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If I am with people who are religious I really do keep my mouth shut. If they wish to pray over their food them I'll sit quietly while they do so. If they ask me to say the prayer it's a flat "No!"

My boss is a practicing Catholic, nice guy, checks never bounce and he keeps us busy even during the winter. All his trucks have the fish symbol with the cross inside on the door. And it ain't small. Doesn't bother me a bit, his trucks to do with as he pleases.

For Christmas last year he gave all the drivers a really nice hoody sweatshirt, with the company logo, including the fish. I never said a word. just covered the fish with a couple of patches. When he asked me about it, told him I appreciated the gift but I'm an Atheist and will not wear the symbols of any religion and won't participate in the rituals.

He said "Oh" and that was that.

As someone said earlier, I come here to air my opinions because this (contrary to some peoples belief) is an acceptable place to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Religion is not a big part in my life. I do however do not care if somebody practices his or her religion. This is still America,I think, and people have the right to practice their religion. If one gets pissed or bummed out because someone is practicing a religious thing one has a problem. The direction this country is headed in is not good and maybe some rirtualistic BS would possibly correct the situation.
I don’t disagree with you. Of course we have freedom of religion and people should be free to observe their religious rituals—as long as those observances don’t violate the legitimate rights of others (no throwing virgins into volcanos, etc.) But, I would say, our country needs some rational thinking, not ritualistic BS.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
If I am with people who are religious I really do keep my mouth shut. If they wish to pray over their food them I'll sit quietly while they do so. If they ask me to say the prayer it's a flat "No!"

My boss is a practicing Catholic, nice guy, checks never bounce and he keeps us busy even during the winter. All his trucks have the fish symbol with the cross inside on the door. And it ain't small. Doesn't bother me a bit, his trucks to do with as he pleases.

For Christmas last year he gave all the drivers a really nice hoody sweatshirt, with the company logo, including the fish. I never said a word. just covered the fish with a couple of patches. When he asked me about it, told him I appreciated the gift but I'm an Atheist and will not wear the symbols of any religion and won't participate in the rituals.

He said "Oh" and that was that.

As someone said earlier, I come here to air my opinions because this (contrary to some peoples belief) is an acceptable place to do so.
Good post.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I experienced a Catholic funeral not that long ago and posted about it on here. It was a weird experience. All the smoke, chants, people repeating phrases back to the priest etc. I left there thinking that was really religion in a nutshell....just a lot of pageantry coupled with primitive teachings.
Exactly.

Look, I’m not a great student of the history of religion or sociology. But, it seems to me that so many of these rituals had their beginnings, of course, in ancient and medieval times when, let’s face it, the vast majority of people were pretty unsophisticated and uneducated. Religion was basically magic and the rituals were magical (supernatural) incantations and hocus pocus, which gave the Church and clergy power and authority.

I know I keep harping on this, but wrap your head around the notion that modern day Catholics are to accept that they are consuming the LITERAL blood and body of Jesus when they partake in holy communion. Not symbolic, not metaphorical, LITERAL blood and body of Jesus. That’s magic.
 

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Exactly.

Look, I’m not a great student of the history of religion or sociology. But, it seems to me that so many of these rituals had their beginnings, of course, in ancient and medieval times when, let’s face it, the vast majority of people were pretty unsophisticated and uneducated. Religion was basically magic and the rituals were magical (supernatural) incantations and hocus pocus, which gave the Church and clergy power and authority.

I know I keep harping on this, but wrap your head around the notion that modern day Catholics are to accept that they are consuming the LITERAL blood and body of Jesus when they partake in holy communion. Not symbolic, not metaphorical, LITERAL blood and body of Jesus. That’s magic.
And back then it made sense. I mean, they didn't have the tools to understand the world. Humans have been curious for a long time and they needed answers. So, they borrowed myths from other cultures and infused in some of their own ideas. The magic of that time gave answers when none were to be had.

Fortunately, we are past those times. Science has provided a lot of answers about the origins of the universe, evolution and so on. We know, for example, that people aren't possessed with demons. These people may be afflicted with brain cancer or mental illness that causes them to go crazy. Back then, demons was the best answer they had. It's just shocking that people subscribe to that "magical" thinking with all the information we have in front of us. In fact, we as agnostics are labeled outsiders in many social circles in 2015 for not subscribing to magical thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Let's not forget another powerful force for belief--the very real psychological desire to avoid accepting personal mortality. (Don't misread that, MORTALITY, not morality)
 

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Ritualism turns many away from organized religion, particularly Catholicism and the like. No offense intended. We Protestants don't have many rituals.
I'm a Protestant, I appreciate rituals in our service, Lutheran, not quite Catholic, but works for me
 

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Let's not forget another powerful force for belief--the very real psychological desire to avoid accepting personal mortality. (Don't misread that, MORTALITY, not morality)
That is what I have always felt is the main attraction to religion. The fear of death. Not wanting to think that we and everything we ever learned, felt and thought, our entire life just....stopping. I've met people who think that is intolerable. After all they have gone thru in life they can't imagine that just ends.

Personally, I find the thought quite comforting.

Reminds me of the "Wizards First Rule": People are stupid. People will believe any lie because they fear it may be true or they wish it to be true.
 

