Edward Tarte Discusses Giving Things Up for Lent

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[Link to video]

About Edward Tarte

I am age 78, once a Catholic priest for five years (in the 1960's), then a math teacher for 44 years up to the present day. I became an atheist a few years ago. My hobbies are music and chess.

  • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

    Thirty-five years ago I gave up Lent for Lent. It worked so well for me I never stopped.

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      Sometimes, when someone asks me if I’m religious, I’ll say “I gave up religion for Lent, and never went back.” I often provoke a chuckle from that, which is better than the reaction most people have if I say I’m an atheist.

      • Happy Time Harry

        I usually just say I gave up working out

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

    The whole idea of Lent seems rather twisted to me. Then again, most of Christianity does.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I could get behind the idea of giving up something substantial, and donating the expense of it to charity. “First world” people reminding themselves of the “third world” as it were. As a cycling advocate, I wish more Catholics would give up driving and rely on walking, cycling and public transport for Lent. That would be cool!

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

        I wouldn’t mind that, but the premise still creeps me out. The whole idea of penance. Lent isn’t about identifying with actual suffering or trying to better the lives of other people. It’s a purification ritual, based on the idea that something is wrong with adherents that they need to fix by punishing or denying themselves.

  • allein

    I was raised Methodist but we never observed Lent. I actually just had to google “do Methodists observe Lent?” because I honestly didn’t remember.

    I do remember my college cafeteria always had a lot of non-chocolate desserts during Lent; seems that’s a popular thing to give up. I also currently work in a building where the majority of workers are Hispanic, and I assume a good portion of them are Catholic; the cafeteria has fish as the main entree every Friday (not just during Lent, either).

  • Keulan

    Lent, like all other religious rituals, just seems silly to me. I’m glad that I, as an atheist, don’t have to waste my time on silly religious rituals.

  • Thomas

    Will you be commenting on Ramadan? Or is it just the Christians you hate?

    • http://www.facebook.com/tuibguy Mike Haubrich

      Sigh. Do you ever read this site? Because Christianity is the majority religion in The United States, there is far more in Hemant’s and the other bloggers’ experience to criticize about Christianity and that is why there are more stories here about Christianity than there is about Islam; however Islam is roundly criticized. Your persecution complex is duly noted. If you regularly read this site, you would also know that criticism of beliefs is not hatred.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Since he’s an ex-Roman Catholic Priest, it stands to reason that he knows a lot more about Lent than Ramadan. If you spend a few minutes looking around, you’ll see us critique harmful religious beliefs of pretty much every flavor, although mostly Christianity for the reasons Mike mentions.

      By the by, do you troll other blogs about religion? Or is it just the atheists that you hate?

    • Edward Tarte

      Thomas, how you, or anyone having the use of reason, could infer from this video, or from any of my other videos, that I hate Christians, is beyond my ability to comprehend. In my community I am surrounded by Christians. As a private math tutor I go into their homes, sit down beside the high school or middle school student, and help him or her to learn and understand math. I pet their dogs and cats. I drink the water, tea, and Diet Coke that they put before me. Do you imagine that I secretly hate them? I do not.

    • blasphemous_kansan

      How often do you beat your significant other, Thomas?

      See how shitty it sounds to ask a question that’s not really a question?

  • Thomas

    OK, if you don’t hate Christians then why are so many of you afraid of them? Why do you need to post anti-Christian comments?

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      Thomas, no one’s afraid of Christians. If atheists find the tenets of Christianity to be false and/or immoral, then why shouldn’t we say so? What’s wrong with criticism? What’s wrong with disagreement?

    • Carmelita Spats

      No one is “afraid” of Christians. That is silly. Some of us just despise ANY and ALL superstitions codified into public policy. Christianity is just one of many superstitions that should never be privileged which is why it is extremely important to advocate for a separation of church/state. A criticism of Christianity is a healthy exercise for those of us who prefer reason over faith. Criticism is not “anti-Christian”, it is “PRO-REALITY”. Here is a quote for you, “True enough, even a superstitious man has inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided that he does not try and inflict them on other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to preach them without challenge.” (H.L. Mencken). Religion=superstition.

  • SteveS

    You go get ‘em, Edward! Discomfort is the first step toward freedom. It is not about hatred – it is about learning to organize your life around something other than nonsense.

  • Robster

    Isn’t Lent when you go about offering to lend things to people in need? I’ve lent stuff to others, don’t often get it back but it makes me feel good. Does that count?

  • Thomas

    Such a hateful group. May you all find peace.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

      Thomas, no one’s been hateful towards you. If you have something substantive to say, then say it, but the passive-aggressive comments are getting tiresome.

  • rich h

    I always claimed to give up “strangling incompetent people” for lent.

    Even when I was Catholic, I thought the idea of “giving up stuff” for lent was silly. Catholics around me treated it as a contest, “who’s giving up the most for lent”. I would then state my sacrifice, then say “aren’t you glad?”


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