Wedding Woes

I have an athiesm question

I have a friend from college that is going through some stuff.  I know that she was Catholic for a long time, but I'm not sure what her practices are now.  Is it offensive to say I'm praying for her if she's athiest?

I usually just say I'm thinking of someone if I don't know their practices, but thought I'd throw it out for discussion. 

Re: I have an athiesm question

  • I would tell her that she's in your thoughts/you're thinking of her. 
  • In Response to Re:I have an athiesm question:[QUOTE]I would tell her that she's in your thoughts/you're thinking of her.nbsp; Posted by TheMrsC23[/QUOTE]

    This. Nice and generic. Although I'm confused, is this just going though general traumatic life stuff, or the active process of questioning the concept of god/Catholicism, etc?
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  • That's what I did.  I figure it's offensive if I knowingly said I'd pray for an athiest, just wasn't sure about the unknowing.  KWIM?
  • Generic is better. I hate when people say they're praying for me that know I'm an atheist.
  • I would say 90% of the time, it doesn't bother me.  

    The other 10% are related to specific people and situations where that phrase is uttered as a weapon, that I'll tell them no thanks.  For example:  Oh, you're an atheist?  I'll pray for you.  <-- I have no problem being an absolute monster about that.  
  • dharma- it's just general life stuff.  It's someone I've sort of been in and out of a friendship with and a lot of her views have really changed.  The tone of a few fb posts have hinted she may be athiest now, but I'm not sure.  I know a mutual friend is.  I just can't tell with her.
  • I want to add this. This question comes up in my atheist group alot, b/c of the reverse...when it's so common to say I"m praying for you, and it feels trite to say, I'll keep you in my thoughts, what do you say?

    I've finally settled on saying, "I'm so sorry you're going through this".  B/c really I am.  And there's not schit I can do to make any of it better, but it's w/in my nature to want to try.  But what *I* consider magical thoughts of any sort (either of the above phrases or good energies or whatever other nonsense I come up with) isn't going to help.  

    I will go farther for some people and say, "I'm so sorry you're going through this.  Can I help by doing [fill-in-the-blank]?"  Food, connections, phone number, shoulder to cry on, etc.  I feel more honest and true to both myself and the person.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_i-have-an-athiesm-question?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:47Discussion:e3e4e813-1942-4b64-97d5-f09fa9a3724aPost:f4af3460-bcfa-499a-944b-ed62df864b45">Re: I have an athiesm question</a>:
    [QUOTE]I want to add this. This question comes up in my atheist group alot, b/c of the reverse...when it's so common to say I"m praying for you, and it feels trite to say, I'll keep you in my thoughts, what do you say? I've finally settled on saying, "I'm so sorry you're going through this".  B/c really I am.  And there's not schit I can do to make any of it better, but it's w/in my nature to want to try.  But what *I* consider magical thoughts of any sort (either of the above phrases or good energies or whatever other nonsense I come up with) isn't going to help.   I will go farther for some people and say, "I'm so sorry you're going through this.  Can I help by doing [fill-in-the-blank]?"  Food, connections, phone number, shoulder to cry on, etc.  I feel more honest and true to both myself and the person.
    Posted by VarunaTT[/QUOTE]

    I think that's a great solution to the 'question'.  And it is honest, because you can feel sorry and helpless to assist the person at the same time.   It happens a lot.  And just telling someone that can mean a lot to them/make them feel less alone in the situation.
  • I like that V.  This is also why I like this board.  I can ask some awkard questions and get thoughtful answers.
  • I'm an agnostic, formerly very religious. I don't mind when my friend who still have those beliefs tell me they are praying for me. I know it's their worldview and not me. It's nice to know they are thinking of me.
  • I do think "I'll pray for you" is a phrase that people overuse with little intention on actually doing it. I try not to tell someone I'm going to pray for them if I'm really not. Prayer is powerful to me, so I don't want to throw out that willy nilly if I'm not sincere.




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  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 2013
    Here's the way I see it.

    If I have a friend who is very religious (and I have a few) and they say it, I'm fine with it.  B/c it's important to them.  The actual prayer part means nothing to me, but the fact that my very religious friend, who it's very important to and believes in that power, said it for me, means something to me.  

    Let's be honest, unless you're offering up an actual service in help, most of the time it's lip service and meant to comfort the sayor that they're doing "something" b/c doing something helps the sayor not feel so helpless.  I choose to accept my helplessness.  There's schit I can't ever control and I choose how that will affect me and what I can do about it...not someone else be they a god or another human.  I can choose to acknowledge that for someone else and maybe help if I can too. I believe that's my power as a human, I don't have to give it to anything else.

    I, however, am probably what would be called a pacifist atheist.  I really don't care what everyone believes.  I'm not in a conversion battle to try and convert people to my side; lack of religion or use of religion is a private journey, that you should share only with people who ask questions or want to listen.  I usually loathe going to any sort of humanist vs. theist debate.

    I do like associating with other atheists and doing the social work and social projects we do, just b/c I like being involved with like minded people in a grop and I found one.  I like doing stuff with my area trail group too, that is also social work and social stuff, b/c they're like minded people about another subject close to my heart.

    Not all atheists are pacifists, but "angry" atheists are necessary to the movement too, just like religious folks have loud angry people.  Someone has to be a lightening rod.  :)

    This is much longer than I intended.  I've been in a musing mood lately.  :)
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