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I experienced a Catholic funeral not that long ago and posted about it on here. It was a weird experience. All the smoke, chants, people repeating phrases back to the priest etc. I left there thinking that was really religion in a nutshell....just a lot of pageantry coupled with primitive teachings.
When I was in Catholic school we had to go to every funeral that occurred during the week while the school year was going on. Fortunately that only seemed to be a few times a year. I was used to the ritual of it all but there is nothing funnier than when you really aren't supposed to laugh. The dumbest little thing could set it off and then it's contagious. Dragging a hundred 6-13 year olds seemed odd to me even then.

We had to go to mass 4 days a week and then on Sunday. To say that the pageantry lost it's uniqueness would be an understatement. Now, I'd rather put a cigarette out on my tongue than sit through that. I'll do it for a wedding or a funeral just out of respect but...yuk.
 

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That is what I have always felt is the main attraction to religion. The fear of death. Not wanting to think that we and everything we ever learned, felt and thought, our entire life just....stopping. I've met people who think that is intolerable. After all they have gone thru in life they can't imagine that just ends.

Personally, I find the thought quite comforting.

Reminds me of the "Wizards First Rule": People are stupid. People will believe any lie because they fear it may be true or they wish it to be true.
Great points by both of you. Yes, the primary appeal of religion is death insurance. God upped the ante and said not only death insurance, but avoid a pit of fire.

Even if it is reassuring.. who wants to live a lie? It parallels the matrix to an extent. Once you see through the veil of lies and deceit it is easy to dismiss it. I often point back to you know what it is like not to have a conscious thought.. think back to before you were born. We are all so egocentric we can't or don't want to imagine a world without us.
 

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When I was in Catholic school we had to go to every funeral that occurred during the week while the school year was going on. Fortunately that only seemed to be a few times a year. I was used to the ritual of it all but there is nothing funnier than when you really aren't supposed to laugh. The dumbest little thing could set it off and then it's contagious. Dragging a hundred 6-13 year olds seemed odd to me even then.

We had to go to mass 4 days a week and then on Sunday. To say that the pageantry lost it's uniqueness would be an understatement. Now, I'd rather put a cigarette out on my tongue than sit through that. I'll do it for a wedding or a funeral just out of respect but...yuk.
Dude, out of all the Christian denominations Catholicism has to be the most obnoxious. I can't stand the cheesy rituals, but I guess you grew up in it. That is bizarre they would bring a bunch of kids to a funeral. Then again, it almost seems like mind control. Like look, one day you will be in a casket, so you better make this faith thing an important part of your life. Again, a subtle death insurance plea.

I cringe anytime one of my friend's is getting married in a church. I will go for my friends, but I don't enjoy it. I especially hate the Catholic stuff with all the sayings. I feel like my IQ starts slipping when I am around these religious robots. Sorry, not trying to offend anyone, but that's how I feel.
 

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Like the good atheist I am when in a restaurant I always tell people praying that it is BS just before I steal their food.

Oh yeah, then I run while eating the food. After that I litter the area with the food wrappers.

Of course that's because only the believers understand moral values...yep.

I'm still alive and able to tell my stories because I can run faster than the believers since I don't have those damn books, or a rug weighing me down.
Please post pictures. :)
 

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How do you know that cab driver isn't reading my post on this forum?

I get where you're going, so let me add:

If I see---

A Muslim in his daily prayers, or
A Catholic making the sign of the cross, or
A Jew wearing orthodox attire,

I don't go up to them and tell them their rituals are BS. But, this is a forum where all sorts of views about religion, pro and con, are discussed. I expressed my relief at not being being bound by supernatural ritualistic BS. Catholic or otherwise.
So you just like to hear yourself talk or post and tell stories. Got it.
 

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I experienced a Catholic funeral not that long ago and posted about it on here. It was a weird experience. All the smoke, chants, people repeating phrases back to the priest etc. I left there thinking that was really religion in a nutshell....just a lot of pageantry coupled with primitive teachings.
You are a hypocrite then. You should have left. Unless you are going to tell me you had to much respect for the bereaved because you sure don't show respect here to Christians beliefs.. So as I said you are a hypocrite.
 

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I groan if I find out I have to attend a Catholic wedding. A simple Protestant ceremony, I can manage. A civil ceremony is a piece of cake (literally-at the reception).

For each, I can equally appreciate the meaning of the commitment the couple is making and celebrating the love they share.

By any objective view, what’s important about a wedding ceremony is the meaning it has to the couple being married. The necessity of religious rituals is an external imposition, albeit one that the participants presumably accept. A marriage by a civil ceremony can be just as happy and long lasting as one celebrated by a priest in a two hour ceremony complete with consumption of the literal blood and body of Jesus.
You should try a Greek Orthodox wedding.
 

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Dude, out of all the Christian denominations Catholicism has to be the most obnoxious. I can't stand the cheesy rituals, but I guess you grew up in it. That is bizarre they would bring a bunch of kids to a funeral. Then again, it almost seems like mind control. Like look, one day you will be in a casket, so you better make this faith thing an important part of your life. Again, a subtle death insurance plea.

I cringe anytime one of my friend's is getting married in a church. I will go for my friends, but I don't enjoy it. I especially hate the Catholic stuff with all the sayings. I feel like my IQ starts slipping when I am around these religious robots. Sorry, not trying to offend anyone, but that's how I feel.
OMG. Did you eally say, "Sorry, not trying to offend anyone, but that's how I feel ". did you keep a straight face when you typed that? Your sorry. :)
 
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