Sometimes being different in society leaves you with little ability to show tact and stand up for yourself. Christopher Hitchens being ill brings forth the notion of praying for Atheists. After considering the notion for a month or so beyond my personal loss early this year, I'm reaching what feels like a conclusion. Praying for an Atheist is not only rude, but it's self-serving and I'd thank religionists to stop.

A member of TA recently suffered a loss. On their Facebook page a friend noted something that went like this... "I know that you don't pray, so I'll do it for you." The Atheist is left not able to respond to the comment honestly without being rude. The intent is great, but it's a rude kick in the balls when it happens to me.

When My Father died I did an Atheist Funeral. There was no question left as to what just happened. There was no question as to what he believed. One of his friends got up and told the crowd that he had blinked his acceptance of Jesus a few days before he died. It's always a deathbed retraction. Repeating the lie may have made him and a few others feel better, but it damages the memory that my father left. The dignity with which he faced life and death. It's an insult as to how he chose to live it.

I'm reaching a point where I find prayers for me to be an insult. It's an insult to my abilities to deal with life. An insult to who I am because it's certainly no secret as to who I am. How would a Christian feel if a Muslim said that I'll face Mecca and pray to Allah for you, because I know that you don't do it. Isn't that insinuating that the way that you face life isn't good enough? There aren't many ways to come across in a more insulting manner.

So it's time to stand for myself, consequences be dammed. If you pray for me, I'm going to ask you not to. I don't want you to not credit me for the results of my life. If a god were to exist, I don't want you to think that I don't earn what I get in life because you prayed for me. Let the chips fall where they may. I can deal with life and I ask that even with the best of intents, that you let me do that and credit me for the results.

Views: 28

Tags: Prayer, Rejection, etiqute

Comment by Galen on August 22, 2010 at 5:49pm
I've never had anyone offer to pray for me since I've been an atheist (which is only for the last few years, really). I have thought about it though, and I think my response would be "I appreciate the thought, but I don't believe in God and if there is one, then you should probably pray for something way more important than me, like all the children starving in Darfur or dying in stupid wars. I don't need prayers, maybe they do."
Comment by Wayne Wilson on August 22, 2010 at 6:27pm
when my kidneys failed, around 5 years ago, so many of my 'friends' -who were believers of various faiths, advised me that my lack of faith was mainly the cause of my health issues and if I would pray and accept the lord, i would be healed. i avoid religious people as much as possible, now. they are sicker than I am.
Comment by Keith Johnston on August 23, 2010 at 12:41am
I don't mind people praying for me. It shows they care and the prayers do nothing but make the prayer feel better. Who am I to stop somebody from taking comfort in their own way.
BUT there is one thing I hate. Absolutely abhor. Before I go further I should say I am a commercial artist. All my life I have practiced and worked really hard to improve my skills and i still do. People look at my work and pass various compliments, which is always nice, but there is one I get regularly and for me its an insult of the highest order (since it negates all my hard work and gives credit to somebody else). It goes something like this:
"Oh Keith you really have a God Given talent"
It takes all my self restraint to not murder the speaker.
GOD GIVEN TALENT!!! so I did nothing it was all God after all.
Comment by Eric Lawson on August 23, 2010 at 7:18am
When people tell me they'll pray for me, I usually just tell them thanks and that I'll be THINKING for them.
Comment by Wayne Wilson on August 23, 2010 at 11:04am
when people say 'you have a god given talent' they are giving you the highest compliment they can think of, so no need to take it any more personal that them praying for you.
the sad thing is that by accepting their offering you are actually encouarging them to continue in their fantasy.
i like to say (when told that i will be prayed for) 'being an atheist, i don't think that will do me any good, but thanks anyway.'
and if i'm in a bad mood i'll say; 'too bad you can't actually do something useful.'
Comment by Michael on August 24, 2010 at 5:55pm
The idea that someone would actually say that about your father, at his funeral no less, is among the most outrageous things like that I've ever heard. Sadly though, a devout Christian would feel it's the opposite, a testament to their faith and his laughably contrived last-minute acceptance of it. What's wrong with the world summed up there in a nutshell for me.

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