I was asked why I get so upset at public meetings (high school graduations for my kids, city council meetings etc.) when people pray or thank Jesus on my behalf. I say, "It makes me feel uncomfortable." This doesn't scratch the surface of the sensation of an authority figure praising their god(s) on my behalf without my consent. In a fit of annoyance, I tried to express it as 'prayer rape' and was told that was way too offensive.

What do you think? Is it too over the top, about right, or would some other term be more accurate? I don't feel that, "It makes me uncomfortable when they pray at public events" is a very forceful expression of the violation I feel. Can you suggest a better term?

Prayer rape:  Noun.

The act of forcing others to listen to or participate in any religious activity or teaching without their consent and against their will.



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Good reply, Karim. I'll rethink the degree, if not the direction. Prayer assault? Prayer force feeding? There has to be something better than "It makes me uncomfortable when you do that prayer thing." Prayer rape may be too strong.



Guess that'd be the distinction, being the manner in which it was given. I'll say "bless you" though of course, coming from me, it is a social lubricant from my culture. However, a full on prayer at an otherwise secular event, when it is done as a communal activity is quite awkward and different from a private reflection with the deity of choice. 

Personally, I take such time to look around and see who else is a heathen. :D

I think troll is an apt label. From the aggressive nasty troll that deposits a flaming sack of shit on your porch to the concern troll so understanding and armed with a wet blanket. Or, the brain stem to stupid to know what web site they are on and in screaming, bold uppercase bloviating rant that has nothing relevant to the discussion.


Sometimes it is just better to take the highroad. I would smile and say "thanks". I find when other atheists get all angry and defensive about little things, it makes us look bad. Once you show others that the good christian soul is being rude but the godless atheist is being polite, it sends a much bigger message than yelling and swearing and looking like a jackass. :)

So very true, blue.

If it's not rape then it's definitely groping.

If you feel it is akin to rape then it is very abusive for you.  I have no doubt you can separate it in your mind from the real rape of another human being.  I am glad you feel safe enough on A/N to express your feelings of being verbally assaulted by unwelcomed religious rituals. The group Recovering from Religion has been very helpful for me as have other discussions on A/N in dealing with the anger I feel in being subjected to religious indoctrination throughout most of my life.  I hope you will continue to express your anger in this forum of like minded friends so we can all heal together and move on to living in a more healthy way.

It sounds as if it trivializes rape, to me. I'd look for a term with stronger normative force than "makes me uncomfortable" but not this one.

Ian, besides the theists who agree with the praying, there are submissives who accept the praying.

One step toward self-respect is name calling; it provides emotional release but doesn't stop the praying.

Take another step and tell the prayerful ones that in meetings such as you describe, the behavior is illegal.

If that doesn't stop the praying, take a third step and contact Freedom from Religion Foundation (ffrf.org) or the ACLU.

Brandi, I'm going to charge out onto a limb you might want to cut off behind me.

Your words: ...FFRF or the ACLU should be notified immediately.  I just wouldn't pay attention to it, ...."

In those words I'm seeing an acceptance--a submissiveness--you perhaps don't intend.

Do you intend it?

Thanks for all the thoughtful and supportive comments.

I'm expecting to be theologically assault this weekend at my daughter's state university graduation ceremony. Welcome to South Carolina. They have selected (against the wishes of the student body which is 56% female) the tea party looney senator for the state. He vehemently opposed the Violence Against Women Act because it gave equal protection to homosexuals and immigrants. He has also spoken repeatedly in the 'this is a Christian nation' vein of flowing bullshit. Not promising. 

If they would publish or provide a program for the event in advance, I might be able to take preventive actions, but the school is refusing to release any information. My trusty video camera is packed, but having these theo-morons prayer grope my family at my daughter's graduation is currently more likely than not.

Prayer grope - 

The act of forcing others to listen to or participate in any religious activity or teaching without their consent and against their will.

And to add insult to injury, you now have Mark Sanford as one of your representatives.  Of course, he attributes his election to prayers.




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