Friday, December 16, 2011

When Did Respecting Religion Come to This?

Okay, this might come off as a bit of a rant, but I am hoping that everyone tells me I just encountered a couple of idiots.

Recently, I attended a Christmas party with a friend. They hosts had a blessing before the meal. Okay, their party, it wasn't a government function so there is no church-state issue or anything. If they wanted a prayer it's a private function, so it's their business. The host asked everyone to bow their heads and led a prayer. Of course being an atheist I just sat their quietly while everyone else did the prayer thing.

Later in the evening, a young woman comes up to me and tells me I was rude and disrespectful. I wasn't quite sure what she was talking about. Turns out she noticed I didn't bow my head during the prayer. I told her I was an atheist. That's when she pulled out the you are disrespecting religion card. I told her I thought sitting quietly was respectful as I didn't disrupt or interfere with anyone's prayer. She again insisted bowing your head showed respect. I told her that I can't respect her beliefs by disrespecting own by pretending to pray. She left in a bit of a huff. I didn't hear anything more about it.

So, is not bowing your head when everyone else is praying showing a disrespect for religion? To me, not participating in someone else's prayers is not disrespect, but following my own conscience. If that's the new standard, I need a heads up so I can be sure I am not in the room at the time of the prayer.

So please, just tell me I encountered an idiot and this isn't the social standard now.


kkdither said...

I guess we've dipped to the social standard of being rude to your face afterward.

I don't pray, but I do look down. I respect that there are those who want to... doesn't make me nervous. We all want "peace on earth," however, we just don't all go about it the same manner. I don't feel that looking down while they are in action is disrespecting my feelings, just making life easier.

Reminds me of a Seinfeld episode where someone accused George of peeing in the shower. Where was *she* looking, and why? If she was so into the prayer, why was she looking at you while you weren't looking down?

OKIE said...

Hale, you encountered a rude idiot. I have to say though, she might have done you a favor. She could have been one of those Pat Robertson types who instead of leaving, spent the entire evening trying to convert you.
Wouldn't that have been fun?
Seriously, don't let it bother you as it's just not worth it.
You've dealt with idiots before so just add this one to your list. The nut jobs from the Kansas church think they're Christians too.

OrbsCorbs said...

I think you did right by your beliefs, hale. I don't think sitting quietly can be called disrespectful. Disrespectful would be talking or singing while others prayed, or snapping gum.

OrbsCorbs said...

I was going to go into a rant about how Christians should act like Christ, but it's Christmas, so I won't.

Sassa said...

You can run into a lot of those 'do-gooders'. I call them that because they always try to change things for the 'good'. They are the screamers at any protest, rebellion, sit-in. You did exactly right!If we want to pray/say the pledge of alliance, etc and you don't ...then just stand there. Thank you for being humane in your reaction. NOTE: did I use the right word?..humane?

Toad said...

She Is out of line for scolding you. In the first place since she wasn't the hostess, she shouldn't have said anything to someone else's guest.

I am Catholic, and despise other religions attempting to convert me. ie: Jehovah Witness knocking on my door. That to me Is perhaps even worse than your incident. I wonder what she says to them?

drewzepmeister said...

You are whom you are, Hale and everybody should respect that. You show better class than some of the so-called self-righteous religious individuals who try to jam their beliefs down your throat.

SER said...

Nothing like running into a “Holier then thou” person’ they are so fuck’in phony it is unbelievable.

Boppster, you found a winner there! I feel everyone should believe in something no matter what it is; if you want to believe in your ’67 Mustang or The Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow...go for it, who am I to tell you what to believe in?

I too ran into one of those people at a Catholic funeral. People standing up, sitting down, kneeing, I just sat there. After the service some woman called me on it. I said, “You are pretty observant to catch that, did you pay that much attention to the preacher as you did to me”? That pissed her off, she walked away.

Tender Heart Bear said...

Hale-Bopp - There is nothing wrong with what you did. The problem is the other people with what they want everyone else to do. Just keep believing in your own faith and do what you believe is right for yourself. You didn't disrespect anyone. That person was very rude to you for saying something like that at a party. So don't worry about it.

Every person has there own religion and faith to believe in. They are allowed to do as they please. When you go somewhere you do not have to do what other people are doing. Just be yourself and enjoy the party.

Beejay said...

She's an idiot. You respected their right to pray without comment, that's all you had to do.

jedwis said...

Hale...I think you dealt well with an ackward situation. I get turned off this time of year and Easter, when all the non practicing Catholics come to mass for their first and second appearence of the year. They make themselves feel good with their attendance. The church will be overflowing but come Jan 1st , it will be empty again. What a bunch of phonies.

Toad said...

To those that think CATHOLICS are the only people that would say anything, or the ONLY religion that only goes to Mass once or twice a year are MISTAKEN. I am quite certain, other religions have the same kind of people. No person has the right to put ALL Catholics In the same basket. We are people with brains, and the majority of us know right from wrong.

RWWackoStu said...

You encountered an idiot. Way out of line.

hale-bopp said...

Good to know that is not a common idea yet...I worry sometimes!

As I was thinking about this, I thought back many years ago to when my mother died. She had a Catholic funeral. Knowing that it would be a full mass and having been to Catholic funerals before, I had seen the priest offer communion to the family sitting in the front row. I got a chance to talk to him beforehand and tell him I was an atheist so would not be taking communion. He didn't bat an eye and just talked to me about the service. He clearly put my needs at the time above any religion and I give him credit for that.

At my mom's funeral, no one made any remarks about my conduct. Of course, that was about 18 years so that's why I was wondering if this was a change taking place.