Atheist Lent in Religion News Service and also Other Places

Kimberly Winston, a reporter for Religion News Service, has a really thorough and nice write up of our secular Lenten fasting. Reflecting a bit, it’s been a really cool experience and I’m glad to see it’s largely been received so well.

Readers of the blog might find our comments to be pretty familiar. And for anyone who wants my take on Flynn’s comments and objections to our practice, check out my response from a few weeks ago. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that Winston had interviewed a Catholic theologian for her perspective. I’ll limit myself to quoting this section, but do give the whole piece a read:

Virginia Kimball, a Catholic theologian at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., who mentors people in Lenten practices, sees nothing wrong in atheists borrowing Lent. The desire to find meaning in ritual, she said, is a universal human desire.

“I give every credit to these young people who are humanists and atheists because they are sensing that human life is more than just animal processes and that is worthy of the great philosophers,” she said.

That made my day a bit. And now that I’m over my really nasty flu, I’ll be updating and reflecting more on Lent as a practice. 

And in case you missed it, it looks like we’re not the only nonbelievers who think Lent is cool. The New York Times had a recent cool writeup about a few other atheists taking part, which seems to connect more to cultural Christianity I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more of in the coming years:

Mr. Corvino, the author of the new book “What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?” says that his Lenten observance has something to do with cultural nostalgia: “I wore a black suit and a purple tie on Ash Wednesday this year. Didn’t tell anyone why I was doing it, but for me, it signaled the first day of Lent.” But he also appreciates Lent as an opportunity for “discipline and self-improvement.”

If readers have any stories to share or contribute, please don’t hesitate to contact us by email or in the comments.

P.S. The links have popped up on USA Today and the Washington Post’s On FaithCheck them out!

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Vlad Chituc edits NonProphet Status. He's a researcher at the intersection of psychology, philosophy, and sometimes economics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He likes the South very much and lives with his dog, Toad, who is great. In 2012, he graduated with a B.S. in psychology from Yale University, where he spent a lot of time reading philosophy and learning to write.