My guess is that this has been covered in another forum but I wanted to throw it out there;
So who among us has been the following situation: You are sitting at a friends or even a family's dinner table and everyone gets ready to say grace. Everyone bows their heads and or closes their eyes. What do you do? Do you close your eyes and or bow your head out of respect and think to yourself "omg this is such bs", or do you hold your atheist head up high with a kind of "suck-it" mentality I am not going to coddle you just because you expect me to, I'm an atheist dammit and proud of it!!!
Would love to hear your thoughts and stories!!
I politely and quietly wait for the religious incantations to cease before resuming to enjoy the company. I do not bow my head or close my eyes or pretend to be "one of them". I do enjoy it when children are present as they tend to look around at the chanting adults in bewilderment. Eventually, they will meet my gaze and we will exchange knowing smiles, as if only we are "in" on the joke.
Lord, my soul is ripped with riot
Incited by my wicked diet.
"We are what we eat," said a wise old man,
Lord, if that's true, I'm a garbage can.
To rise on Judgment Day, it's plain,
With my present weight, I'll need a crane.
So grant me strength that I may not fall,
Into the clutches of cholesterol.
May my flesh with carrot-curls be dated,
That my soul may be polyunsaturated
And show me the light that I may bear witness,
To the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
And at oleomargarine I'll never mutter,
For the road to Hell is paved with butter.
And cream is cursed; and cake is awful;
And Satan is hiding in every waffle.
Mephistopheles lurks in pepperoni,
The Devil himself in each slice of bologna.
Beelzebub is a chocolate drop,
And Lucifer is a lollipop.
Give me this day my daily slice,
Cut it thin and toast it twice.
I beg upon my dimpled knees,
Deliver me from jujube's.
And when my days of trial are done,
And my war with malted milk balls won,
Let me stand with Heavenly throng,
In a shining robe -- size 30 long.
I can do it Lord, if you'll show to me,
The virtues of lettuce and celery.
Teach me the evil of mayonnaise,
And of pasta a la Milanese.
And crisp-fried chicken from the South,
Lord, if you love me, shut my mouth!
_I couldn't find the author of this--sorry for not citing him/her. (I do believe it was a rather large comedian, but I can't remember his name).
that is good
At a friend or coworker's house, I would sit quietly at the table with my held held high.
However, I don't even do that much for family dinners anymore. Throughout my teens, even after I stopped going to church with my family, I would still come join them around the table, fold my arms (just a Mormon thing, apparently), close my eyes, and bow my head during dinner and holiday prayers out of respect. That transitioned to folding my arms and bowing my head with open eyes while looking around. I noticed everyone else always kept their eyes closed so eventually I stopped bowing my head entirely but kept folding my arms so my family could see me doing it before the prayer began.
Then I had kids and when they got old enough to "teach" how to pray, I just couldn't do it anymore. I said fuck it and decided to start my silent protest by walking into the kitchen instead of toward the table with my kids when everyone was called in for the prayer. To my surprise, I never got lectured. Perhaps my family thought I was trying to be polite by keeping the noisy toddlers quiet. As the years progressed and more of my family's younger generation came of age, my siblings eventually joined me in the kitchen followed by some cousins, their kids, and all our significant others.
At one point there was only my grandmother, my aunt, and my mother in the room to pray so they stopped praying entirely a few years ago. We've never discussed it, but I assume as soon as the "us" was larger than the "them" they felt foolish and stopped. Interesting how that happened now that I think about it. Great question!