Actually I wanted to post a new topic for discussion, but I must be brain dead, cause I cant see anyway to Post a new topic. So, until I find out how, I'll post a question for discussion:
How do all of you handle yourself when you find yourself amongst other people who you are not very familiar with but in a social setting, and all of a sudden they start injecting religion into the conversation, and are looking at you expecting you to comment. Do you tell them? What if you are a guest for the first time at someones's home and they bring up the subject or worse yet start quoting from the bible to you. What do you do? Do you grin and bare it, when at dinner and everyone wants to hold hands and say "grace"?
If you look at the top of this page, right above the title of this discussion, directly to the left of your name, you will find a link that says, "+ Add a Discussion." :)
I will take just a moment to answer one of your questions as I am a bit pressed for time...
When I have been "prayer" situations, I typically just give them their moment. For example. I used to date a Christian who prayed prior to each meal. He held my hand and bowed when doing so. I sat quietly while he prayed. I felt that although I did not have to respect his religion or the rituals thereof, I would show him respect by allowing him to express himself.
Another example of a "prayer" situation for me comes from my time dancing with a swing dance troupe. The troupe performed at a variety of events including fund-raisers for local community groups. It was something that I loved to do. Before each performance, a prayer was said, led by a fellow troupe member. Everyone huddled around in a circle and put one hand in (not quite the Hokey Pokey) and bowed as the prayer was said.
Again, I would join my hand in with the group and give them the time to say their prayer. Regardless of our religious differences, my goal was to be a part of a group that was doing good things in the community. The founder of the group was religious and I figured that it was his dance troupe and he could do what he wanted. Besides, what we did as a troupe for the community at large was bigger than me or my atheism. :) I chose to be there.
Your brain is working and that is a good topic. Let’s break it down…
Q1. How do all of you handle yourself when you find yourself amongst other people who you are not very familiar with but in a social setting, and all of a sudden they start injecting religion into the conversation, and are looking at you expecting you to comment. Do you tell them?
A1. HELL YAH‼! This is a good thing because they are looking for fellowship and when confronted with realism, it fun to watch them freak-out and try to defend their beliefs. It is a social debate no reason for anybody to feel out of place.
Q2. What if you are a guest for the first time at someone’s home and they bring up the subject or worse yet start quoting from the bible to you. What do you do?
A2. Well that depends on why you are there, who are these people, and how do they affect your life? You can be respectful and say… I do not know you well enough to have this discussion can we talk about something else? Alternatively, you can say “But what does that mean?” and “how does that work in today’s world?” They will know you are a non-believer and drop the talk or try to convert you. Just treat it like a word game and have fun.
Q3. Do you grin and bare it, when at dinner and everyone wants to hold hands and say "grace"?
A3. As a guest, yes (sort of), prayer is just a moment of meditation, but I do not hold hands. Put my hands together before they reach for it, and close my eyes, then just meditate to the mantra not the words and reflect on why I am there.
Last week I was on a hike in the mountains with my grandsons up here in NH and we met up with a group of seminary students. At the first encounter we exchanged pleasantries and talked about hiking etc. and than parted. A short while later we met up again. They knew that I was spending the summer here so they asked what church I went to. My moment of glory. "I don't go to church, I don't believe God exists". From that comment, followed an hour of great exchanges and it gave me confidence to do that again. I had to past that along.
To answer your question directly. It depends on the situation, however, I won't bow my head and pretend to pray. I probably would hold hands but not bow my head. If someone asks I would tell them.
Will hook up with everyone when Arlene and I return to PSL in October.
Yes, I agree. The prayer I can get through, and like someone said, I do respect their right to believe. Where I have more difficulty, is in the conversation. Probably my biggest difficulty is with my own family, who simply refuse to accept my beliefs. Last night was an example. We went to a Birthday party for my brother in law. I do love them all very much, but we live on opposite ends of the universe in almost every respect including of course religion. This morning when I opened my e-mail, I got an e-mail sent to me that was one of those long, long, religious sermons, and urging you to pass it on to ten more people including sending it back to them, or forever be damed. (not actual wording)
I have two other friends who are religious, but who know my position on religion, and they both do the the same thing. Constantly sending me religious -emails.
I really like these people. They have been good friends to me, but I can't seem to get them to respect my beliefs and give it a rest.
Have any of you had similar experiences? My strategy as far as the e-mails go has been to just delete them. But I must admit, each time I get another one, it does make me just a little mad.
I think I know how you feel. I feel like I am out of step with the religious community. Unfortunately they are in the majority and we are in the minority. I want to try and find more activities where I can socialize with people who don't believe in god and religion. Hopefully, as people on this forum hear about things to do they will let everyone else know what's happening.
BTW I was joking about that picture with the guy with the white beard that was by your "post"
Now I see that they put the same picture by my post.
Yeah, i was wondering why you were sporting my beard !
Us women take pride in our beards.
Yes, I agree. Would love to see this group get built up enough to actually partake in some activities together and have some fun. I have a theory about people who are atheists, which I will not share on line here, but perhaps in conversation in person sometime.
I belonged to a 12 step group when I was a believer. When I became an atheist I noticed all the religious aspects of it including the " lord's prayer " at the end of the meeting. I stepped away as they prayed and felt some hostility from the group. I tried to continue the social part but you would be surprised how people stop talking to you. Not as bad a JW being shunned. I one day said no more ad I am thankful for groups like this.