225 votes

How can I offer my prayers to an atheist colleague facing a serious personal situation?

I am an atheist myself so I'm going to answer it as if you would say it to me: I'm an atheist, which means that heaven/hell/praying have no value (good nor bad, just void) to me. The act of praying ...
  • 5,423
145 votes
Accepted

How to tell friends something goes against my religion?

My religion prohibits me from being profane, how can I tell my friends to stop swearing so that I am not influenced by their actions? You don't. You can't expect other people to follow your religion. ...
  • 4,921
132 votes
Accepted

My best friend has become increasingly xenophobic towards Muslims. What do I do?

But, he'll still share and talk quite hateful things towards them. I know deep down it isn't because he genuinely has a hatred for Muslims, it's because he's believing the lies that he's reading. ...
  • 4,366
125 votes

How can I offer my prayers to an atheist colleague facing a serious personal situation?

As Martjin describes it, I'm a more "extreme" atheist, in that I probably would be offended by a Christian offering to pray for me, especially if they knew I was an atheist. So I offer this as an ...
  • 2,829
110 votes
Accepted

How to address a double standard where my religious colleagues consider it OK to discuss religion, but then ask me not to?

I am an atheist, I know many atheists and people of other religions personally and have witnessed many "discussions" turn into full on yelling matches, which is why I refuse to participate unless I am ...
81 votes

How can I offer my prayers to an atheist colleague facing a serious personal situation?

I am an atheist who recently lost 4 close family members in a very short period. Most of my friends and family are theist and specifically Christian so this scenario came up a lot and I wanted to ...
  • 779
76 votes

How to tell a non-muslim friend that "Inter-faith Marriage not gonna work"?

I wanted to bring her out of this situation, so being not only a friend but as an inter-faith discussion as well, I suggested her to revise her decision to marry a Muslim as it's not going to work but ...
  • 6,411
59 votes

How to ask someone to stop playing music without sounding religious?

"All power lies in self-control." You want to change things about your environment that you are obviously powerless over, you have no control in these situations, and seek to be deceitful as a means ...
  • 547
59 votes
Accepted

How do I tell my parents "I don't want to go to church" over the holidays?

You're mixing a health argument with an "I don't like it" argument. The latter is unwinnable right now, and by combining them you invite your parents to think "oh, he doesn't want to and we've had ...
57 votes

How to tactfully ask if someone is from the same ethno-religious group as I am?

If there are few members of your minority where you live, and you want to connect with others, then isn't it likely that others would want to connect with you too? Asking people if they are risks ...
56 votes

How to address a double standard where my religious colleagues consider it OK to discuss religion, but then ask me not to?

I suggest you take an approach that is apologetic, but firm. For example, you could say: I apologize for offending you with my comments about religion, and I will not make such comments unprompted. ...
  • 1,715
49 votes
Accepted

How do I get someone to call me by the name I prefer?

I think you have the right to be more forward about it. The dialogue you had could have gone a different way: Them: Come again? Me: Fred. Them: (puzzled face)... Me: Fred. Them: Were you baptized as ...
47 votes
Accepted

What is the most respectful way to respond when invited into a prayer circle or other religious activity I don't believe in?

A few questions: Do these people know you are not a religious person? Have you ever told them how you feel about this whole ordeal? How far have you gone so far? Did you do the whole 9 yards? (hold ...
47 votes

How can I offer my prayers to an atheist colleague facing a serious personal situation?

If this comes off harshly, I apologize. I’m merely trying to state my often discussed (between friends and family) thoughts and opinions succinctly; though brevity sounds sharp. I’m a Christian, and ...
43 votes
Accepted

How do I tell my mother that I'm an atheist?

It's good that you're being careful and sensitive about this. As a Christian myself I can say that there is no easy way to go about the topic. If a family member told me that they didn't believe in ...
  • 544
42 votes
Accepted

How to ask someone to stop playing music without sounding religious?

First of all, not everyone interprets the religion the same way. Some consider it haram, some don't. There's not much you can do here to change others. To your friends who already know your beliefs, ...
  • 10.2k
42 votes

How can I offer my prayers to an atheist colleague facing a serious personal situation?

Don't talk about your prayer life in public, in general. Jesus said not to. Besides the points that some other people have made about informing him of your desire to pray for him making him ...
40 votes

How to tell friends something goes against my religion?

My religion prohibits me from being profane, how can I tell my friends to stop swearing so that I am not influenced by their actions? Taking your personal beliefs and imposing it on your friends who ...
  • 4,762
40 votes
Accepted

How to tell a non-muslim friend that "Inter-faith Marriage not gonna work"?

Asking questions, as you've done, is generally a good way to get someone to think about something without being particularly confrontational. If I were you, I'd keep the questions coming: Shouldn'...
  • 4,056
40 votes

How do I get someone to call me by the name I prefer?

I think this could be dealt with by simply reiterating the name you chose to go by, via subtly - but firmly - correcting them every time they mention your full name, without necessarily sounding rude. ...
38 votes

Saying "No" to my brother's demand without causing an argument

Religion does not need to be a part of this, and neither does the fact that you dislike him. Tattoos are (for all intents and purposes) permanent and any mistake will be there forever, so it should ...
37 votes

How to tell friends something goes against my religion?

Don't mention the religion Only let your friends know that you personally find their constant swearing disturbing. If they care, they will control it. To strangers, don't mention anything. Let them be....
  • 10.2k
37 votes

Moving away from Christian faith: how to retain relationships?

You are not the first person to have this issue and I suspect won't be the last. I have friends who are atheist and friends who are more religious than I. I have friends who are politically very ...
  • 32.2k
36 votes

How do I tell my parents "I don't want to go to church" over the holidays?

Your question is really the wrong question to ask. Your question shouldn't be "How do I tell my parents I don't want to go to church", your question should be "How do I tell my parents I'm not going ...
  • 6,220
34 votes

Best way to give coworker chance to share personal (religious) information with me that I already heard from someone else?

I would just chat with her, letting her know you missed her, but without directly asking why she wasn't there. For example, Hey Alice, I missed you at the holiday party! Did you get to see Bob's ...
  • 13.6k
32 votes

How do I tell my parents "I don't want to go to church" over the holidays?

Traditions have a way of almost becoming law in families. Take, for instance, your visiting them over the holidays (which I infer from your comments above). Why? What do you get out of it? I ...
  • 32.2k
31 votes

My best friend has become increasingly xenophobic towards Muslims. What do I do?

TLDR: the reasonable and responsible thing to do is to see if what he means really is indiscriminate hatred towards all Muslims, or whether what he genuinely is concerned about are the numerous ...
  • 540
31 votes

Saying "No" to my brother's demand without causing an argument

With respect, I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too in this situation. If you really aren't going to do this tattoo I suspect you're going to have confrontation on some level. My younger ...
31 votes
Accepted

Etiquette at communion for someone who is not religious

Both a preacher's kid and seminarian here. A lot of this depends on the denomination in question. Catholics and some Lutherans practice what is called "closed communion" where only those practicing ...
  • 32.2k

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