The Growth of ‘Secular Grace’ at Thanksgiving

Kimberly Winston explores the growth of “Secular Grace” at Thanksgiving dinner:

No need to look up to say thanks

Secular grace typically recognizes the animals who gave their lives for the feast, the people who prepared the meal and even the elements of nature that contributed to it — earth, water, fire and air. It also usually makes reference to the secular humanist touchstones of community, interdependence and relationships.

And there’s one more key difference between secular grace and the religious kind: Secular grace is not offered as a prayer, but more as a benediction over those present.

“What we do is thank people,” said Zachary Moore, a 33-year-old atheist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “Thanksgiving is like a microcosm of your life, when you can look at who has helped you get to the point where you have a family or a close circle of friends you can sit down with. As an atheist, I want to give thanks to those people and everyone around me. That is a real thanksgiving.”

It makes perfect sense. At dinner tonight, there’s no need to give thanks by looking up. Instead, just look around.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X