'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

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Feardorcha
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'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by Feardorcha » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:40 am

What do you do when you are at some social or public event and there is that hushed moment when the priest is called upon to say a ‘little prayer’ or whatever?
All too often we atheists just put up with it rather than make a scene. I wonder if there is some acceptable thing we could do without being seen as an anti-social nutter.
I used to go into churches for funerals and weddings for the sake of my friend/relative who is a believer.
In my experience religious believers feel diminished if even one person refuses to participate and it is definitely the role of the pastor to try and coerce everyone into the ritual.
Maybe it’s time to respond to wedding invitations etc with a polite note saying that I’d love to attend but as I don’t subscribe to the religious practice, I will join the party outside. Of course, I'd have to give a bigger present.
I would be curious to know how others deal with this.
JH
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by JH » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:15 pm

While everyone else has their heads bowed in prayer, you could jump on the table and re-enact that scene from The Exorcist.

Actually, I do nothing when it comes to 'grace before meals' at weddings. I sit there and watch everyone else. It only lasts a minute at the most, and I'm certainly not turning down a free meal for the sake of putting up with their ritual for a few seconds. You'd be surprised how little notice people take when you sit and do nothing.

Wedding mass beforehand can be a bit more awkward. I sit at the back and as unobtrusive as possible. After all, someone has been preparing for this day for months and forking out a ton of money to make everything 'perfect' - I don't want to be seen as an attention seeker by making a fuss.
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by smiffy » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:30 pm

Feardorcha wrote: I wonder if there is some acceptable thing we could do without being seen as an anti-social nutter.
Doing nothing is perfectly acceptable. JH is spot on.
Atheism is a religion the same way that NOT collecting stamps is a hobby - Scott Adams
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by GoldenRule » Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:44 pm

JH wrote:While everyone else has their heads bowed in prayer, you could jump on the table and re-enact that scene from The Exorcist.
That's so funny! :lol: I can imagine my Aunt looking on in disgust!

I've grappled with that too, and I've decided to just wait for the Catholics to have their moment, sorry sarcasm in my tone, then continue on. I used to join in with the prayer but now I just wait until the strange moment has passed.

I view the Catholic Church and it's customs and superstitions as plain weird now, I can understand how some ppl are still brainwashed by it all but find it a bit frustrating when ppl I know don't believe pretend they do so as not to upset their parents or the priest etc.
ctr
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by ctr » Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:15 pm

Just sit down and wait.

Let those who wish to partake do so and when its over enjoy the event.
Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by munsterdevil » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:34 am

ctr wrote:Just sit down and wait.

Let those who wish to partake do so and when its over enjoy the event.
I agree, it is obviously the Bride and Groom's decision to let the Priest say a few words. It is there day, not anyone else's
Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. Arthur C. Clarke
Feardorcha
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by Feardorcha » Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:06 am

Of course I was referring to 'social and public events', not private parties and weddings where hosts organise the event as they see fit.
Recent events that spring to mind are the blessing of the local St Patrick's Day parade, a prayer before a local football final, a speech and prayer at the oppening of a community hall (not owned by a church).
My own view is that some form of objection should be made if we are ever to get past the public arrogance that we are all Catholics.
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by Beebub » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:28 pm

Ok, firstly I hope you recognise the irony of not liking the St. Patrick's Day parade to be blessed. It may be our national day but whether you like it or not 'Saint' Patrick is Ireland's Patron Saint and our national day has been named after him. Your beef should be with the naming of our national day after a catholic saint. But If you're happy to attend a parade to celebrate out national day which you go to in the knowledge that it's named after a catholic saint, you can't really complain when the parade is blessed.

Secondly I actually think you have a point. But as you rightly point out, what do you do? If you're at your local football team's ground for a final and a priest is asked to publicly say a prayer (as I'm sure happens) it's incredibly arrogant to assume that everyone in attendance is a catholic. Of course like at the wedding you could just stay quiet for that moment, but how will that bring about any change?

Although if you publicly make a scene and vocally object ot the prayer being said, you will in all likelyhood be dismissed as a loony or a troublemaker.

You'd have to weigh up how effective a vocal objection would be versus the reaction you would get.

Me, I'd probably just stay quiet. I don't like confrontation!
Feardorcha
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by Feardorcha » Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:41 pm

I do celebrate St Patrick's Day, Christmas and many other traditional festivities that have religious conotations. I also use language that is peppered with religious references. If I drop a hammer on my toe, for example, I shout 'Jaysus Christ' and my usual expression of surprise is 'Holy Mother of God'. These are both ingrained in me and in our society but I draw the line at priests being asked to stick their oar in where it is not warranted.
Actually, the reason I brought this up in the first place was that I have noticed an increase from certain holy members of the community in pushing an agenda. Religions are never easy with themeselves and must constantly get in the faces of others.
Though generally I grin and bear it, I have on occasion loudly proclaimed that I'm going for a pint and now that secularism is under threat from the new blasphemy law, I am resolved to be braver.
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Re: 'And now Father Pat will say a few words'

Post by mkaobrih » Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:19 pm

Well I recently got invited to a 50th wedding anniversary shindig - the whole thing was to kick off with a “nice mass” – I declined and very much resented being included in such a thing in the first place. I’ve had enough “nice masses” already thank you very much. I don’t think I can stomach another one.
Also when I was in hospital having my last baby I stated very clearly to the Malaysian nurse - no religion on the admission form and it came out as Roman Catholic in print?? – I amended it in biro and a couple of days later an older nurse noticed and corrected it with a new print out. I do not want to go to your wedding Christening or other celebration of iffy ness – stop asking me.
The church complains of persecution when it's not allowed to persecute.
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