Why Saying Grace for Your Food is Disgraceful (Image)

Why Saying Grace for Your Food is Disgraceful

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17 thoughts on “Why Saying Grace for Your Food is Disgraceful (Image)

    • It is not proselytizing to address an belief system that is actively causing people harm. A police officer talks a lot about crime because he wants to stop the crime; I talk a lot about religion because I believe it does much more harm than good. It is not proselyting to point out errors in your belief system and to encourage people to think outside of the box.

      Why is ok for Christians to talk about their beliefs, even to the point of attacking other belief systems, but when an atheist tries to address the issue and challenge this they are belittled for it?

      • Actually, I think it’s perfectly fine for everyone to discuss their beliefs. What you seem to be missing here is that Christian’s believe the things they’re sharing can help others just as much as you belief what you’re sharing can help others.

        The difference is, what you’re sharing is being done in a way that is belittling and dismissive of people who absolutely have every right in the world to believe as they see fit, and whose prayers are neither hurting you, nor those in the world who are much less fortunate than you are.

        Gratitude is gratitude, whether you have little or whether you have much.

        But then, you’re entitled to your own beliefs on that. I’d never try to convince you otherwise. (Though after seeing your posts, I can’t say you could admit to the same.)

      • Their prayers do not hurt me, but many of their attitudes and actions do, especially when they try to force their beliefs into public policy or treat me and others horribly for not believing as they do. Try reading my post about my deconversion; perhaps you can see why I do not think Christianity does not cause harm. Of course not all Christians are like that- but a huge number of them are.

        What exactly about this image post is belittling? I am pointing out a logical flaw in this tradition and challenging people to see this issue in a different way. What many religious people actually want is for no one to ever challenge these beliefs; but that’s no how things work.

        I dislike this tradition of thanking god for food because:

        1. Animals were abused and killed to make that food, and humans worked hard and were sometimes horribly overworked overseas to make that food. They should really be thanking the animals and people who worked hard and even suffered to make their meal possible. Even if god made the animals, he had nothing to do with the process of their food getting to their table. Humans and animals paid that price- but god gets all the credit.

        2. They believe that God blessed them in particular with food, but this same God ignores the starving of others. Most of these people do this tradition without ever actively trying to help others who are hungry. A few of them do, but not most.

        Why is it belittling for me to talk about this issue and challenge the problems with it?

      • That’s the strange thing. What you think is logical could easily be perceived as a moral attack on Christians and/or Christianity.

        I think you probably don’t see it that way, you think you’re doing a public service and I think that’s great if you genuinely believe you’re doing good somehow.

        Sadly, you can’t destroy faith with logic.

        I have a lot of atheist friends, believe it or not. Feel free to check out my “About me” section, neither of those bloggers I mention are Christian. One is a quite devout atheist and prostitute. The other is just a woman who has no specific belief system at all that I’m aware of but seems to have a bent against Christianity.

        The thing is, we first see one another as thinking, feeling human beings. When you address someone based on a label you place on them, you dehumanize them. If I were to speak of people who don’t believe in God as “heathens”, I could quite easily offend them and mock their views because I’ve stripped them of their individuality, elevating my own beliefs above their humanity.

        If I posted meme’s about atheists such as the one’s you’ve posted about Christians, believe me.. you’d see it for what it is.

        One thing I adore about my atheist friends is that they respect my right to believe as much as they respect their own right not to.

        I would that all atheists and Christians were so enlightened.

      • “What you think is logical could easily be perceived as a moral attack on Christians and/or Christianity.” This is why Christians resisted science and philosophy for centuries, burning dissenters at the stake. Your argument shows exactly what is wrong with religion- they perceive logic and dissent as an attack.

        “Sadly, you can’t destroy faith with logic.”
        Yes you can, if the person’s mind is open enough. I and many other ex-Christians are living proof. 🙂 When the human mind can no longer ignore logic, faith starts to crumble.

        “The thing is, we first see one another as thinking, feeling human beings. When you address someone based on a label you place on them, you dehumanize them. If I were to speak of people who don’t believe in God as “heathens”, I could quite easily offend them and mock their views because I’ve stripped them of their individuality, elevating my own beliefs above their humanity.”

