Why do people find prayer so offensive?

I know that everyone has different beliefs and no one wants to have someone elses beliefs forced on them, but am I the only person who thinks people are being over-sensitive? Someone else praying around you isnt trying to convert you, or judge you. Infact, it doesnt harm you in anyway. My non-christian friends have no problem with me praying, and I have no problem with the prayers of friends who have different religious beliefs. For example, I have many friends who are muslim. When they come over to my flat, they have to pray at certain times during the day, and I dont mind them praying while they are here. Im not trying to offend anyone, its just something I genuinely do not understand.

Answer #1

If the almighty (pick your name for the god(s))….can really KNOW wha’ts in your heart, why do you have to say anything at all?

B/c only man is limited to hearing :) Not god, or gods.

To add to that…what if they pray (as to Muslims) in a “special language” does that mean that praying in a different language results in Allah not understanding the prayer?

I see people all the time dressed in “special religious outfits” most belief systems have those. It’s a form of public prayer, announcing that you believe in and support a particular faith. To me, this, too, should be banned, because it’s an imposition on others of your own particular, non provable belief system.

I’m all for people praying…however, when they insist on doing it in YOUR hearing, at best, it’s proselytizing…imho, at least.

Answer #2

Because we dont believe in it. Its like sitting through a lecture you want nothing to do with. It also has NOTHING to do with school or work if thats what youre referring too. Its a waste of time to stand there & talk to the air. I would do so much damage if my school ever allowed that. So pray all you want during lunch, breaks or whatever just not around me & dont take away my learning time for such a ridiculous reason. So pray all you want, wherever you want just don’t make me participate, and don’t set it up in such a way that I have to deliberately choose to abstain.

Answer #3

but there seems to be nothing wrong with atheists expressing their beliefs. Seems a bit hypocritical if you ask me. Why is ok to ban certain outfits? Maybe everyone should just be assigned uniforms in case someone somewhere is offended.

Answer #4

Because this is a freely religous country. I think everyone is so paranoid about offending someone else that when you do it they are offended that you even suggested it. does that make sense? Personally, prayr is a big part of my life… and i try to do it in school to bring up arguments so i can talk about my faith. It really is cool!

Answer #5

Im not talking about it any particular place, I just mean in general. People dont believe in a lot of things, and yet, they dont get offended by them. I personally had to sit through a lecture on a random theory of life originiating from some random planet. I didnt believe it, I dont know anyone in the class who believed it, hell, I dont think the lecturer believed it. No one was offended by it. Someone expressing their beliefs is not forcing you to partcipate. Shouldnt they have the same rights to express themselves as non-believers?

Answer #6

I havent met anyone who finds prayers offensive. It is highly annoying to hear calls to worship at 5am though, as far as i’m concerned that’s an invasion on my right to peaceful sleep. But apart from that, if you’re allowed to say whatever else you want in public and allowed to dress in pretty much anything that has nothing to do with religion, I dont see why prayers should be exempt from your freedom of speech. Also, I find gossip about celebrities highly offensive. Does that mean people need to stop talking about such things? Just because someone does not like hearing something does not mean you have to ban those topics.

Answer #7

I LOVE your question. You just asked y people got offended when you pray NOT MAKING EVERYONE PRAY… people got offended… weird.

Answer #8

Im not sure prayer should be used to start arguments…. But I get what you are saying about being paranoid about offending everyone. Im glad my country is not obsessed with political correctness

Answer #9

Thing is, us atheist dont get a moment to go yell out “fu*k god hes not real” so why should you be able to pray in a public place, go to church if you want to pray. Religion is only good for one thing & thats causing problems. You dont pray, i dont yell :) sounds fair to me.

Answer #10

Roflmao. Nope, if we ban public prayer, we ban all forms of preaching - including that which says that god isn’t real, etc, etc.

Note that I didn’t say I wasn’t a believer in my response, simply that I find all forms of public prayer completely distasteful and forms of attempting to convert others…or chain them further to the leaders of said faith. It, to me, has nothing to do with caring about another’s spiritual well being.

Answer #11

I would be highly annoyed if someone woke me up at 5am for anything short of a natural disaster!

Answer #12

us atheist dont get a moment to go yell out “fu*k god hes not real

You can. You choose not to. That’s your choice.

Answer #13

Also, why you would waste your time on something that is not real is a mystery. You dont spend time talking about how fairies or santa claus is not real.

Answer #14

lol. muslim call to prayer. I grew up in a valley type place, so the noise really made an impact. A huge pain.

Answer #15

I didnt mean arguments… except with this one teacher but thats a different story… but disscusion. I like to say that students can express their belifes. They ask me questions. I am bad at bring up the conversation myself, so its a good way to get others to bring it up for you.

Answer #16

Atheists can take any oppurtunity they like to say those sorts of things, and they dont get one designated area to do so, they can do it wherever they like. Religion doesnt cause problems, extremists cause problems, and if you ask me, that includes some atheists

Answer #17

I dont get the joke… would someone please explaine to me whats funny?

Answer #18

I think there is a correct place to pray & that’s your house or church. Religion should not be brought into anything else like school or work. I dont think you realize how many arguements & fights there would be if allowed prayer at school or work, it’d be chaos, i say we both keep our mouths shut until we get home then you can pray all you want & i can yell all i want :P

Answer #19

that also includes most religions :)

Answer #20

Prayer is allowed at work and school. I have yet to hear of a policy that specifically forbids it (and I’d love to see the court case if that happened). And just because something will cause a fight is no reason to ban it. The civil rights movement fought for a lot of things that caused fights. How exactly would progress have been made if people had said well desegregation will cause too many fights, lets not upset people. If you dont want to hear something, leave. Just as people who dont like what other people are saying have that option.

