An Atheists Guide To Thanksgiving
November 23rd, 2011

An Atheists Guide To Thanksgiving


  1. Jordan

    I like the giraffe, can you implement him as a proper character?

  2. Ken

    Yea the giraffe would make it more even for the atheist and it could help them in their arguments against creationism.

  3. Jewish Atheist

    The giraffe should be the atheist who generally stays away from religion and such, instead of approaching it more actively like Toby and Clemens.

    Angry Birds is awesome.

  4. Ruth

    I enjoy this comic immensely, whether because of or in spite of the fact that I am an ordained Christian minister I’m not sure. I know evolution is a fact, I trust that science will help us create a better future, and I heartily endorse the idea that humankind can and should treat each other with respect because we are human, regardless of belief system. Which is why this particular strip troubles me: does it serve any purpose to mock an act of gratitude when we all, whether Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Christian, Zoroastrian, agnostic, atheist, or anything else, can find things for which to be thankful? I think this is why so many people misunderstand or don’t even want to try to get to know anything about atheism. People perceive a lack of respect not just for their own beliefs but for others in general – which is a perception, not a reality – and won’t engage. Just food for thought from a big fan. And yes, I like the giraffe, too!

  5. ChefOtaku

    Spotting other atheists/agnostics/bored-people is not necessarily mocking the thanks given during a prayer circle. If anything, it’s the one safe time when we can look around and see who else we might be able to have some real conversation with. I know I do still listen to the prayers and acknowledge the thanks everyone is offering and simply redirect it in my mind to the farmers, etc, that deserve it.

  6. Paul

    Ruth, there’s a huge difference between being thankful (ie: acknowledging the good in one’s life) and giving thanks to a god for the good in one’s life.
    It’s not disrespectful to *not* participate in prayer.
    It’s not disrespectful to do something other than pray while others are praying.

  7. JD

    If they’re being quiet, I don’t think they’re mocking the prayer. It seems there is a conundrum laid down for atheists. It’s as if they only way to not mock the prayer is to pray. But an atheist pretending to pray mocks prayer too, because it’s not in earnest. So it’s a total no-win situation.

  8. Cincinatheist

    I agree with Paul. There isn’t anything in this strip mocking anything or anyone. This is a problem with the faithful, not us. They often take offense where there is none. Often, the simple fact that we (atheists) exist offends them.

  9. fester60613

    What Paul said.
    And, Ruth, taking offense where none is intended nor overt is NOT respectful either. Chew on that as your food for thought.

  10. Jo

    I am disappointed that a stereotype of an immature and rude behavior is being promoted as “atheist”. Part of being an atheist, for me, is respecting other humans because I want to be respected, too. And thanksgiving is a great opportunity to express that. Grace is a time to be graceful, thank your host, express your love for the people who are around you and in your life, and to celebrate kindness. Feeding into the belief that atheists are rude and thoughtless is….thoughtless. But, you know, to each his own.

  11. Jess

    Um, it’s amusing, but it also makes us look boorish and obnoxious. I may be atheist, but if my friends and family want to pray that’s their right. If I expect them to show respect to my belief (or lack thereof), then I should afford them no less. When they choose to pray, I simply sit quietly with my eyes open until they are through. To play video games while cursing, or chug a beer and run your yap in the middle of someone’s prayer IS disrespectful. Besides it’s not like you can’t spend a moment with them and reflect on everything in your life that you are thankful for, such as your health, job, family and friends, or even your dog.

    Granted, the faithful don’t always reciprocate the respect, but that does not give me the go-ahead to be just as infantile.

  12. Debbie

    Lighten up people, it’s a comic. It’s supposed to be funny. If it was all respectful it would be boring.

  13. Rod Chlebek

    Ha! 4th panel… so true!

  14. Megan Rose

    I’m with Debbie! It’s purposely hyperbolic and satirical. To take it at face value is silly. The monkey (excuse me, ape) is over the top and that’s why it’s funny!

  15. Louise

    > Here is Robert Green  Ingersoll’sThanksgiving Proclamation, useful at
    > Thanksiving Dinners when a ”blessing” is called for (it can follow
    > the blessing).  

    It is unfair and completely untrue to say that atheists have nothing to be thankful for. We are just realistic and rational as to whom we thank.

    > “When I became convinced that the universe is natural—that all the
    > ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul,
    > into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom.
    > The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with
    > light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no
    > longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all
    > the world—not even infinite space.
    > I was free. Free to think, to express my thoughts. Free to live my own
    > ideal. Free to live for myself and those I loved. Free to use all my
    > faculties, all my senses. Free to spread imagination’s wings. Free to
    > investigate, to guess and dream and hope. Free to judge and determine
    > for myself. Free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the
    > “inspired” books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous
    > legends of the past. Free from popes and priests. Free from all the
    > “called” and “set apart.” Free from sanctified mistakes and “holy”
    > lies. Free from the winged monsters of the night. Free from devils,
    > ghosts and gods.
    > For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all
    > the realms of thought, no air, no space, where fancy could not spread
    > her painted wings, no claims for my limbs, no lashes for my back, no
    > fires for my flesh, no following another’s steps, no need to bow, or
    > cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and
    > fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.
    > And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and
    > went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers, who gave their lives
    > for the liberty of hand and brain, for the freedom of labor and
    > thought, to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who
    > died in dungeons bound with chains, to those who proudly mounted
    > scaffold’s stairs, to those by fire consumed, to all the wise, the
    > good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given
    > freedom to the sons and daughters of men and women. And then I vowed to
    > grasp the torch that they have held, and hold it high, that light may
    > conquer darkness still.”
    > —Robert GreenIngersoll(1833–1899)

  16. Jordan

    I’m uneasy with that Louise, firstly it’s pretty critical of theists in fairly petty broad terms, which is rude and we could all do without that. Secondly because to some extent it imports a theist tradition into non-theist outlooks. To my mind once you have a fixed speech or ritual to accompany meal-times you might as well be praying.

    Re: praying and disrespect. Here’s an angle – would you talk over someone giving a toast? Okay praying isn’t the same but still someone else in the room is speak and people are listening – shut your mouth. The last panel totally works for me though, as long as your subtle.

  17. Paul

    I agree with JD, Jo, Jess, etc. While non-participation in the prayer isn’t disrespectful, it is kinda bad manners to deliberately disturb those who do participate.
    This is a comic, sure, but in real life panels #2 and #3 would be highly offensive