        You do make a good point. My goal is not to dehumanize or offend- but rather to bluntly talk about the issues that most people ignore and also to share my frustrations (as this is my personal blog and my only real safe outlet for this.) Anger is a human emotion, and sometimes my frustration and anger over these issues comes on a bit stronger than I intend. I’m still working on conveying my ideas without letting my own hurt become too prominent in my writing. This past year since my deconversion I have experienced an incredible amount of pain from a huge number of Christians in my life- including my own family and people I thought were close friends- and many of my friends have also undergone pain from Christians.

        I’m sorry if there have been times where I could have worded my posts better. I am open to ideas on how I present my views. I certainly do see Christians are human beings, and I often clarify in my posts that not all Christians are the same. I also addressed this issue a bit on my “About Lilly” page.

      • Oh you’re clever.

        Let me consult with my ex atheist friends on that theory before I reply again. 😉

      • Actually, I lied. I saw this comment on my phone while I was out of my office running errands and only saw the first portion. I’m glad I came back to read the comment again. The second half is excellent.

        I’ll check out your page and certainly, it’s been fun discussing this topic with you despite our obvious differences.

        If nothing else, I’m a glutton for punishment at times but I have a habit of looking for the good in people even when I see the bad in their points of view. I find that I also attract people who feel that way as well. Like calls to like.

        I’ll be back after I visit your About Lilly page.

      • I think sometimes Christians do the same thing that some atheists are guilty of- not seeing the person beneath the issue. Many atheists, like myself, are angry and hurt because of incredibly awful things that Christians have done to them, people they know, or to people in general. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t learn how to express our thoughts in a more beneficial way; but if you saw how hurtful Christianity appears from many atheists’ perspectives, perhaps you would understand our vehemence a bit more. If you had been greatly harmed by a particular religion and betrayed by those closest to you, I’d venture that you might go through a period of anger and hostility towards that religion too.

        When I was a Christian, I was accepted and respected by everyone around me. People praised me for standing up for my beliefs, and encouraged me to fight gay marriage, abortion, preach on the streets against sin, encouraged me constantly, etc. When I stopped believing in god I was told that I had no morals anymore, even though I have always been a kind and loving person and beneath my sometimes overly passionate writing I still am. My own brother told me that I will probably murder someone because I no longer believe in his god; my mother thinks it’s my husband’s fault because he didn’t herd me back into the faith, as though I’m not capable of making my own spiritual decisions, and she said many other hurtful things. My family are normally very kind, loving, and tolerant people, they don’t yell or insult people and they accept everyone- but when I changed I saw a very different side of them for a while. I had to delete my Facebook account because I was being verbally harassed by my old Christian circles. My mother was so blinded by her beliefs that she publicly stood up for a Facebook bully who was bashing my opinions and reprimanded me instead when I dared to stand up to him and call him on his hurtful methods. I was told that I gave in to peer pressure by becoming an atheist, when in fact I experienced quite the opposite. I have family members who live in the Bible Belt who are literally afraid to tell people they are atheists because there is such a negative stigma against them down there- it’s assumed that they have no morals, can’t be trusted, and won’t make good employees. Saying you are an atheist in many places down there means instant judgment and stereotyping. My best friend was ostracized by our church for coming out as a lesbian; our ex-pastor who was involved in a huge legal scandal was treated better than she was. Her own parents almost disowned her and her mom said she became a lesbian on purpose.

        So you see, there is generally a reason for our passion and bluntness, for our angry tirades that sometimes flow unchecked as we write out our frustrations and pain. Many of us who write these sorts of blogs feel very helpless because we see so much hurt being done by religion, and sometimes it feels like all we can do is yell about it and try to make SOMEONE hear us- even if it’s only to show other atheists that they’re not the only ones who feel this way.

        Sorry for the long rant… I hope you can understand where I’m coming from a bit more now. This blog is where I can get this stuff off my chest, so it’s pretty uncensored. I am sorry if it caused unnecessary hurt because of how it was said- but I can’t apologize for how I feel or how I think.

      • I’m so glad you ranted! I’m meeting the person behind the memes and it a pleasure to meet you. I wish I wasn’t working right now. (It’s Friday though, yay!) So I won’t be able to reply as thoroughly as I’d like to but I’ll come back to this comment when I have more time.

        There’s *so* much in here that resonates with me, believe it or not. I suppose that’s why I said that you destroy faith with logic. For me, that statement is very true. I have (logically speaking) every reason in the world to feel exactly as you do. I just believe God more than I doubt the people who claim to represent Him.. but all of that aside, it’s hard to read what you wrote only because I know it to be very true in so many cases.

