I'm a novice blogger, so forgive me if I break etiquette here:
I'm a US Soldier serving in Afghanistan, which means I eat most of my meals next to co-workers. Some of them are outwardly religious and they pray quietly over their meals (and maybe mine too). Anyway, I'm looking for a fun way to make them think. Once I asked a friend who prayed over his food at my house if he thought that I had poisoned it. That was kind of fun. I'm looking for something non-insulting, but fun and thought provoking.

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Comment by Chrys Stevenson on September 10, 2009 at 5:46am
I've been known to say a non-religious grace on special occasions. Just something along the lines of: "As we sit down to this wonderful family dinner, let's take a moment to consider how lucky we are to have food on the table, a warm place to sleep, a loving family and that we live in a peaceful country." Just because we're atheists doesn't mean we shouldn't stop from time to time just to voice our appreciation for what we have. You don't have to THANK anyone, just be grateful.

I wouldn't be inclined to make fun of your friends if all they're doing is praying quietly over their meals. If they ask you to say grace at any time, you can simply say what you're grateful for without invoking God.

I think the best way of promoting atheism is just to be a good friend and an upstanding citizen (or soldier) and win the admiration of those around you - and, of course, if it's at all feasible, be open about your atheism. Then, if any of those people praying have doubts, they might just seek out your advice.
Comment by Christopher Raiti on September 10, 2009 at 4:02am
I have some very spicy hot sauce that I may find the occasion to sprinkle on their food as they pray.
Comment by Louis Davout on September 10, 2009 at 2:53am
I give thanks to the laws of physics for creating this planet. I give thanks to biology for allowing humans to have evolved. I give thanks to the farmers for their hard work growing this food (assuming it's real food). I give thanks for the scientists who have developed the tools to produce and distribute this food. I give thanks to the manufacturers who built the machines to plant and harvest this food.

In science and reason I trust. Ramen.
Comment by Mike Wilkinson on September 9, 2009 at 10:00pm
PS., I'm sure that wont work for you in Afganistan, but something will come up....
Comment by Mike Wilkinson on September 9, 2009 at 9:58pm
Funny story: At my fire station, I was constantly beraded by my Xian co-workers for not waiting for the prayer over meals. Having exposed myself as a non-believer, the ribbing became more pointed. Many occasions I was requested to lead the prayer, knowing full well I would decline and allowing them to find yet another reason to ridicule me...until one day...they asked me to bless the food; so I- the instigator I am- immediately got up from the table, removed my boots, placed a mat on the floor- facing east- covered my head with my hands and began pretending to praise allah (in a fashion I had only seen in the movies) for a time frame longer than needed! When I "finished", I sat back at the table and the look on their faces was priceless! Silence befell the meal, and I can report I have not once been asked to pray over the meals (3 years now) with the added bonus they now pray in silence and do not bother me about it. What fun!!!!!!!
Comment by Jason Spicer on September 9, 2009 at 9:18pm
The Nerd, how can you be sure His Noodly Appendage was not, in fact, your food?
Comment by Rusty Gunn. on September 9, 2009 at 6:11pm
I always like "Rubba-dub-dub. Thanks for the grub, Yay God!!" And, I heard that in a military chow hall!

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