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Should an atheist/nonreligious person be obligated to pray?


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Should a person be obligated to pray for Christians if asked or if it's being done out of respect for that other person? I've had both scenarios occur. Both times I've avoided it out of respect for myself and ended up hurting that person. One handled it very horribly. What do you guys think? Discuss.

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11 minutes ago, KrysLostInSpace said:

Should a person be obligated to pray for Christians if asked or if it's being done out of respect for that other person? I've had both scenarios occur. Both times I've avoided it out of respect for myself and ended up hurting that person. One handled it very horribly. What do you guys think? Discuss.

 

I think that Christians should be able to handle the fact that not everybody believes in their god (or, in this instance, the efficacy of prayer) without blowing a gasket. I tend to say things like, "Hey, I'll send some good vibes your way!" instead of "I'll pray for you!". If they can't handle that, that is their problem, not mine.

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That's a difficult position to be put in, and in my case I probably was too blunt the last time it happened.  A person new to the family, not knowing my change, asked me to say the blessing before a meal.  Off the top of my head I jokingly said, "if you want it to get above the ceiling, you better get someone else."  No harm done in this case as he was a christian in name only, and everyone else knew my situation.  

 

I would suggest a courteous reply of some sort, like, "why don't you go ahead and do it.  I'll explain later."

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"No, I don't do that" or "No thanks, I'm an atheist" works like a charm. People, you don't have to play on their field.

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"if you want it to get above the ceiling, you better get someone else."  -- love it!  

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4 minutes ago, Tsathoggua9 said:

"if you want it to get above the ceiling, you better get someone else."  -- love it!  

Or you could also try the atheist prayer! 

 

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On 7/28/2020 at 8:35 AM, KrysLostInSpace said:

Should a person be obligated to pray for Christians if asked or if it's being done out of respect for that other person? I've had both scenarios occur. Both times I've avoided it out of respect for myself and ended up hurting that person. One handled it very horribly. What do you guys think? Discuss.

 

Would they help you perform a witchcraft ritual? I bet not. Would they enjoy watching some Matt Dillahunty on youtube with you? If not, then you get to pretend you are hurt by that so they can understand where you are coming from. :) 

 

You didn't hurt that person by not praying with/for them. They have been programmed with a kooky idea. Dont feel bad or guilty because they have a kooky idea. You are not obliged to share in their kooky idea and most especially NOT their trying to guilt you over it.

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No.

 

There are very limited situations in which I will intentionally do something like prayer which I think is "kooky" (Thanks Midnite). The one I might pray is with say a grandparent on their deathbed and they are just wanting some comfort. In that case the harm from not praying with them is greater than my emotional unease at having to pray.

 

But at a dinner, funeral or anywhere else no I won't pray. I think it's meaningless and stupid. I might as well ask the unicorns horn be thrust upon me. I'd consider it a betrayal of my conscience and my values if I prayed out of pressure or a wanting to 'keep the peace'. But that's just me. You might have an entirely different, and equally valid answer to this.

 

I don't think there is any right or wrong answer about whether to pray in any given situation as it 'all depends', but no one should be obligated to pray, unless the people asking don't mind if you do ask the Pink Unicorn to thrust her horn upon you all :D .

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It's been a long time. I was out in Vegas visiting my ex wife's mother and her husband and they asked me to say the prayer while sitting at a restaurant at Caesar's. I went ahead and did it. And the girls about died laughing. They'd never heard me do such a thing. And I had already talked to them about how genesis is mythical and a contradiction. And how god is a metaphor for the mystery of life and existence and represents the great unknown, basically. 

 

But then that prompted a funny, where I would parody public praying here and there. "Dear, sweat, indifferent universe of which we are an interconnected aspect thereof. There isn't a thing different you'll do to this food one way or another even if I ask, so let's eat!!!" 

 

I still do that sometimes when I see people making a public spectacle of praying while out to eat. Fuck'em. If they don't think it's funny then they're welcome to try and do something about it if they're feeling lucky!!!

