Six people died in a fire after a robbery in Barbados last week. Its been an incident that has saddened and angered me as much as it undoubtedly has the entire country. But how can an atheist ever feel like part of the community when the government puts out announcements like this one? 

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I understand, It's being forced to be apart of a religious practice. I would just go about my business and ignore the siren. Just be careful because no one is more violent than religious fanatics....step wisely.
Mixed thoughts on this one... Its a nice gesture, albeit useless. People are entitled to do what they want within reason. Im sure they not gonna force you to pray. If they notice you not praying tho, lemme know what comes of it :)
Thanks for the support and advice guys,

I am not going to be on island to see exactly how this goes down but I am sure I'll hear the reports. I am all in favour with the country standing in solidarity with a symbolic gesture and people praying if they feel inclined to do so. It's just I think the tone of the announcement could be more like " come join us" rather than "this is what will be." It's the authoratative tone that tends to generally go with discussions of the divine and gives the impression that no alternative perspectives exist out there. I know it's not deliberately done to offend and it's very much inkeeping with how our islands approach things but I believe things must begin to change if we are to move forward.

Spoke a bit more on this issue here
Wow caribatheist! Never saw this, I heard it was coming of course but thought it was sort of optional. In the same vein, I just got to my desk and saw this email this morning:

"ATTENTION: ALL STAFF

As a mark of respect for the six persons who lost their lives in the recent fire, there is a national call for three (3) minutes silence tomorrow, Friday, September 10, 2010 from 12 noon.

In support of this, management is encouraging all members of staff to observe the 3 minutes silence at your various locations/workstations, during which time your prayers and reflections are welcomed.

With thanks,
On behalf of Human Resources Division
"

WTF! Our office can never get enough opportunities to slack off and do some praying. I imagine other offices/businesses are doing the same. Although I agree with Mathew, this one seems a bit too much. I'll be listening for the siren and report back to you all.

BTW here's an example of diligent police work in Barbados: http://planetbarbadosblog.com/?p=2617
Lets hope they catch the perps.
It's 11:30 and I just got a reminder email:

11:59 a.m., Divison Secretary just came by with a message from Human Resources reminding us all to observe silence @ 12:00.

It's now 12:00, only sound in the Division is me typing this, didn't hear any sirens.

12:01-12:02, nearby laser printer did not get message! Printing like crazy LOL!

12:08, still no noise people are just milking this silence business. I'm off for lunch, perhaps I'll beat the que?
LMAO!
LMAO!!!!!
Mr. Apostate,

Glad you survived it all. Thought of you today and almost felt like saying a prayer for you,lol. Couldn't have been easy with all the faith around. Guess you and the laser printer are the two infidels in the office :). I know strictly speaking nobody was forced to pray, but that "clasped hands " image is not exactly subtle.
I can understand their intent n if it makes them feel better I have no objections...just that i wouldn't be praying......on a lighter note if jamaica was to observe a moment like this every time we have something of this magnituder, then no production would take place in this country....
What you say for Jamaica is sadly true, violent crime is all too common.

In listening to Bajans talk about the tragedy over the past few days, many (almost all really) were absolutely convinced that it could not have been perpetrated by Bajans and that it must have been foreigners. Or, if it were Bajans then they were likely returning or deported nationals, trained in the violence of American gang life. Turns out they’ve appended two Bajan suspects on the weekend. Bajans were perhaps hoping this would not be the case and in some ways I think the 3 minute silence was just as much about mourning the loss of their innocence (to such violent crime) as it was about remembering the 6 victims.
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/J-can-church-leaders-pray-for-h...

More mass prayer.

BTW...god must be busy answering the Bajan prayers from last weeks prayer shut down. He seemed to have forgotten about the PM who now have cancer. :-(

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