        All I can say is that I’m sad that you’ve had to go through those things. You’re absolutely right that the knife of judgmentalism or disrespect cuts both ways when it comes to religion and atheism. Both sides respectively have members who respect their sides very poorly. It’s just a part of being human. As much as we all want to believe we’re better than others or wouldn’t do what they’d do, the fact is that we’re all made of the same crummy stuff as the next guy is.

        And before I go any deeper, I have to balance some books. I have no idea why I took a job with an accounting office. I’m terrible with math! 😉

        I’ll return though. Thanks so much for sharing a piece of your story with me.

      • Sounds like you’ve got some heavy book work to do! 😉 I’m very glad that we had this discussion, thank you for chatting and listening and for your honesty. It’s good to be able to tear away some of our preconceived ideas about each other and see the real person behind it all. Both sides have very bad representatives, that’s for sure! I sometimes cringe at things other atheists say, just like I cringed as a Christian when I saw what other believers would say. Although I call myself an atheist for clarity’s sake, I really dislike titles in general. I’m just me- that’s what I would like people to see, not just my label. I sometimes forget to not label others back when they label me.

        I know for myself, it’s been very difficult to find a good balance. In addition to all my hurt and anger, the form of Christianity I was raised in was very confrontational. Not rude and mean, but still very confrontational. As a kid we protested gay marriage, handed out tracks on the streets, were encouraged to proselytize to everyone, etc. I know that has influenced how I am now on the other side of the issue.

        I very much enjoy the peaceful teachings of Buddhism, and I am very slowly starting to apply some of the concepts of dealing with hurt and anger. But as with any healing or life change, much of it is easier said than done! lol.

      • If I can encourage you a little bit as I’ve been encouraged by others in the past.. never underestimate the power of people.

        As much damage and harm as they can do, as deeply as they can injure with their words and actions and attitudes, they can also love, and support, and care, and value, and heal.

        I still want to come back and talk more about your last comment (excellent rant) but all labels aside, people can pleasantly surprise you just as greatly as they can disappoint you.

        It’s rare, I’ll admit it, but it’s worth keeping in mind. 🙂

      • It’s very easy to forget that there are good people in the world… prior to this year I was an idealist, I only ever saw the good in people to the point that I was not prepared for the betrayal I experienced. I was an open book, never felt I needed to hide anything from anyone. I was sheltered from a lot of hurt and pain growing up, so this past year has been a complete shock to me- I had this naive notion that most people were kind and good and just a few people were mean and cruel; not so much! People can be both good AND bad… even normally nice people have a dark side that can come out and bite you.

        But meeting kind people like yourself is certainly helpful in renewing my faith in the human race- right now I feel like all of my optimism about people was unfounded. 🙂

  1. “2. They believe that God blessed them in particular with food, but this same God ignores the starving of others. Most of these people do this tradition without ever actively trying to help others who are hungry. A few of them do, but not most.”

    That last part is the problem. I see no problem for thanking God for the blessings he gives us. But its a sin not to help others.

    I am not sure why you think God ignores those who are starving. Just because starving happens it doesn’t mean God ignores it. Just because God doesn’t go in and immediately correct every wrong, it doesn’t mean he ignores it.

    • Here’s why I think he’s to blame:

      1. He has the power to change their situation.
      2. He claims to be kind, to care for people’s needs and have a plan, and to answer prayer.
      3. People are praying for world hunger to end- including the people starving.
      4. People are still starving en mass. Thus he either does not have the power to help them, he chooses not to, or somehow people starving is part of his sadistic plan for them. Since he is supposed to answer prayer and take care of his children (eg the verse about the sparrow not worrying about their needs), he should be held accountable for letting such suffering happen.

      If I were God and I had the power to answer prayer and help people, I would make a way for starving people to have food in the least invasive way possible. For example: In the Bible it describes God sending quail for the Isrealittes- so I might disorient a flock or two of geese and send them their way once in a while. Or, I could nudge the ecosystem just a bit in their area to make food grow better. One way or another, I’d make sure that NO child ever starved to death!

No trolling, please! Genuine dialogue for the purpose of mutual understanding is appreciated; debates are not. General comments are welcome.

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