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Old 11-30-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevada Land, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garethe View Post
I did what I always do at times like these, I opened my eyes right after everybody else shut theirs and looked around and watched what people were doing. A few were deep in thought, the kids were squirming, someone winked at me (hmm, a fellow atheist?); I was "thankful" it didn't continue with going around the room sharing what we're "thankful" for; I've heard of this and other horror stories on what some atheists have stumbled on.

Any similar experiences?
I think you need to suck it up and be a good guest. Tolerance? Know what that word means?

Consider how you view Christians who do not care for atheists or feel uncomfortable around people like you. Seems at this point you are a pot calling kettles black. Be the better person and be open to people who are not like you.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:42 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,259 posts, read 19,560,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garethe View Post
A couple of days ago on Thanksgiving I was a guest and therefore was completely caught off-guard when everybody gathered in a circle around the dinner table, joined hands, bowed their heads, and began to conjure up spirits before sitting down to eat dinner. I heard somebody mention it was time for prayer and I was a split second away from a clean getaway to the bathroom or some other part of the house but the hostess spotted me and motioned to come and stand next to her so it was too late.

I did what I always do at times like these, I opened my eyes right after everybody else shut theirs and looked around and watched what people were doing. A few were deep in thought, the kids were squirming, someone winked at me (hmm, a fellow atheist?); I was "thankful" it didn't continue with going around the room sharing what we're "thankful" for; I've heard of this and other horror stories on what some atheists have stumbled on.

Any similar experiences?
I don't consider those to be awkward moments. I've been in churches, mosques, synagogues and temples and have had no problem accepting people's different belief systems.

People have the choice and the right to have faith in whatever they desire. As long as no one is trying to convert me or anything, I'm good with it. :-)
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:02 AM
 
2,826 posts, read 1,866,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manderly6 View Post
Doesn't sound like a horror story. Neither does saying what one is thankful for. Just doesn't seem like a big deal.
I'm an ex-Christian (non-templegoing theist, I abhor the idea of busybodies telling me how to believe, not religion itself), and this was the very thing I'd hate. It smacks of being singled out, if you can't think of anything you're ungrateful, and it's much much worse than someone just doing a prayer in front of you. It's almost on par with being asked to lead prayer, and having everyone find out you don't believe as they do.

The trick? Find some random person in the line, and basically copy their sentiment. It flatters them, and you're off the hook. With being asked to lead prayer, do it like a thank you card. "Dear God, bless us this day for X, Y, and Z (thanks)./Dear God, I pray for X, Y, Z (concerns)." Then say Amen, or just wait, and usually the audience will.
(And yes, you can say dear god, because god is dear to them, and you're addressing the letter which you probably view as a dead one, much like letters to Santa)

Last edited by bulmabriefs144; 12-01-2013 at 02:22 AM..
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:24 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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You weren't really singled out. You should have offered thanks and shown you were not ashamed of your atheism. The religious often don't know why they're religious, they basically stumbled upon it by how they were raised. Same with atheists. Thank the visible people who raised and shaped your current and perhaps happy condition.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:17 AM
 
39,147 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garethe View Post
...I did what I always do at times like these, I opened my eyes right after everybody else shut theirs and looked around and watched what people were doing. A few were deep in thought, the kids were squirming, someone winked at me (hmm, a fellow atheist?); I was "thankful" it didn't continue with going around the room sharing what we're "thankful" for; I've heard of this and other horror stories on what some atheists have stumbled on.

Any similar experiences?
Yep, that's what I do. When going along with various family members to some function or other, if it is linked with some church or other, there is sometimes a prayer during the proceedings. I don't make a pretense of joining in - that would be hypocritical, but let them get on with it. Just as I would expect them, if attending something of ours, beyond 'Aren't you going to say a little prayer?' 'Nope', to make no comment.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,819 posts, read 19,916,125 times
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Same situation at a group dinner the other day.
I just stand there quietly, looking around and imagine the shock and horror if I raised an objection to prayers at a public function and suggest they cease....or wonder how many would agree with me
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:47 AM
 
39,147 posts, read 10,857,554 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr5150 View Post
I think you need to suck it up and be a good guest. Tolerance? Know what that word means?

