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So I'm cooking dinner at the local shelter

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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:32 PM
Original message
So I'm cooking dinner at the local shelter
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 10:10 PM by neebob
with some co-workers, which is something we just started and are going to do once a month. It's fun, if you don't mind fielding weird comments from the residents. The shelter is affiliated with a church or something resembling a church, but they don't make a thing of it. I wouldn't be there if they did.

So I'm standing in the kitchen, and one of the residents - who had already said one weird thing to me ("I see some snakes and I'm gonna kill 'em," referring to my toes) and had told a co-worker who's very good looking and whose wife happened to be sitting nearby that she'd like to pick his bones - asked me, of all people, if we could pray over dinner. I must look like the prayer decision maker, or maybe I just seem authoritative because I'm very tall. She had first asked if she could ask me for a favor, which to me indicated that she had a big issue about not blessing the food.

I was tempted to tell her to just take her plate and go say her own prayer, but instead I said, "Uh ... you know what? I'm not the right person to ask. Go ask {the girl who works there}." She must have said no, because there was no prayer. My co-workers were amused.

Then on my way out, this guy goes, "Don't drink and drive - I have more kids out there than I know about."

Anyway, I resolved on the way home that the next time someone addresses me in a way that assumes I share their god belief, instead of feeling all squidgy and saying something that spares their feelings, I'm going to tell them I'm an atheist and throw the big ball of squidgy feelings back at them. Or maybe I'll ask, "Why would you assume that I share your religious beliefs?"
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 01:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. This story is untrue
Everyone knows darn well atheists and agnostics don't perform charitable deeds! ;-)
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Isn't that the truth
After volunteering to pop popcorn for 11 years at my sons grade school (one year I had no child in the school), Running a fund raiser for three years, being PTO president twice, working in the schools library two days a week for 12 years, helping out at book fairs for 12 years, and running a reading program that required 2-3 hours each morning for three years when the local rabbi found out I was an atheist he got very rude and his little boy was no longer allowed to play with mine. This boy was one my son's best friends - it broke his heart and mine.

But I'm a lowly godless morale-less heathen.
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Funny you should say that
because I was beating myself up for posting this criticism and not giving a break to this person who is either homeless or so abused that she was forced to escape to a shelter - not to mention the fact that she's obviously just a little bit different.

Since last night I've given some thought to whether I should have made an exception to my personal behavioral rules - "have more compassion," as my hard-right raging wingnut Mo-mom who doesn't mind blowing up bystanders in Iraq and would probably support nuking half the planet and has such a problem with paying for someone else's health care is always telling me. If I told her I'm thinking about donating the canned goods she's sent me for my food storage (because President Hinckley says things are going to get really bad) to the community shelter, she'd stop sending them.

And maybe that would be ethical thing to do, because otherwise it'll be the apocalypse and my 16-year-old son will have a legitimate reason not to want canned sliced potatoes and corn and stuff, because it'll all be spoiled.

Then I got to thinking about what would happen if I actually did inform someone who asked me for permission to pray or invited me to Bible study, as a neighbor of mine did recently, that I'm an atheist. The expression on the neighbor's face when I said, "Thanks, but I'm not religious," looked more like feeling stupid than anything. Perhaps she'll think twice before inviting the next person she doesn't know very well. But if I'd said, "No, thanks, I'm an atheist," I might have become a topic of discussion and prayer at the Bible study group.

In any case I'm questioning whether the woman in the shelter should be subject to the same rules as the one down the street with the perfect yard full of stuff and two vehicles in her driveway.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. good for you
I'm helping this year with "The Festival Of Trees" and was worried that there might be some prayer crap going on. My plan is to say no thanks and go about my work. While it is connected with a local hospital I don't see prayer high on their agenda many of the workers are big church goers and assume that all the other helpers are too - (see the post above)

The Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for cancer, it goes to the local Comfort Care and Hospice Services.
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. My company does the Festival of Trees every year
and while I haven't personally attended, I wouldn't expect to be confronted with a prayer dilemma at that event. Other cancer events I've attended have moments of silence and stuff like that.
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goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Glad to hear it -
thanks for the info
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