What Are Those Candles For…?

Adding to the list of things Catholics don’t know about their own religion…

(via The Onion)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

    When I was a good little baptist, my first grade teacher used to go on rants about Catholics and their evil, demon-inspired candle rituals… 

    • Annie

      While growing up catholic, it always irked me that the advent candles consisted of three purple and one pink candle (or was it three pink and one purple?).  I felt an even two and two would have made a much prettier display. 

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

        There’s gotta be a reason for the colors.
        You forgot what the nuns taught you? Already?

        • Annie

          You’re right.  I just googled the significance and it is chock full of circular logic… typical.  It’s 3 purple and one pink ( purple= hope, purple = preparation, pink= joy, and purple = love). 

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

            Thanks. It won’t keep me up tonight.

  • Newavocation

    Hey, if it was about knowing instead of doing what your told or playing follow the leader, I imagine those churches would be pretty empty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    Fire pretty

    that’s why

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      That’s enough of a reason for me!

  • Anonymous

    Mostly people do it so they feel better about themselves. Especially if candles are lit for dead people. The exact religious purpose isn’t really that important

  • JenL

    Gotta love The Onion…

  • Anonymous

    There are no real stories on this subject, so we have to mine The Onion?

    • starskeptic

      I agree – a fake news story proves what?

      • http://twitter.com/0xabad1dea Melissa E

        It’s a joke. It’s supposed to be funny, not news reporting. 

        • starskeptic

          um…I GET the Onion, folks - 
          but Hemant’s use of this as a heading:
          “Adding to the list of things Catholics don’t know about their own religion…” - to seemingly add, as fodder, to his previous item :
          “Survey Says Catholics Are Becoming Less Catholic”has NOTHING to do with the picture as presented by the Onion – it’s exactly like the using of a non-existent Jefferson quote  to say “see – those theists just don’t get it”
          on Onion: funny!
          here (as used): NOT funny!

          • Drew Bentley

            So, get your own blog and put whatever you want on it then. No reason to be so up tight about what Hemant posts here and what he and others might think is funny. 

            • starskeptic

              …no reason for you to be an a**hole by implying someone should just shut up because they don’t agree with you; that’s how the other side behaves…

          • Stogoe

            Shorter starkeptic: “I am aware of all internet traditions.”

            • Cameron

              The point is that to somebody who doesn’t come here often (like me) it looks like the blog author doesn’t understand that The Onion is a humour website.

              • starskeptic

                …exactly my point, thank you Cameron!..

            • starskeptic

              longer Stogoe: “I can use an oxymoron to put words in someone’s mouth without even knowing what an ‘oxymoron’ is.” 

      • Annie

        That we can take a few minutes to laugh every once in a while. 

  • Ronramrod8

    “everybody does it”

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

    Candles belong on birthday cakes.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/DJRVGKGG36KNLNMZAVT4EXOF3M Ed-words

    Another Onion title (that tore me up)

    “Bodybuilder Can’t Believe He Forgot to Develop Right Arm”

  • PJB863

    When I was a kid growing up catholic, it was cool because it was the one time you were allowed to play with fire. 

    Otherwise, I wasn’t allowed to have matches until I was 14 and had to wait until I was 16 until they let me near any sharp objects.  When I was 17, they took the sharp objects away.  I’m 51 now, and they still don’t let me have anything sharp.

  • Charles Black

    Its stories like these that make me think that people only identify with religion out of tradition, not because they really follow the religion in question.

    • Anonymous

      It’s not a story, it’s a joke (albeit not a very funny one).

    • Anonymous

      Not all religion maybe, but it’s especially true for a lot of Catholics. Not a bad thing really. I’d rather they follow it out of tradition than true conviction

  • Ed L

    If you’re in a Catholic church and you light a votive candle you’re supposed to put some cash in the adjacent box. If you don’t the magic doesn’t work.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    I always thought it was kind of like burning incense- send those prayers to heaven in the convection current.
    Anyway, I love the smell of beeswax candles and the way they shed a soft glow on old cathedral walls. 

    • http://siveambrai.myopenid.com/ Siveambrai

      Oh the incense. I need to get some of that for my house. I really always liked its scent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nele-Abels/1127827774 Nele Abels

    Mhm. I don’t see anything funny about that picture nor any connection to the title of the blog entry…


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