Consider how you view Christians who do not care for atheists or feel uncomfortable around people like you. Seems at this point you are a pot calling kettles black. Be the better person and be open to people who are not like you.

I have to say that, if you have read the posts since, go back and read yours and, if you find something wrong with the OP's actions during a prayer that the group assumed should be said, without anyone's opinion being asked, then perhaps your view of intolerance needs re-examination.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:03 AM
 
9,829 posts, read 6,735,280 times
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There is a difference between not believing religion and celebrating tradition. The latter is important and I cannot imagine an atheist that lives with no traditions.

When it is all said and done traditions are positive for humans. Sometimes the questionable origin of the tradition is moot. The important thing is that most humans need rituals and ceremony.

The OP should know Thanksgiving is an American tradition and celebrated by many different religions and not religious folks. One could easily give thanks in a vacuum or thanks to Helios------really, who cares!
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,087,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian658 View Post
There is a difference between not believing religion and celebrating tradition. The latter is important and I cannot imagine an atheist that lives with no traditions.

When it is all said and done traditions are positive for humans. Sometimes the questionable origin of the tradition is moot. The important thing is that most humans need rituals and ceremony.

The OP should know Thanksgiving is an American tradition and celebrated by many different religions and not religious folks. One could easily give thanks in a vacuum or thanks to Helios------really, who cares!
Spoken like a true high church person ;-) Let me remind you that not everyone finds ritual comforting and appealing. Many find it stale, confining, incredibly boring and sometimes creepy. And many fundamentalists would object that their prayers are NOT ritualistic, thank you very much, they are actual conversations with the living god. Their beliefs are largely a reaction against yours ... they claim to offer a living faith in place of what in their opinion is "dead religion". Mentally, they have abandoned what they call the "old mainline denominations", especially Catholicism.

Not that I buy any of this but I want you to understand just how rabid this mindset often is. And how disrespectful of other's beliefs. After all, they claim to be the ones correctly following the Bible. What does that make you? Yep ... NOT correctly following the Bible, or not following it at all. Some of them even specifically target Catholicism as a particularly vile deception and identify the RCC with the prophecies about the "whor_ of Babylon".

Because of all the above-described heavy mental freight, not joining a fundamentalist in their delusions of grandeur -- er, prayers -- is to some level seen as a slap in the face of god himself. They simply cannot respect different beliefs.

I hope this helps some of you understand why being asked to participate in these kinds of prayers by these kinds of people can be so anxiety and cringe inducing.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:55 AM
 
9,829 posts, read 6,735,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Spoken like a true high church person ;-) Let me remind you that not everyone finds ritual comforting and appealing. Many find it stale, confining, incredibly boring and sometimes creepy. And many fundamentalists would object that their prayers are NOT ritualistic, thank you very much, they are actual conversations with the living god. Their beliefs are largely a reaction against yours ... they claim to offer a living faith in place of what in their opinion is "dead religion". Mentally, they have abandoned what they call the "old mainline denominations", especially Catholicism.

Not that I buy any of this but I want you to understand just how rabid this mindset often is. And how disrespectful of other's beliefs. After all, they claim to be the ones correctly following the Bible. What does that make you? Yep ... NOT correctly following the Bible, or not following it at all. Some of them even specifically target Catholicism as a particularly vile deception and identify the RCC with the prophecies about the "whor_ of Babylon".

Because of all the above-described heavy mental freight, not joining a fundamentalist in their delusions of grandeur -- er, prayers -- is to some level seen as a slap in the face of god himself. They simply cannot respect different beliefs.

I hope this helps some of you understand why being asked to participate in these kinds of prayers by these kinds of people can be so anxiety and cringe inducing.
Trust me, I would be uncomfortable been around fundies.
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