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Im not religious by any means but sometimes when Im at a family event they pray. Like funerals, holidays, stuff like that. I still dont, it makes me uncomfortable either way... I also feel really uncomfortable in churches(i never go in them unless i am obligated to), like theres this bad energy or i get a feeling like something's wrong. Opinions?

KatrinaC13 4 Dec 19

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23 comments

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6

I've found it doesn't go over well if, when folks are praying, you laugh out loud and say, "yah, right, whatever."

oh ive never done that i just sit there all awkward and shit. its weird for me either way but for me praying has always been worse, like i REALLY shouldnt be doing it.

5

I visit great churches, cathedrals and so on - purely for the architecture and the art. They might be built in honour of, and dedicated to, figments of deranged and irrational human imagination, but that doesn't stop them being astonishing and fascinating buildings.

Do I treat them with 'respect'? Taking the hat off? Speaking in hushed tones? Not looking at a picture of Eve in the Garden of Eden and yelling, "Cor! That Eve's a cracker! I'd give 'er one!" ... Yes, I do.

I don't believe what christians believe, but I have no wish to actively upset them.

One of my biggest objections about christians is when they ram their religion down your throat - so I am not going to ram my atheism down their throat either.

Yet 'bad energy'? There being 'something wrong'?

No. Never felt that. A church is a building - no more. It has no more 'aura' about it than a warehouse, or a school, or a shop which sells pictures of Elton John.

Not unless you, with your own imagination, create such an aura in the privacy of your own mind.

@ToakReon -- Never considered that before, but you're right. I'd give 'er one, too, by god.

i get what youre saying. but for me, being inside churches is most likely what many people feel in haunted houses.
bad juju

4

Have been in many churches, haven't burst into flames in any of them.
Know what you mean about feeling uncomfortable, but respecting other's beliefs costs nothing.

Agrees.

Respect is a two way street. When none is given, there is no obligation to return it.

4

I find in most cases these gatherings are symbolic on many different levels. I am an Antitheist; however, I find nothing wrong being with or around people in a faith driven environment. As long as they do not attempt to make me feel less of a human, for not being on their side of a faith system. I see religious events, no different than political gatherings. A lot of shouting, passion and promises, but few of actually believe in what’s being preached.

3

I believe in being kind and generally being supportive. If it gives your family members peace then good for them, we all have delusions of some sort. My grown kids like to have family celebrations, which includes my ex husband who is a conservative christian. He leads a prayer before dinner (in which he is really giving his god advice but that is another story.) Although I am rolling my eyes, I remain silent til he is done. Yes, I'd like to express my true opinion, but it isn't worth the cost. If I want my views tolerated, then I must tolerate the views of others.

The fact that you are sound & mature enough to be valiantly supportive, along with the strength to have fully raised your children while maintaining a report with your ex, means you are already smart enough to dismiss my young naive and probably negative observation:

You said "If I want my views tolerated, then I must tolerate the views of others". Unfortunately it seems if you want your views heard, it seems you have to disregard the views of others. Too bad you don't have a religion to hide behind, so you could express your "true opinions" within the guise of "prayer".

3

My family is religious, so they want me to pray and listen to X-mas Christian music. I feel uncomfortable too.

My family is so strange that the ones that aren't religious love x-mas music & the ones that are Christian are offended by x-mas but they are still coming over. In other words; this is going to be an interesting weekend.

Enjoy.

3

As long as you treat people with respect there is no need to participate in what they're doing no matter how good the intention if it makes you uncomfortable. You're probably there for the people and there for the support but you don't need to participate in their rituals if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

SamL Level 7 Dec 19, 2017
2

I was in the navy for twenty years. I was regularly subjected to prayer services. I just looked around to see if there were others not participating and ignored it as much as possible.

Had to do the same.

Seems like a common malady. We should form a group.

The Miscreant Corps

What can you do? I disagreed but I was in no position to refuse to attend. Frankly, I think it was a violation of my rights.

