha said...

Wow. I didn't know there was a legitimate Atheist Day. Perhaps we should work better on our advertising technique so that umm...actual Atheists know there is an Atheist Day.

On the National Day of Prayer many people are going to go out and donate prayer. It's just so much more productive.

Ebonmuse said...

I don't think Thomas Jefferson was an atheist, but a deist.

Otherwise, great post.

David W. said...

You're right, he was a deist. I think I've heard so many connections to Thomas Jefferson and atheism (which for him was more like an "I don't believe in a personal God"-ism) that I let that one slip. Ooops.

On the other hand, I think that if most deists of Thomas Jefferson's time were exposed to the scientific understanding of even the late 20th century (e.g., evolution, big bang theory, stellar and planetary formation theory, DNA/gene theory, etc.) they would be atheists.

In other words, I consider deism to be atheism before there really were better explainations for the universe.

nullifidian said...

I take exception to that "a fool says in his heart" nonsense - it's my head that tells me that gods are notable by their absence.

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