Lent Challenge: Give up Religion

In honor of the Christian season of Lent, I challenge people to give up religious tags. For 40 days and 40 nights, don’t call yourself a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Jew or any other such thing. Just call yourself “a person”, or use your given name.

Heck, should we go even further? Maybe for Lent you could stop labeling your self a vegetarian, an Atheist, a Doctor, a Teacher, a Democrat …. Watch how often you are tempted to label yourself as something that gives you an enlarged notion of identity and security. Experiment with the insecurity of just being another animal on this planet.


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

10 responses to “Lent Challenge: Give up Religion

  1. The Wise Fool

    As an engine…, err, as a person who is trained to break down challenges into manageable components and derive the best solution based on the limited resources available, I’ll do my best to accept your challenge.

    Great suggestion!

  2. I have to admit, this sounds more fruitful than giving up candy or soda for Lent. Reflecting on the labels we affix to ourselves forces us to explore ourselves deeper.

    I will still adamantly identify as an olive lover, though, because olive surpass all foods in their awesomeness.

  3. Very interesting idea. One of the biggest changes in my life was when I went from being a vegetarian to being a wheat-allergic meat eater. Labels certainly change things.

  4. @ The Wise Fool :
    Set your fine reductionist mind to work — the challenge will still work !! Smile.

    @ Ahab :
    Olives! I would have figured you as an exclusivist Oliver-Lover. I can tell them a mile away.

    @ amelie :
    I am sure you have been a heretic more than once in your life. My guess: you enjoy it!
    Smile. Careful. “Heretic” is a label too — we are in Lent now.

  5. Sabio – ha! Indeed!

  6. exrelayman

    Re labels – love this old poster exhibited in a machine shop I once worked in:

    Last week I couldn’t even spell machinist. This week I are one!

  7. Awesome idea, Sab!

    I was calling myself an anti-labelist for a while, but maybe even that was enlarging my… urhm… identity too. 🙂

  8. @ exrelayman: we need that link to your machine shop

    @ Andrew G:
    I think being an anti-labelist is a disease in itself. That is why we are only giving up labels for Lent! 🙂 By giving them up for a while, you may be able to use them with less attachment. For it is not their use, but the misuse that is important. Running to no labels, as you point out, is running for false safety.

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