I study in a christian University and it is very common to get picked on by a lecturer to pray for the class before any given lecture commences. I havent been as unfortunate as to be chosen to lead "brethren" into a word of prayer but am sure a day will finally come when am picked out. So fellow thinkers, any ideas on how to go about it if the day comes? What reason can you give a lecturer whose age tripples yours, why you can not pray, and not sound like you are disrespecting him? suggestions highly welcome
Is it required to pass the class? Tell him I'll pass based on my freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. Let him get pissed.
I am also curious about requirements with regard to prayer here. I've heard that some Christian Colleges and Universities have fairly strict codes regarding conduct and morality (though I don't know the legality of some of it). If that was the case, you are receiving the benefit of an education from this institution, so you might just have to live up to your end of the bargain and observe certain Christian traditions to the best of your ability.
Even so, maybe the Bible has a loophole for you somewhere.
Matthew 6 states the following:
5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
I could be mistaken, but to me that reads as if prayer is not advisable in front of a class before a lecture. I'm sure there are plenty of arguments against my interpretation, but you could argue that this was a matter of your personal convictions, I guess. Even as an atheist, I agree with the message that acts should be done for their intrinsic merit, and not simply to be seen in public in a bid for praise and admiration.
Perhaps someone with a better understanding of the Bible (as I'm not that knowledgable about it) could find a better argument.
Actually Kris, you belittle yourself - you've hit the nail squarely on the head! Matthew 6 is the perfect out for Wilbur, if he has the juevos to memorize that verse (or at least write it on a crib sheet (and any college student is lying who says they don't know what that is), and recite it in response to his instructor's request to lead the prayer! It's perfect! You're a genius! I am in awe, Sir!
"I'm sorry Sir, I cannot do that, for Matthew 6 says, "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.'" It would violate my principles to do otherwise --"
And you're home free!!!!
It is not required to pass the class perse, but i suspect if the Lecturer gets offended in the process of me trying to tell him about my worldview, he can sure as 'hell' give me a big zero..
I, like you, also attend a Christian University. When that situation, I generally decline politely by saying something along the lines of "I would rather not pray because I do not believe what you do, and I feel that it would be disrespectful to both of our worldviews if I were to lead the class in prayer." If he questions you further, politely but firmly answer his questions. If you can give him intelligent answers, he will probably leave you alone after that.
Thanks mate, i get the feeling he wont be offended by this explanation...thanks a bunch..
Rich, you're incorrigible - gotta love that in a person!
hehehe...trying to look for the like button to like this suggestion...cant find one...
Sorry, I can't help you, because were I in your place, I would have no problem disrespecting "him," whoever "him" is; because anything else would amount to disrespecting myself, and that I WILL NOT do.
If you find this helpful, be my guest:
When Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons come to my door and get into the subject of prayer, I sometimes fall to my knees and pray for God to kill me, there and then. Inasmuch as He/She/It has so far failed to do so, I guess it proves He/She/It loves this evil atheist (me); or He/She/It can't do it; or He/She/It doesn't exist. Take your pick. Other times, I might pray for God to grow arms back on all the people in the world who have lost them. Needless to say, I'm still waiting for evidence that He/She/It has done so.
So that's why my arms grew back. I thought it was a little strange, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?
Start your prayer off with "Dearest Satan..."
Well played sir, well played indeed. That comment literally made me have to stifle an actual LOL it caught me by surprise.