God is great, God is good…
It’s been about a week now since Thanksgiving, and hopefully everyone has found creative ways to finish off all their leftover turkey! I love the holiday season, and the time I get to spend with my family, but one thing is always awkward—saying grace before the dinners. I don’t mind bowing my head and listening quietly while others do it, but I’m not too fond of doing it myself.
My family consists mostly of devout Christians—none of whom know that I’m an atheist. That’s right, I’m still in the closet per say. However, my sister somehow has this special ability to know just who to pick on when it comes time to say the prayer. We celebrated Thanksgiving dinner at her home, and as we all gathered around the table and bowed our heads in silence, I knew I was in for it. Before she even asked I could tell just by her look that she was going to pick me.
It was a test of sorts. Everyone in my family was waiting to see if I had lost my “roots” when I went off to college. It was their way of putting me back in my place, or that’s at least how they saw it. When my sister told (not asked) me to say it, there was no backing down. So, I took a deep breath, mumbled a few words, said amen, and began digging into the food! My family seemed pretty satisfied and began eating as well, and the chatter resumed once again. Whew…so I managed to pass! I know there is only so long that I can get away with it though before having to eventually tell them, but while everyone is standing there with their mouths watering and wanting to eat food it’s not the right time.
For a little while afterwards I felt a bit guilty. Is it unethical to say a prayer that you don’t believe in for the sake of pleasing others? At this point I haven’t been able to decide, so I’m curious has anyone else been in this type of situation? I’d like to know how the rest of you guys have handled it.