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What do you do when having a meal with a party that prays? I had lunch out with all my co-workers ( it's a party of four with all of us) and they're all Catholic, and pray, and cross themselves before meals... They all know, and respect my atheism; but the subject came up. I guess I generally just pause, and either watch them, or admire my food; but I don't find it troublesome to allow them their prayer, even with my antitheist position... Despite our great differences (at least within that group) we all have tremendous respect for each other. Anyway, what do you do? And why?

StylisticIdiot 6 Apr 25

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I'm a gourmet cook, have been since my teens because I love good food, so if someone wants to disrespect the hard work and care that I have put into the meal before them by engaging in a long drawn out sermon disguised as a prayer of thanks while my meal gets cold then I am going to start eating before they get through thanking their sky daddy for the work I just did to make the meal.
Rubba dub dub, thanks for the grub or a quick blessing is something I can live with out of respect for their delusional ideas but much more than that and there will be no further attempts at indulgence, it's a quid pro quo situation. I've run into it a few times and just started eating after the 1 minute mark. I never bow my head or clasp my hands in prayer as I don't want to be an enabler, instead I just sit there quietly and look around the table to make sure everything is in place and I haven't overlooked anything during my rush to get dinner on the table in prime form. Often I catch others looking around and they usually close their eyes guiltily and quickly bow their heads again which is kind of cute and gives me a chuckle.


I haven't been anywhere with anyone wanting to pray in decades.
Can't see a situation I would be.


My daughters family is very religious and strict about praying at every meal... I just hold my grandkids hands and stay quiet and bow my head in case they are watching me ....maybe one day they will have the right to choose for them selves & not be brainwashed like I was.

WhoMe Level 4 Apr 26, 2018

I am quiet and lower my head a bit. It is for respect because I think it is important to respect others. It does get a little more uncomfortable when its a group that has to all hold hands to pray. In that case I do the hand holding and figure it is a gesture of being together as humans. Anyway I'm always grateful when I have food since many people don't so I figure the moment of silence isn't hurting me. I know who I am


I have been in the same situation and I refuse to pray. The most I have done is holding hands with them but it really bothers me profoundly that these religious zealots are disrecpectful of my persona. I abandoned the Catholic Church when I was 16 and I am now almost 68 and never came back and I don't plan to become religious at this stage of my life. As the great Richard Feynman said: "Religion is silly" and politically "it's the opium of the peoples".


I've had it happen at a golf outing but never as small as 4. I'm clueless of what I'd do. Trying not to laugh would be one. Being thankful for food is a good thing but let's thank farmers

I look at it as I am thanking the person who harvested the food I eating. So thanking Jesus seems OK.

@Ozman well, maybe its not harmful but OK? I don't think its well deserved, so then i'd have to say, no its not ok and why jesus? I don't get the connection with jesus and food. Things were consuming other things for a really long time, way before jesus was ever mentioned or language itself. What about the chain of people involved from getting the source, to the table and not a one of them get a kudo. Doesnt seem right (to me). I'd rather give thanks to winning the lottery of life and all the folks who helped get here this food we are about to enjoy. We are fortunate. Enjoy! then proceed with the meal.

@mratheistshirt until you Yanks sort out a less insane immigration policy, about the only thing of value that Jesus (think of people currently named Jesus, not historical Jesus) is getting is thanks for the harvest.

As George Lopez said, Americans have a love/hate relationship with immigrants. They LOVE their salads, but they HATE picking lettuce.

(and yes, I know my country is hardly able to lecture others on immigration policy)


I'd let them get on with it as it's nothing to do with me


I also respect their beliefs. It causes no harm, and it gives them pleasure. As long as no one imposes their beliefs on me, I am pretty easy-going.


I just wait silently for them to finish. I’m not going to join in but I don’t see any reason to be a dick about it either.


Ugh, just go along.. no harm in it.

elaw Level 4 Apr 26, 2018

I bow my head and say "amen" to the parts about peace, gratitude, and love while ignoring any references to deities or supernaturalism.


I personally don’t care that they wait and pray to nothing and get cold food as a sign of stupidity, I eat


I usually just look around the room awkwardly.


I just sit or stand there silent. I do not lower my head. It can be interpreted as being rude, sure, but I just can't bring myself to do that.

Proto Level 6 Apr 25, 2018

i go along with the nonsense because i don't care


This question comes up often - usually every day. I just wait quietly and meditate to myself.


You Eat like Everyone Else after they Pray. Is Not Going to Kill You!


The same as you. Work groups aren't personal and require a level of professionalism (personally I think the whole prayer thing is crossing the line... I have left jobs because of that).

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