To make a long story short, I was at a cook out for this all-star high school football game I got accepted for, and the guy speaking to us at the cook out made a speach on why we are all here then said "Now let us bow our heads in prayer."....Like he knew EVERYONE was a Christian, Catholic, ect. So what Im asking is, why do people think that everyone is religious and ask the whole crowd to pray? Do they not think that it may insult someone or that some people may not be religious? Also when that does happen, why do people give you the evil eye when they see you not praying, but just sitting there starring at the wall? (Like I was doing). So could someone help me out and give me some advice on what I should do when this happens on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other family gatherings?

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Oh , but you need to fully respect their delusion and not offend them , so just pretend like you are praying!

Personally though , I prefer to offend and make heads turn , so I would have said something out loud like 'What if I'm not a Christian , do I still have to bow my head?' or 'What makes you think everyone here believes in your imaginary friend?'

They give you the evil eye because they are ignorant and think there is something wrong with you or that you are being an unruly teenager and rebelling against the creator of the universe by not showing your respect.
Right, but its not like I was talking or anything. I was just sitting there with my hands in my lap, waiting to get the food haha. I might take your advise and say some of the stuff and piss some people off next time!
Why must you do anything?  I'd suggest taking the opportunity to look around and see who else is not bowing their head in prayer.
That's awesome. Gain support through adversity.
I did.....everyone was bowing their heads haha. Maybe some people were too "embarrassed" to reveal they are Atheists?

You should learn to love the evil eye.


Seriously, that is the answer. People are going to do what they are going to do. You have integrity, you did not disrupt their cult activity and you handled yourself, from what you said, like a gentleman. If that irritates them, they can all get bent double.


However. If their irritation irritates you, get used to it. You live in a nation of cults. Like it or not, for now, you are the odd man out. In my opinion you behaved properly. There isn't much else you can do - until you are the speaker and do not offer a prayer.

Unfortunately, getting 'the evil eye' is often a sign that you're doing 'the right thing' in American society.  Good advice---just learn to love it!

Yup.. they do that at my work. I don't live in the US, but a large part of South Africa is as deluded as those you might be familiar with. I stare at the wall, like you did. I am not legally obliged to pray in the workplace - what about the Hindu girl at the end of the table? Would you make her pray to your god?


From what I've gathered, if you look like a duck and walk like a duck, you must believe in Jehovah. Some people just can't comprehend that non-believers exist. I brought it up with a Christian colleague (without letting my particular cat out the bag), and she just spurted out some very confused lines about atheists believing in the power of nothing, and that they could pray to that...



careful with that face-desk stuff.....think about it, it would look rather like you are praying or something :P

1.) They can't comprehend that someone couldn't possibly believe in god

2.) If they did, they'd think those people are bad and will go to hell

It's just ignorance. Nothing more.


As to what to do, we had a great and fun discussion on this.

We live in Utah Valley. Here, you have to go to BYU to attend graduations, sports games, and many other things for public gatherings if you want to stay with the crowd. At BYI, they always start every meeting with a prayer.


Complaining aside, I just close my eyes so I don't offend. Yeah... I need to grow a pair and piss some people off.


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