The work of Josiah van Vliet

Tag: Secular Holiday

The largest secular holiday in the world

Earth Day  is apparently “the largest secular holiday in the world”. I feel like this is not a well considered thing. When people defend the sacrament of Christmas as important I don’t think anyone has considered things like Earth Day as an alternative.

We could celebrate real things, important things. Build traditions of doing good around a calendar of dates on which to come together as a community in support of the values and actions we consider important.

Anyway, Happy Earth Day.

Mark Twain Day!

Today in 1910 Mark Twain died, go treat yourself to some of his wit to celebrate a great American writer.


Worst case Scenario Day

Sometimes the system takes so much damage that it can not deal with the consequences of that damage. In 1906 an earthquake hit San Francisco and over the course of the next several days 3000 people died and over 80% of the city burned. Sometimes it hits the fan and there isn’t much to be done.


Beware Groupthink Day!

Today, in 1961, the US of A invaded a country with an armed military and police force of 234,000 with a force of 1500 people. So next time you have an important decision to make, run it past someone not already on your team.



Today in 1963

…Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” . Many things jumped out at me about this letter, not least of which was the incredible writing. But the thing I wanted to point out was that if you read through his argument you can see that he has, as a minister, a deep well of moral writings to call on to justify his position. He seems to have a massive reservoir of human wisdom at his fingertips, from Socrates to the bible.  It’s not just religious fervour that gives his argument power, but his training in the history of human wisdom. It occurred to me to wonder what the secular equivalent of this training would look like.