Please Don’t Pray for Me

“As long as algebra is taught in school, there will be prayer in school.” Cokie Roberts

Praying

Being an atheist can sometimes have its difficulties and I’m not always sure how to handle them.   One thing that especially bothers me is when religious people say they are praying for me.

I’m guessing most atheists feel the same way about this.  When I was younger, it used to make me angry, now I am able to find the humor in it and laugh.

I have never been able to understand the logic of praying.  As a matter of my opinion, I think praying is absolutely ridiculous and escapes all forms of logic.

When I hear people in good situations or in bad situations talk about how they are praying that God will “show them the way,” I can’t help but snicker a bit.  It seems silly to me.

The notion of closing your eyes and praying to a supernatural being in the sky just seems off-the-charts loony to me.  I just don’t get it.  Go ahead, insert all your comments about “faith” here, I’ve heard many of them plenty of times.

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” Benjamin Franklin

Family

I’ve never officially told my parents that I’m an atheist.  This has always been a difficult issue for me.  My mother grew up in a strict Southern Baptist family and God and prayer are huge facets of her life.  I honestly think she would be devastated if I told her that I was an atheist.  She has dealt with a lot in her life and I really don’t want to put her through any more pain.

The fact that I don’t feel I can tell her what I believe actually hurts me somewhat.  I honestly don’t see the use of bothering her with my beliefs though.  She is very narrow minded when it comes to religion and would die if she found out her oldest son would not be with her in heaven one day.  I love my mother, but she grew up in South Georgia and to this day she is afraid of black people, rock music and gay people.

What would you do if you were me?  Would you tell your mother and risk crushing her?

My Children

I have two children and two stepchildren between the ages of 14-9.  None of them know that I am atheist…….yet.  I’ve wondered many times how to handle telling them and I’ve decided that I when they ask me, I will explain.

I want to be open with my children because my parents were never open with me about religion.  I want my children to be open-minded and make their own decisions.  And if they choose to believe differently than I believe, I will be happy with it.

I will always encourage them to think and question everything about life.  I will always encourage them to take part in productive discourse when it comes to all elements of their lives.  I want them to respect all people and understand that we could all be wrong about our beliefs.

But Seriously, Stop Praying For Me

I would like to make a request of all religious people; STOP PRAYING FOR ME IMMEDIATELY.  Please use that same energy you would use praying for me and feed a homeless child, or help an elderly person cross the street.  Please do something that is actually productive.

Last time I checked, praying never fed anyone, never sheltered anyone, never stopped a war or never stimulated a struggling economy.  But then again, the last time I checked, I was referring to the world where I live; the world of realism.

“An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church.  An Atheist believes that deed must be done instead of a prayer said.  An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.” Justin Brown

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6 thoughts on “Please Don’t Pray for Me

  1. My mother in law is very, very pentecostal-type religious. When I went through my “pagan” phase, she found out. OMG did she FREAK! She called my husband crying about how me and my daughters were satanists LOL. I am SO glad I had already moved to Florida at the time. I didn’t have to listen to it, except from my husband. I wonder how much worse it would be if she knew I was an Atheist };->

    Good luck coming out of the “closet”. I found my kids were a lot more open to it than I thought they’d be. MY mother doesn’t really care, I think. She’s a cultural Christian, but doesn’t go to church.

  2. How do you know your Mom doesn’t know? How do you know neither of your parents read your blog? Someday they may be curious about you and Google you. Unless, of course, they don’t own a computer or a smart phone and have no desire to. I don’t recall if you have siblings. If you do, they may spill the beans, too.

  3. Pingback: When “No” is a Great Answer to Prayer « Cite Simon

  4. Pingback: Atheist Calls Christians Planning to Attend D.C. ‘Reason Rally’ ‘Mindless Parasites’ – [From The Blaze] | Stumbling Back Home

  5. Hmmm I never thought about praying in this way…Even though my grandma always “prays” for me (she converted to Christianity when she moved to America…don’t know WHO gave her the idea of going to church…probably because there was a big Chinese community there), I’m extremely grateful to my parents for raising me openly to choose whatever I want to believe in and whoever I want to be with (a lot of Chinese parents want their kids to marry other Chinese). So, I think your kids are very lucky to have a father who can give them that kind of freedom. AND they’ll be smarter than everyone else. 🙂

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