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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Haha nice way to put it, blunt and to the point. Which is really what does happen.
Good point, I just now started to realize that checking your phone while praying or counting the tiles on the ground makes it look like you are but other times I just sit there and do that really loud and obvious sigh of boredom that says "lets get this fake bull shit over with, Im hungry!" at the dinner table when my parents want to say grace before dinner. Or when my parents say "Ok, now lets say grace." All I say is "grace" then start eating while they are talking to nobody.
Seth, this is the unfortunate atmosphere we find ourselves living in. The problem is that they (those that try to subject us to their dogma) don't care if everyone believes or not; instead, they use every opportunity to force their beliefs on others.

While we are making some progress, we will likely continue to face this type of situation for the foreseeable future. Don't let their "evil-eyes" pressure you, don't be afraid to speak up, don't be afraid not to participate. Hell, I have to suffer through it every time I eat dinner with my mother. She knows I am an atheist (she is a fundamentalist Christian); when in her home I respect her beliefs, I do not participate, but I also do not challenge her. However, when she is in my home, I have made it clear that we do not pray to her imaginary friend... she no longer comes to my home.

She made the decision to stop coming to my home because I refuse to allow her to spew ignorance and dogma while a guest in my home. I love my mother despite her religion and her decision to not enter my home, but that is her decision not mine, and I have no regrets.

Stand your ground, pick your battles, and never compromise... that is the best advise I can offer to you. One day we will no longer have to suffer through experiences such as the one you described.
Yes, it is very unfortunate. I never call my mother out on things but I will pick on her from time to time, like if I misplaced my car keys then find then a minute later I will say "Oh, thank the lord if there was one!" just little things like that. She knows Im messing with her but I would never go further than that UNLESS she goes out of line....which she has but I kept my composure and just walked away.

I think it is best, especially in a family setting, to try to ignore it as much a possible. Unfortunately, my mother is not satisfied with letting sleeping dogs lie, and insists on trying to turn me. In addition to the fact that I am an atheist (which she thinks I am just confused about), I am gay... so the fundamentalist part of her simply can't stop. She often says things I would prefer just to let go, but I reach a point when I can't hold my tongue any longer. It never ends well, but in any argument we have she cannot justify her beliefs rationally. I use rational and logical arguments in response to the bile she calls her religion, and when the conversation reaches a point that she knows she cannot win, she always resorts to talking over me, or prematurely ending the conversation. 


I've found this to be the case with most religious people, they shutdown or become extremely defensive when simple logic and reasoning is used to refute the ignorant claims they make. 

I can relate to you man, but really, who cares if you gay or not. Personally Im not gay, but that shoud not be a reason for someone to haze. I wrote a blog about how my mother reacted to me telling her I am an Atheist when I was about 13 or 14. She told me she wishes she would have raised me better.


I also noticed when people like that are losing the argument, they get loud and defensive, much like my mother does too. There does come a point when my mother also does not let sleeping dogs lie, as you said. Check out my new blog though, it goes into more detail on my mothers and family's reaction.

I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks!
No prob! I think it has to be reviewed to make sure I'm not spamming or something to that nature?
Bow your head and meditate, think of all the work, practice, perserverance that got you in a place where you are proud to be.  At a family dinner, meditate on how much you can be thankful for.  Most times like this are not a place to show rebellion.  It only puts you in a bad place with the majority of people that think morality is only in religion.  I've gone through years of, at first, bowing to pretend to be like everyone else, in my middle years rebelling by staring at a wall or looking around at others to see if they're praying,  then in later years just saving my "rebellious attitude" to participate in an open debate to express my opinion.  But......keep in mind you will not influence someone that is religiously brainwashed and judgmental to "your immoral life" to thinking the way you do any more than they will have you worshipping their god.

No way.  I won't collude with the assumption that this is "a christian nation" by bowing my head and playing along.  I agree that this is NOT the time for disruptive rebellion but passive resistance.  Otherwise, you'll just piss off teh Kehristians and make atheists look like a-holes.  Now a days I even try to suppress the eye rolls---it's very hard, but I try!  I usually just look around, laugh in my head at the prayers, or take advantage of a pause to reflect on my day.  But I always keep my head up and eyes open.


In the private forum, I think it's part of being American to maintain a basic amount of respect for the right of other Americans to practice their religion (or not to do so).  There should be an understanding that I'm not going to interrupt their prayers, just as any decent Christian should not proselytize me while I'm reading, learning, or meditating. 


How can we have discourse, understanding, and gain tolerance for our community if we don't regard each other with a modicum of respect?  Now, if they thrust their beliefs into a secular space (gov.) or begin to threaten others, the gloves are off. 

You may want to contact the Freedom from Religion Foundation 

If this was a public school event sponsored by taxpayer money, this was inappropriate and they may write a letter informing them it was unacceptable.   If this was a private party not sponsored by public funds, you're SOL.  My suspicion is public funds were used for this event, however.



Yes it was a public event at a high school called "Fostoria High" (a public school, not in any way a parochial school). As for the public funds go, yes, they used public funds including 120 dollars straight from me for the uniform rental and my dad bought the jersey I was using. I just might contact them now. Thank you for the advice.


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