What are you giving up for Lent on this Ash Wednesday?

For the benefit of those who don’t know, non-Christians mostly, Lent is a 40-day fast and prayer, preceding Easter, which begins on Ash Wednesday, and supposedly represents the time spent by Jesus in the desert resisting the temptation of the Devil.

Traditionally, those Christian denominations which observe Lent,  indulge in some form of self-denial; usually fasting, abstention from meat, sex, alcohol etc. I’m no big fan of self-denial, or any form of self-inflicted punishment (not even S&M), simply because it reeks of irrational behaviour. However, just this one time, I’m willing to give up something, for a month at least…well maybe forty days. You’re probably wondering why I want to do something like this?

Over the past month or so, I’ve been feeling kind of guilty about lambasting a few Christians who have been peppering me with religious e-mails; you know the cutesy kind that tries to motivate you by making all sorts of unfounded claims, while somehow being threatening at the same time. Then there are the religious mails that spread plain old lies, hoaxes; some of which I have exposed on this blog. Well, over the last few months, I have brutally refuted most of these mails with cold scientific critique and sheer derision, and called the senders’ rational abilities to account. But no matter how much scorn I piled onto these mails, they kept coming, until I finally laid down an ultimatum: I will respect your right to believe in strange things if you will respect my right to not be bothered by it. The mails stopped coming.

So, with the advent of Lent, I am throwing up an olive branch to my Christian cor-responders: send all the cutesy religious mails you want, during this period, and I will give up my right to respond with contempt. (Offer only valid during Lent)

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