223

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 is of no benefit to me, nor will I see it like that, despite what you think. What I can see is the gesture. It means you're thinking of me, wishing good for me, ...


112

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 alternative perspective which may or may not be relevant, depending on how "extreme" of an atheist the person you're asking about is. This answer may come off as ...


74

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 share my perspective. General feelings on "I'll keep you in my prayers" At any time, I find this statement awkward. It feels like a little kid saying they will ...


39

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 uncomfortable, there's another issue, here: You identify as a Christian, so presumably you hold the words of Jesus as being the highest authority on these issues. So, I'...


39

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 I resent it when people offer me prayers in my times of need; especially in a public or work setting. (And even in a private setting, but especially the other ...


26

I'd like to offer my opinion as a seminarian. "is it rude to offer prayers to an atheist"? How would you feel if a Buddhist offered a meditation for you? Or a Zoroastrian offered help in their religious form? It's all about how your beliefs impact the other party. We as Christians believe in prayer and acknowledge its power. At the same time, if we ...


20

Don't ! Others have commented already along this line, but I feel they are pulling their punches. I'll phrase the following as friendly as I can, but without dilluting the message. I am a militant atheist in the sense of Dawkins. If your friend is feeling strongly about their atheism, this answer applies to them. If I were to go through a difficult ...


18

Another atheist here. As other answers have already discussed, different atheists will feel differently about this kind of thing. I won't rehash what those answers have said, but I do want to add: the content of the prayer is very important. Some years back, I was going through a rough time in my life - deaths in the family and other unpleasant stuff. One ...


17

First of all, I'm a strong atheist myself, But even I, who is strongly against theism, I definitely wouldn't be offended if anyone declared that he prayed for me. Even if I think that it's a waste of time, it's obvious that the only thing that this person means is that they care for me and want to help me to get better. If it was about a person in mortal ...


13

Gary Chapman wrote in The Five Love Languages about how to express compassion. Specifically, he talks about the different ways in which people express compassion. It's important to understand that how you show compassion and how others receive compassion can be different, and these differences can result in missed messages. In a close, intimate ...


12

Relistically, you cannot ask a child of that age to not speak of certain things with your daughter. It seems to occupy her mind a lot, and these little notes seem to be her way of coping with this topic. Once she comes to terms with the topic, the notes should stop as well. However, if she feels like she has to keep her trouble a secret because speaking ...


9

TL;DR: Reach out to them and explain that you need to work things out with them beforehand. Note: I'm assuming a Modern Orthodox level of Judaism. This is based on my own experience, as a Modern Orthodox Jew. How do I communicate to my jewish friends that we are already aware of some rules regarding their religious obligations, have made some ...


8

"Don't talk to him about God; talk to God about him." — My Christian mother about my atheist father In anything with love for others, whether romantic, family, or friends, we often want to tell others about our positive hopes and feelings, but love knows when to shut up. Just respect your coworker. Don't even declare your choice to shut up about God. If ...


7

The best way to react to this depends on who the person is in your life. If these sorts of comments come from someone who is close enough to you that you would tell her you were in love, tell her your career plans, your hopes and dreams, then you need to respond to the subtext, which is "are you still a churchgoer? I think you should be!" Responses to that ...


4

I take an agnostic rather than atheist view of this. I'm quite content not to know whether or not there is a god or an afterlife, and I see no reason to assume that Christians are any closer to the truth about such things as any other religion. I would basically take the view that in the final analysis, you are doing whatever you want to do for your ...


4

No matter what they and their parents believe in, lots of kids have nightmares and/or worry about stuff that they needn't worry about. Ask yourself: would you be so alarmed if the girl was having nightmares about monsters under her bed? Probably not, that sort of thing is normal with all kids no matter how their parents raise them. So, first of all, make ...


3

I have lived in Canada for 50 years. People have mentioned their religion and I have never seen someone react poorly to hearing someone was Catholic. 30 years ago I would hear "jokes" such as equating being Catholic with having a large family, but I never heard anyone worrying that a Catholic would try to convert them. Further, I never heard anyone trying ...


2

I think an effective way to release yourself from attending religion without requiring an excuse is to anticipate their arguments to your decision and give them some compromise. I don't think I will be attending church anymore. There's been a lot of good things I've learned from church but there's some things I don't entirely agree with and I want to ...


2

This one can be a little difficult to navigate. I come from a religious background, so I can relate to your friends' concerns when it comes to wanting "Salvation" for someone else. The best thing you can do here is: Tell them the truth of what you believe.They say honesty is the best policy, and I think that would be especially true in this case. By doing ...


2

There are 2 definitions for "sensitivity" in this context. The first is demonstrated by the OP: Empathetic sensitivity to another person's feelings. The second is demonstrated by OP's fears (and sadly some other respondents to this question): Emotional sensitivity to systems of thought and belief that are not our very personal, private own. I'm more ...


1

I have had this kind of friend that holds one position no matter what. You can try and tell him he is wrong in a way he understand, but in the end if he doesn't change you have to decide whether you put up with him or not. Note: update from comments so it is more clear my backing I had a friend that behaved this way in certain topic and I tried similar ...


1

Please read about the 7 states of grief. The best you can offer now is: nothing! Everyone goes through the 7 stages and everyone does so differently. I'm not a therapist or anything but from the experience with it from the past, the best you can do is step aside. This doesn't mean step away. Be there at your colleagues side and LISTEN! This is most often ...


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