There was a knock at my door. It was 2 of my neighbors who I never met. They were handing out invitations to a gathering on March 17th from 11:00 to 1:00. When they left I opened the invitation and it read; "You are Invited! To an informal luncheon to celebrate all God's blessings in our neighborhood! On the bottom of the invitation was Matthew 14: vs 14-21.

My first reaction to the invitation before reading it was maybe I should be polite and go. After reading it, I thought what am I crazy, it sounds like a bible study group. What do you think? Should I go? My gut tells me stay away. I don't like confrontation. I don't like people questioning my beliefs and I don't want to offend anyone. I would also feel real uncomfortable if they starting speaking bible quotes and praying. Any advice? Thanks!

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Comment by Pansy on March 11, 2010 at 6:20pm
just don't go
Comment by John B Hodges on March 11, 2010 at 2:05pm
Get a "Darwin Fish" pin or pendant and attend wearing it. Lots of freethought stuff available at The FFRF once, and may still, have T-shirts saying "Friendly Neighborhood Atheist".

But, really, speaking for myself, I wouldn't be tempted by such a gathering.
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on March 11, 2010 at 1:49pm
Nerd has a point. Free food! It does sound overtly religious though, and probably your neighbors feel compelled to try to convert people--or they assume that everyone is Christian. If it just said "God bless you" or something, I wouldn't make a big deal of that.
Comment by Cheryl on March 11, 2010 at 1:38pm
Thanks for everyone's input and advice. It is really helpful.
Comment by J.P.M. on March 11, 2010 at 10:55am
Personally, I would like to see you go, be 'neighborly' and simply state your opinions if the need to do so arises (i.e. being expected to participate in some ritual). There is no need to be ashamed of not sharing their mythology, and more christians need to realize that people who do not share their beliefs can still make good neighbors. That said, you know there is a big chance of them taking offense if you openly deny acceptance of their beliefs. But that is their problem, and a lot will depend on how you handle it. You may also offend them if you simply ignore the invitation, but nothing will be gained because they will never understand why. Where I live, I cannot avoid social interactions with christians or I would never attend anything. I am quite matter of fact about my atheism, and most moderate christians choose to simply ignore the fact.
Comment by Secular Sue on March 11, 2010 at 4:16am
I wouldn't go. I don't think I could stomach it.
But if I did go, I would have to try to remember to focus on the people, not the illness. Love the people, love the people....
I wouldn't go.
Comment by William van Druten on March 10, 2010 at 4:10pm
Trash the invitation and ignore them unless you can show them some reason which is possible in a quantum world but probably you will be better off starting a butterfly effect with a fart.
Comment by Tom Thompson on March 10, 2010 at 3:51pm
If you go they will claim that you are being antagonistic. However, if you plan your own secular community event and hand out invitations door to door, well, what can they say? :)
Comment by Robert Madewell on March 10, 2010 at 2:57pm
I'd go and tell them that I'm a non-theist (of whatever sort)., when they ask.

It should be educational to see how they deal with that news. That way, you'd know who was tolerant enough to not be offended off hand. Keep in mind that they invited you. If they were to ask why you came. That's the answer you give them. But, be nice. And by nice I mean so sweet that honey drips off. You could get thrown out, by just saying, "I'm an atheist". I'd also tell them if asked why your there, that you're there to learn.

Well, take it or not. That's my advice. It should be a learning experience.



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