Bow Your Head? Close Your Eyes? How to act when saying grace 101.

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!!

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Well yesterday my family went over to my wife's grandma's house for a Mother's Day lunch with a handful of other parts of my wifes family which made it a full house (now keep in mind that only my household along with a few others knows publicly about my atheism). When it came time my wife's uncle would say grace I was seated out of the way in the back corner behind a few others on the couch. So I just sat there and looked around at everyone else. It brought a smile my face to see one of my nieces still playing her video game without missing a beat.
Another example of the brilliance of the intelligence of the mind of a child.
I won't say anything outward to my nieces. But I will lead by silent example, if they ask me I will tell them. They are very intelligent so I don't think it will take them long to filter through the dogmatic BS. Aside from my unspoken ally I did feel a bit uneasy and was thinking what a crock of shit it is.

I'm enjoying everyone's stories, I don't get around other non-believers much so it is nice to read about. :)


Personally, I don't end up in that situation often, but when I do I usually just sit quietly and wait for them to finish doing their thing. I don't bow my head, neither does my better half. It has been my experience that most of the time everyone else is too busy trying to blend in (or do it right) that no one notices that I am not!

You stand, eyes open, head erect and remain silent the same as if you were present at the singing of the National Anthem of another country. It's called non-participatory respect.
non-participatory respect
I like that! Thanks Donald.
In my family, they like to hold hands while saying grace.  I have made it clear that I dislike this, but they still touch me through the entire grace saying. I usually keep my head up but lower my eyes in case anyone looks up.
My ex-s family did this too. They are Quakers, the most benign of the Christians, and nobody said a word and when it was done, one person squeezed a hand and in went around the table and then we all said thank you. It was very secular and allowed people to be thankful for the meal in their own way. That's about as much as I can take when it comes to grace.

Oh yes...I remember when I was put into this spot.. I just sit there with my head up, looking at everyone else with a sort of... "smug" look? I think "smug" might be too harsh a word but, yeah haha. Basically the latter of the two.

"When in Rome,do like the Romans". I would respect a believer's traditions,as I would expect them to do mines.

Besides,it's just a mindless formality,it doesn't make me an less Atheist.

I like No Religion's attitude towards it. I know that Atheism ( or any religion in general) is always a heated topic, especially when we come to family or cultural traditions. I always go along with what they are doing, although that si where i draw the line. I don't follow the prayer or make any motions that they make, but I will bow my head and close my eyes, and during that moment I usually find myself thinking about how good the food smells and what I plan on doing after dinner, lol.


Overall, I'll respect them if they respect me too. Most people I hang out with know my views and respect them by not talking about theirs. I would like to think of myself as a peaceful person that doesn't judge people based on their imaginary friends! :)


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