Atheist families don’t believe in God, so who are they thanking on Thanksgiving? How do they celebrate? Do they give thanks at all? What if you have atheist Thanksgiving guests? How do you accommodate them? What about the kids? What will happen to them? Should you be worried that they don’t know the “true” meaning of Thanksgiving? Here’s some information that might surprise you.
Atheist families are no different than your family.
Atheists don’t believe in a conventional God. Nevertheless, most are moral people. They have an appreciation for life. They are grateful for family, friends and all the other wonderful things in their lives, just as believers are. Of course, there are evil atheists, just as there are evil believers. There is good and bad in everyone, no matter their faith. Still, on Thanksgiving, most atheists give thanks, just not to God, because they don’t believe in God.
Who do atheist families thank, then?
Atheists might thank whoever is responsible for their good fortune. They thank their kids for being the awesome people they are. They thank their grandkids in the same way. They might thank their boss for a promotion or their neighbors for joining them at the Thanksgiving table. Sometimes, they simply give thanks, without attributing the credit to any particular person. Nevertheless, atheists are just as thankful as any religious person. They usually teach their kids to be thankful too, no matter their beliefs.
Don’t assume the kids of atheists are atheists
Some kids and grand-kids of atheists are believers. Some are atheists, like their parents or grand-parents. Some believe in a higher power, but not God, per-say. One thing being an atheist teaches you is acceptance. Atheists run up against a lot of opposition concerning their beliefs. They generally know how it feels. Therefore, they’re not likely to give you a hard time about your beliefs as long as you respect theirs. It’s a two way street, in other words.
Should you be concerned about atheist kids at your Thanksgiving table?
Why would you be? Atheist parents are no different than any other parents. Barring abuse, they have the right to raise their kids as they see fit. Just like you do. Their kids have rights too. They have a right to their own faith. Don’t worry. They’re not there to push atheism on your kids. Most atheists believe in a world of diversity. Remember, Thanksgiving is not just about being thankful. The first Thanksgiving was all about two people of different faiths coming together to give thanks. It was about acceptance, as well as thankfulness.
How do you accommodate atheist Thanksgiving guests?
You don’t have to. Just don’t expect them to join you in praying to a God they don’t believe in. Give them the same respect they give you. Giving thanks, after all, does not require faith in God. We are all thankful for something. Atheists are not inherently evil. They simply don’t share your belief in a higher power. They don’t worship Satan, because they don’t believe in him either.
So, how do you accommodate atheist families on Thanksgiving? Well, you can look at it this way:
What would Jesus do?
Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.