 

 

 

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No, sir! We are NOT obligated in any way - even in the interest of politeness.

 

That said I find myself at Mrs. MOHO's son's house about 1/month for din din and I remain silent with eyes open and head in a 1/2 bowed slant out of respect for who's home I am in and who's table my feet are under. They know I am agnostic/atheist and don't push the issue.

 

Last summer, however, I was hungry. We were at my home and step-son and step-grandson were both goading each other to do the "honors". I finally said "Oh for cry'n out LOUD!" and said the damn thing myself. Short, sweet, and with the reminder that if they don't do it I will and they won't like it.

 

As some have said in this thread - if they don't' like it they can lump it.

 

Side bar for those who may want to take this approach but have not yet done so. It gets easier after the first time and the first time is a RUSH!

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"Lord, please bless this food. Though I assume sanity food preparation protocols were used in producing what we're having for dinner tonight, we realize sometimes feces, hair and other foreign material can be introduced into , say,  those delicious "looking" mashed potatoes. I'm sure these will be fine though because of your blessing them. Amen."

 

"Lord Jesus, please bless our food...and bless the democrats for [some current legislation]. Please also bless each and every member of the LGBTQ community. Give the gays your love Jesus, for they surely need it , just like every individual at our table needs your love. Let your hedge of protection surround and protect all of the black people and black protesters in the Black Lives Matter movement as they strive for equality. Let us remember that in this great great country of ours we have been afforded many freedoms....(pause for possible amens) ... including the freedom to worship and believe however we choose. Or to not worship at all. In the name of Jesus, I , an apostate and atheist,  pray for these things." 

 

 

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I actually did something like that last paragraph only it was a Thanx Giving "what are you thankful for" roundy-round. I stated, most emphatically, that I was thankful to live in a country where you are free to practice or NOT PRACTICE any religion. I got some stares but no one could argue. Well....they COULD but they didn't.

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2 hours ago, midniterider said:

"Lord Jesus, please bless our food...and bless the democrats for [some current legislation].

THAT, my friend, would get me SHOT! :twitch:

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It's definitely a one way respect thing.  They expect you to respect their beliefs and yet you know they would never offer the same courtesy if a Muslim asked them to thank Allah out of respect for their beliefs. 

A respectful Christian won't ask, a respectful atheist won't interrupt.

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23 hours ago, midniterider said:

"Lord, please bless this food. Though I assume sanity food preparation protocols were used in producing what we're having for dinner tonight, we realize sometimes feces, hair and other foreign material can be introduced into , say,  those delicious "looking" mashed potatoes. I'm sure these will be fine though because of your blessing them. Amen."

 

"Lord Jesus, please bless our food...and bless the democrats for [some current legislation]. Please also bless each and every member of the LGBTQ community. Give the gays your love Jesus, for they surely need it , just like every individual at our table needs your love. Let your hedge of protection surround and protect all of the black people and black protesters in the Black Lives Matter movement as they strive for equality. Let us remember that in this great great country of ours we have been afforded many freedoms....(pause for possible amens) ... including the freedom to worship and believe however we choose. Or to not worship at all. In the name of Jesus, I , an apostate and atheist,  pray for these things." 

 

 

Awesome!

 

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4 minutes ago, Tsathoggua9 said:

Awesome!

 

 

I actually thought of a better one where you lead with, "Lord Jesus bless our President Trump and continue to guide his hand as you have for the last 4 years, let him continue to do your will as he has for this great country....(and once you have em sucked in, continue with) and Lord bless Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and AOC as you have guided them to do your will... bless all our republican and democratic leaders ....blah blah blah. 

 

fun stuff. lol

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Obligated?  No.  I am under no obligation to validate someone else's beliefs, especially if they know that I don't believe and ask anyway.  This is about mutual respect and healthy boundaries.  If the other party is not willing to respect my lack of belief (which would be evident by their prayer request), then I am not willing to respect their belief by fulfilling their request.

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