Pray for me!

It bothers me when people tell me bad news, then ask me to pray for them, or their loved one, or a friend. I’m not talking about when people say things like that on Twitter or Facebook; I mean when somebody says that to me directly.

Why does it bother me? Because they’re assuming I pray. That’s what our society is like: it’s perfectly okay to assume, without even knowing somebody, that they are religious. It doesn’t even matter which religion, just as long as they believe in the supernatural. Things don’t work that way for us atheists. I can’t just meet a stranger and speak as though I assume they don’t believe in any god(s).

Hell, even I assume people are religious when I first meet them. But the difference between me and theists (especially, I’ve noticed, Christians) is that I won’t act on that assumption or say anything based on that assumption. Because that would be rude.

When people ask me to pray for someone, my first instinct is to say “Okay, as long as you’ll promise to think for me while I’m doing it.” But don’t worry, I’m only an asshole when I don’t have to worry about retribution. My answer is typically something along the lines of “I wish you the best, and hope everything turns out okay.”

Inspired by a Twitter update by @ParsleyV
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5 thoughts on “Pray for me!

  1. I always enjoy when people tell me I’m “a blessing from god,” or “god put you here for a reason.” I find myself thinking, you wouldn’t say that if you knew my feelings regarding said god. But I, too, usually just smile and nod. I roll my eyes if it’s someone who knows me well enough to know better, but that’s about the worst I got.

  2. Hmm, well where I live people usually assume the opposite, that I and everyone else is not religious. And so do I, rarely ever meet somebody who is religious though, heck I wouldn’t even assume a priest from around here to actually believe in the religion (s)he represent.

  3. I am always shocked when people tell me they believe in God, i just assume that everyone has realized how ridiculous the whole concept is.

  4. 🙂 I suppose I’m one of the few “quiet” Christians out there, then. The only thing I assume about others is their humanity, hoping that include kindness.

    I like your blog. You make me think. Cheers!

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