Christian reading

Issue N52

atheism as religion, valeriy sterkh

Atheism as Religion

Chapter 3: The rituals of Atheism

The religious nature of Atheism is most conspicuous in its outward rituals and ceremonies. Despite all the attempts to part with religion, the life of an average atheist is dominated by rituals.

Rituals of parenthood

Atheists have various rites related to childbirth. They can be quite innocent like putting a blue (for boys) or pink (for girls) ribbon on the swaddle blanket. But sometimes, these rituals become a deliberate mockery of religious rites, for example, the “red-star christening” or “October-christening” in the Soviet era – used as a substitute for the ritual of naming a new-born child.

In different atheistic societies, these rituals may take different shapes and forms, but what they have in common is a desire to turn the event of childbirth into a ritualistically festive occasion.


For atheists, psychotherapy serves the function of confession. The difference between the two is not only that you will pay a lot of money for psychotherapy while confession is free. There is a much more fundamental difference. The purpose of atheistic "confession" is not to correct the sins of an individual – on the contrary, the psychotherapist’s goal is to help the client make peace with himself or herself by removing external emotional stressors. The psychotherapist will listen to the patient, help them resolve any uncomfortable feelings, and then let them go to keep on sinning.


In an atheistic society, the sacrament of marriage has been replaced by the wedding ceremony. This ceremony may include a variety of rituals from matchmaking and meeting the parents to paying the bride price and organizing the wedding dinner.

Mass processions

Rites of processions such as carnivals, Cross Processions, etc., are practiced by many religions. Atheism has its own processions, such as parades and carnivals, demonstrations and rallies that are an integral part of atheistic ritualism.


In an atheistic society, inaugurations serve as a substitute for the religious rite of ordination and coronation.


Like any religion, Atheism has its own funeral ceremonies. Atheists deny the afterlife, but they are not prepared to entirely abandon the idea of honoring the dead, even though for them it’s not necessary since the dead have passed into a state of non-existence.


Religious worship is often expressed in the form of theatrical performances. Atheism has its own use for theater and film. Of course, not every movie or theatrical play will be considered a mystery but only those that promote Atheism.

(to be continued)