2

At the risk of sounding like a total phony in this life-
I don't have many friends. I'm quiet and prefer to keep to myself and keep my social circle small. I don't panic at the idea of being alone. Prefer it usually. I'm happily single and do not feel any shame of being a mother to a child who's father has never existed in his life.
But, I'm a bartender. And I'm a good one. I'm social, funny, people-pleasing, putting on the shine and putting money in the bucket. Friends I've made through my work are always surprised by the private and seemingly lonely life I really live.
I'm an atheist. Religion is silly and childish to me. I deduct points immediately upon hearing one harbors those superstitions and make funny jokes with my son about those goof-balls all dressed up to impress their imaginary fren-emy.
If I am invited to sit at their table though as a person (not a sinner) or am invited to some event (wedding, funeral) taking place within a church, I'll go along with their customs and bow my head and clasp my hands and shout "Hallelujah" when it's time.
If I am in the home of someone who insists shoes stay by the front door, I'll expose my mismatched socks. If someone asks I do not swear in front of their child, I'll bite my tongue even though I cuss like a sailor in front of my kid. If I overhear some bozo going on about what a hero Trump is, I don't feel the need to throw my personal feelings into the conversation unless I am invited into it.
What does it matter to me? I am not here to change anyone. Unless I witness someone hurting another or speaking in hateful ways, it's not my business and I will extend the same patience and acceptance that is offered to me.
We're all faking our way through this shit show in one way or another and as long as your integrity and self-respect remains intact, I am all for manners and uncomfortable experiences that expand our understanding of the world and each other. And then going home, locking the door and making fun of these goddamn weirdos.

2

I get the exact same feeling and I am an Agnostic, with no problems about praying, churches, etc. It just feels wrong to me. And weird. On a side note, every wedding (23) that I have gone to has ended in divorce. Every. Single. One. So I now use that as a reason (or excuse, depending on your viewpoint) to not go to weddings.

An amiture photographer at the time, I’d likely shot 10 weddings for family and friends, though I’ve lost track of some, most ended in divorce. The one I know that’s still in progress is a cousin’s second…

There's still hope....hate to see a 'good record' go down in flames...maybe sew the seeds of discontent in that' cousin's marriage...hehe

Actually, she’s gone nuts off the deep end into some mega-church. Once close, we tread lightly now.. I think her marriage works cus her husband travels a lot, and is paid even more 😉

The only weddings I go to that end in divorce seem to be mine.

1

If they want to, it is their right. It is not going to sway my disbelief one iota.

1

Being enclosed in religious environment might feel uncomfortable however it is an opportunity to feel the freedom like the music we enjoy. Express ourselves politely and firm..

1

Don't worry yourself about it. If there is no deity, there is no harm or foul that can befall you by entering any edifice dedicated to a fantasy. Would you feel uncomfortable entering any of the Disney attractions? Say, Fantasyland? Going into a church is the same thing. Just another theme park. Granted, the theme is a little boring, but still....

1

I am not a Christian, I stopped reading the Bible 40 years ago after taking LSD.....
My daughters and Ex are born again. I pray with them at the table, but I stopped going to church to listen to the music and be with my grand kids. I feel so phony when I'm at their churches, wow, what a crock of shit. That "lake of fire" boogie man God, that hides under the bed. It's all about fear and control. How can people be so stupid. Myself, I had an "experience" in 1994, I like to get on YOUTUBE and listen to testimonies from people who have had an NDE!! Love it, they have been there, done it.

1

I get uneasy as well. I remind myself that the ignorance in their conspiracy are unexplored realization of apparitions.

1

I've closed my eyes and bowed my head plenty of times...usually considering what I was going to do as soon as I could remove myself from the situation.

1

You dislike the place and know you don't belong there (anymore) so it feels wrong to be there. Prayer used to make me uncomfortable when I cared whether others judged me for being an atheist.

1

..that feeling when you know you’re being lied to … then have to figure out why..?

For a year or so my mother and I made a little money cleaning a church, she’d met it’s ‘leader’ though work. Weekday afternoons, we’d have the place to ourselves. Never did we detect anything beyond basic creepy in there…

Varn Level 8 Dec 19, 2017
1

Same with my family

Tokey Level 3 Dec 19, 2017
0

I just see it as any other building. But I get it. I just grin and bear it for the comfort of others. But only go if I absolutely have to.

0

I’m a little uncomfortable in religious situations but I also feel like I’m an island of sanity there. Maybe someone is on the fence, and upon seeing me defiantly not doing what others are doing, maybe they’ll know there are people out there who broke away.
In church I’ll look around to see who has their eyes open. There are always people not fully buying in.

0

I think churches are awesome buildings. I just don't like religion or weddings or funerals. I do my best not to go to either for a few reasons.

0

Feel the same way about churches/temples. A funeral I do what I have to do wherever I have to do I
view it as cultural customs not religious.

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