What's the best way for an atheist to behave during Christmas family prayer and carol-singing?
during prayer my daughter just waits quietly until we are finished. seems like the polite and easy thing to do. i have actually never seen carol singing. personally i only thought it was in the movies. i guess in that case the atheist could either just enjoy the singing if they like christmas carols and if they're good of course. or they can politely ask them to go somewhere else.
I say be respectful, bow your head and be silent during prayer and enjoy the music. I love carols, ironically enough, my favorite carols are not the mainstream, but the classical ones I grew up on in the Catholic church. I love all types of music, so I listen and enjoy it for that aspect. I believe in respecting the beliefs of others, particularly on holidays. I believe if atheists/agnostics hope to have that respect returned, we need to be living examples of how to behave like conscientious human beings.
Sit silently, do not bow your head ( a sign of submission and concurrence),
do not close your eyes ( another sign of agreement with the prayer). Some families hold hands at this time. I will join in that. Some all say Amen at the end. I do not say Amen.
Next Question: What do you, as the host, do when you have a family to your house for dinner who always says a Christian grace before starting the meal?
a. Since this is your house, as a sign of respect, they should be fine with skipping it. Just start passing the bowls.
b. Allow them to say their grace/prayer at your invitation but not join in yourself.
c. provide your own alternative grace/prayer. Such as:
"Let's all join hands. ( optional) Don't bow or close your eyes. Look around and see the faces of friends and family and let us be happy to be together for this meal. Let's be thankful we have an abundance of food due to our economy, our hard work, and science for creating fertilizers, seeds, machinery, and transportation that brings it to our table. Bon appetite! " or something less corny !
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