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Pray Before Bed & Dinner


quicksand
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When I was a little baby Christian, I remember that before I could eat or sleep you had to thank baby Jesus and God for the food you were about to eat. I still witness this odd behaviour when I have dinner at my best friends house and watch them pray to baby Jesus before dinner. (I don't feel uncomfortable any more, I just smile and look at how ridiculous they look. Bad friend I am, but they amuse me.)

 

But I don't get it? Why? Why do Christian's pray? And for that matter why to Priests bless pets or Harleys? God didn't do a damn thing to pay or build that Harly. God hasn't punched the clock to pay for the food on the table. But HE gets all the honor?

 

It's fucking queer. (But not gay.)

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Oh.. it's not about Jesus or God or whatever the flavor of deity. It's just human ritual. Praying before dinner is a community thing, like going to church on Sunday. Only those who think it's actually going to protect them from poisons in their rotten meat are the real nut-cases. I used to be friends with those who thought it actually would do that. Most others are just being cultural about it.

 

Oddly enough, there are times I experience a reflex to do that at dinner when I'm with company, and it's been years since I prayed to a god at dinner time. Human ritual. It's a fascinating thing.

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It's supposed to be a moment of reflection on the abundance you have and gratitude that you have it, so you give thanks to God for giving it to you. Having food to eat and a place to sleep is a basic need for all creatures, and so many struggle daily to find just those simple things that many of us take for granted. So, people pray to God for thanks when they have them, or pray for them when they don't. This is actually not just a Christian thing, it's practiced in many religions throughout the world, even secular ones.

 

I'm Athiest, but I pause to reflect and appreciate my circumstances before meals and at bedtime because it adds quality and joy to basic pleasures.

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By praying and thanking god for thier food they give him credit for it and not thier own labors that earned money to buy the food. All credit goes to god you see. They will usually gladly acknowledge this fact. Funny how they get pissed when you point out that if god is responsible for the food on thier tables he's also responsible for there NOT being food on others tables.

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By praying and thanking god for thier food they give him credit for it and not thier own labors that earned money to buy the food. All credit goes to god you see. They will usually gladly acknowledge this fact. Funny how they get pissed when you point out that if god is responsible for the food on thier tables he's also responsible for there NOT being food on others tables.

 

Aside from a hard core of hyper-Calvinist lunatics, I seriously doubt any Christian (or any believer at all for that matter) believes that they had absolutely nothing to do with their material prosperity or lack thereof.

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I think prayers' (a moment of meditation) original intentions were to bring appreciation to the cycle of life. Lives are sacrificed so that we may live, and to give a reverence to that sacrifice of its life to the nourishment of our body. It did not die for nothing. A way of respecting life itself. And through this process of eating, we are ultimately nourished by each other living on this planet, making us part of and at one with all life. I believe there could be beneficial implications in this mindset.

 

A moment of meditation at night before sleep could focus our mind on what our concerns are. I think we resolve a lot of issues while we sleep. It is often said before significant decisions that it might be best to "sleep on it" before making any ultimate decisions. Perhaps focusing our mind on a concern, sleeping on it, may offer new insights once we awaken.

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By praying and thanking god for thier food they give him credit for it and not thier own labors that earned money to buy the food. All credit goes to god you see. They will usually gladly acknowledge this fact. Funny how they get pissed when you point out that if god is responsible for the food on thier tables he's also responsible for there NOT being food on others tables.

 

Aside from a hard core of hyper-Calvinist lunatics, I seriously doubt any Christian (or any believer at all for that matter) believes that they had absolutely nothing to do with their material prosperity or lack thereof.

Heh. Not in my experience. You have a job? Wasnt your worthless self, it was god that gave you the job. You have talent? Only becuase god blessed you with it. Christians I was around (and me too to some degree) were just like that. We are nothing, complete piles of shit unless god blessed us with something. All glory to god, all credit to god.

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Only those who think it's actually going to protect them from poisons in their rotten meat are the real nut-cases. I used to be friends with those who thought it actually would do that.

