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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Currently I am in this type of situation because I have moved back home to take care of sick parents.  I don't know but I find it easy when I take my ma to church to just sit there and stare of into space with my eyes open but at home at he dinner table I sit there sometimes with my eyes closed because it was engrained in us when I was growing up and other times I will put my hands over my eyes and some times have my eyes open.  Robert with what you said above "omg this is such bs" is what i say to myself.  Though I do respect my parents because they do not ask me to pray and if I was asked by them I don't know what I would do but if asked by someone else I would say "no, because I don't pray" .  This is a tough question.
In situations like that, I do tend to go with the flow, but with the internal understanding that I am bowing out of respect for the real people around me.
At their table, I just sit and stare and wait. What bothers me is that they want me to be just as respectful to them when they are sitting at my table in my own atheist home. I am still waiting for the moment that they will respect my way and refrain from praying at my table.
Good point.
I sit quietly, so as not to be rude, and use the time to study the logistics of getting the best food on the table.
I laughed when I read this.  I did that when I was praying with the family as a kid.  I still do it.

I am inspired by the stories below.  Why should should I respect obvious BS?

 

Watch out the next time I do the family dinner and get asked to 'bow my head'

I look around at everyone. Why not, what's the harm ? Are they going to tell someone you were looking at them if they were supposed to have their eyes closed? If I get caught I smile. This way I'm not a hypocrite and I don't feel awkward for 'nothing'. After all. It's food. Not a dead body were hiding our tears over. I can't think of another creature on earth that says thanks for the food it consumes. I thank whoever put the food from the store shelf or field onto the table if I'm a guest. If I just spent seven bucks for a Rueben I curse the price then eat the food.

I bow my head and keep my eyes open.  It is generally not worth the social hassle to be blatant in my non-compliance.  

 

Depending on the social context (whether I have some control or authority, I am a guest, it is a public and formal occasion, etc.)  I might ask that I add a non-sectarian vote of thanks for all the humans who acted to make the situation possible.

"two, four, six, eight, yea god, let's F'n eat"
"Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yey god"
"father son holy ghost fastest eater gets the most"
"Lord, my soul is ripped with riot, Incited by my wicked diet"
"I just don't see bowing my head as being a very big thing to ask of me"
"It's not a big deal to me to relax bow my head and sit respectfully with my family as they pray"
"I usually keep my head up but lower my eyes in case anyone looks up"
"I bow my head"

I see two mentions of god, a father son holy ghost, three bowing heads and a lowering of the eyes, all on the first page, you're still paying homage to a deity.

Personally, I get up and leave the room, if someone's playing patty cake I'm not going to sit there and watch, it doesn't interest me, it doesn't concern me, I've grown out of it and you can't force me to participate in it, and if it's about "respect", why can't they respect me and pray silently to themselves, besides, isn't there something in the bible about going into a closet and praying in silence? That you're not supposed to pray out loud in the first place?

I just look around and watch everyone else - try to pick out who is sincere in their delusion, and who is just exercising social camouflage. Occasionally, I get lucky and hook someone who notices what I'm doing;  they call me out on it and it's off to the races!!

 

Although many years ago, as a (very) junior officer in a Reserve artillery regiment, I was asked (trans "ordered"- Colonels do not "ask" baby lieutenants anything) to say grace at a Mess Dinner.  Neglecting to engage my discretionary vocal circuits, I came out with "O Lord, make us not like the oatmeal, thick and sour, but like the corn flakes, ever crisp and ready to serve".

 

I was honoured to be a part of the subsequent closed-door session.  Probably why I have been in the Navy these past thirty years <g>.

Well I'm off to my brother in laws to have Sunday "dinner" at 1 PM.  I imagine he'll say grace and I'll bow my head in the little tradition.  We've talked a few times about religion and I think he knows my stance.  Sometimes I say amen, maybe today I won't. 

My sister passed away a year ago and he seems to have gotten a little more religious since then.  I suppose it's his coping mechanism, he's a stubborn guy and I'm very doubtful he'll ever change his views.

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