Seriously? Where the hell were these people shopping for their food? I know our food supply is a bit vunerable, but...posions?

 

It's supposed to be a moment of reflection on the abundance you have and gratitude that you have it, so you give thanks to God for giving it to you.

I hear you. But God really has nothing to do with it. I guess I find that ironic that on the church soup-lines (and I have had some very pious Christian friends that clear their schedules so they can volunteer once a year during Thanksgiving to do so) that people should be grateful to god for the food they are about eat. Yes there's christian's working the lines, making the food, and donating the money for the food, but don't they realize all of that is from the fruits of their labor and not gods?

 

But I agree with you and Antlerman that humans do like their rituals, its just this disconnect that I just can't abide by.

 

The last time before dinner I gave as a "prayer" was last year (I was asked. I was shocked to say the least) with those very same friends I mentioned above. I gave thanks to each one of them and told them how wonderful they were and how much this time, here now, means to me. When they pray to god around me before dinner, it's so ringingly shallow to me.

By praying and thanking god for thier food they give him credit for it and not thier own labors that earned money to buy the food. All credit goes to god you see. They will usually gladly acknowledge this fact. Funny how they get pissed when you point out that if god is responsible for the food on thier tables he's also responsible for there NOT being food on others tables.

I agree with that. Yet you'll get some that argue against the argument of evil by one canard or another. There dinner prayers aknowledge this inequity by their prayers!

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Only those who think it's actually going to protect them from poisons in their rotten meat are the real nut-cases. I used to be friends with those who thought it actually would do that.

Seriously? Where the hell were these people shopping for their food? I know our food supply is a bit vunerable, but...posions?

I'm totally serious. It was when I was first converted to fundi Christianity. There was a very charismatic believer who quoted from Mark 16, you know the inspired scripture that no longer exists in today’s translations later than the KJV, that "if they pick of any deadly thing, it shall not harm them." Well he "taught" me that when Christians pray over our food, that it will protect us from anything harmful that might be in it. I have a whole list of such pearls of wisdom that these people pulled out of the deep reservoirs of their minds. :phew:

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Only those who think it's actually going to protect them from poisons in their rotten meat are the real nut-cases. I used to be friends with those who thought it actually would do that.

Seriously? Where the hell were these people shopping for their food? I know our food supply is a bit vunerable, but...posions?

I'm totally serious. It was when I was first converted to fundi Christianity. There was a very charismatic believer who quoted from Mark 16, you know the inspired scripture that no longer exists in today’s translations later than the KJV, that "if they pick of any deadly thing, it shall not harm them." Well he "taught" me that when Christians pray over our food, that it will protect us from anything harmful that might be in it. I have a whole list of such pearls of wisdom that these people pulled out of the deep reservoirs of their minds. :phew:

Hearing stuff like this, makes me happy that I had reasonable , non-fundy parents that are more like your garden variety Christians.

 

Really scary stuff 'Man. Really. The madness you went through...

 

What can I say? I'm speechless.

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Heh. Not in my experience. You have a job? Wasnt your worthless self, it was god that gave you the job. You have talent? Only becuase god blessed you with it. Christians I was around (and me too to some degree) were just like that. We are nothing, complete piles of shit unless god blessed us with something. All glory to god, all credit to god.

 

 

damn. Looks like I'm fucked.

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Being raised with it is also a big factor. If it's drummed into your little head when you're young, chances are you'll retain it as you grow older, and will find it uncomfortable to deviate from. The Babble itself (book of Proverbs, I think) encourages cultists to train the kiddies when they're young, so they will be properly brainwashed when they grow up. It's just simple psychology.

 

My parents always had me pray before bed, so I was accustomed to it for years. They didn't make me pray when I woke up, so that was something I only did when I decided to later in life. In Catholic school, I was taught to pray before eating lunch, so it was easy to mouth the standard prayer, but since we never did it at home before meals, I never did it period. It's all about brainwashing kids when they're young - even if they don't understand it, they will do it.

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