Answer #21

I wasn’t aware the people found it so offensive. I don’t have a problem with prayer, whether done publicly or not. We all have a freedom to EXPRESS our religion and if people want to do that with prayer, I say let them. I allow my Christian friends to pray when we eat dinner at their house, even if I don’t participate, even my lecture feels that she wants to pray in class. Then that is ok. Not my problem and not my beliefs.

The only time I ever really have a problem with religious events is when I am forced to go or everyone is manipulated to go. Prayer to me however is a very personal thing.

Answer #22

I think prayer is excellent, as long as we are: 1.) not doing it openly in public to show others how great and holy we are, and 2.) trying to “show them” how to live properly. That is what prayer is. Jesus was very disappointed in this type of behavior, he despised it. Prayer is talking to God, and that should be a personal thing, that is why Jesus told us to go into the closet and pray in secret. I believe every serious thought is a prayer. Even worry is a prayer for the things we dont want to happen. Jesus is awesome he even gave us a great default prayer.

Here is a great video. I miss John Denver.

Answer #23

there are a lot of reasons people find prayer offensive. but i think i big reason is bcuz peole dont understand it. people dont understand why you are praying, and most likely dont want to understnad, and therefore dont want you to pray in their prescence. im with you, i dont mind when people pray in front of me if theyre of a different religion, and i dont mind praying in front of people. :P

Answer #24

in answer to your question, even tho God knows our hearts, and He knows exactly what we are going to pray before we pray it, we pray to communicate with Him. thats what a relationship is all about, communication. without prayer, where is the communication in ur relationship with the Lord??

Answer #25

I know what you mean…it happend to me in Turkey while we were on a vacation…until i finally fell asleep…so peacefully then it felt like as if the country was under attack! I woke up with my heart racing…to the morning prayer :(

That happens when you arent used to that sort of thing…i guess i have mixed feelings on the matter. My faith isnt any better…they constantly judge you…make you feel like less of a person for not dressing, acting, praying as they do…but if I lived that way I would be no different then they are…its a lifestyle…not just a religion.

I guess what I am saying is I agree with Irene Kruger on this one…everyone should have the right to practice what they believe in as long as it isnt forcing others to believe in it as well…especially some particular dress code…if violated then the consequence is being punished (that to me is simply absurd & degrading…so to some extent…I know I wouldnt want to live like that religion or not…my beliefs are my beliefs not my dress code! :(

Answer #26

I think it is b/c people have an innate or natural sense that there not only is a god–but there is God. They know in their heart that they are denying Him in some way. They are either denying His existence, or they need more proof b/c they have been conditioned to have proof for everything. But real faith is not about “proof”, otherwise, why call it faith? Faith is about loving and trusting to the point of not requiring proof. It’s also confidence in that trust. So, when others pray near one who does not, it causes anguish in that nonbeliever. It is something they don’t fully understand, but know in their hearts that they should understand it. They not only know in their hearts that they, too, need to be close to God, but they also are under conviction about their own mortality. They most likely ask “What condition is my own soul?”… “Where will I spend eternity?”…Anyone who says they’ve never asked that (at least in their heart) is probably not telling you the truth. B/c no matter what you say you believe, you have pondered those questions at some point in life. As far as one feeling discomfort hearing the prayers of those who practice a belief other than their own, I’d say it is just that. I, for example, would not be in that situation. I pray w/ those who pray to my God and Heavenly Father –& that is not Allah, or no other god. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ and in His name that I pray to my Heavenly Father. I believe Jesus Christ to be the Messiah, and the only One Way to God. I believe this so strongly and so faithfully, that no one can convince me otherwise. I believe it to be true and know in my heart that this is right. If I did not believe this so intensely, I would not say it. If I did not believe this so intensely, I would be considered “open-minded” to accept all other faiths to be plausible or reasonable. I can have a quiet spirit and let others go about their lives believing as they will choose. Our country will support and permit that freedom, too. But I have to also defend my own faith and stand up for that belief when called upon to do so. Prayer is part of that freedom. No matter how offensive it may be to whomever, it is part of our country’s culture and heritage (it has been part of it longer than it has not been part of it), but more importantly, it is that communication between me & my Creator.

Answer #27

Some people have learned to create their own future rather than hope someone/something else will fix it for them. Humanity is undergoing a long process of change towards everyone being able to have more confidence in themselves; transitions are always bumpy.

Think about life in earliest times. Average life expectancy 28 or less. A contaminated graze often killed (e.g. tetanus bug from horse dung, or septicaemia due to no antibiotics). Warfare (competition for scarce resources) was common. Infant death was commonplace, so you needed to have lots to keep up your warrior numbers or risk massacre. Crops failed if you didn’t look after them diligently, famine was frequent. You’d have to hope for something better, because it couldn’t get worse - prayer was the articulation of hope.

There were no police. No written laws, only customs. As tribal numbers grew, conflicts arose over assets - including women and children. There were insufficient resources to physically reward people for good works, and you can only stone people (low tech idea from stone age) you deem to be really bad for trying to take women away from other men (or vice versa). STDs are common, so virginity is prized - it increases the chances of healthy kids. No surprise that harems were a status symbol and guarantee of dynastic rule - until every wealthier man wanted one for himself, then more strife kicks up. The tribal priest has an idea - one he has heard about from the priest of another tribe perhaps. If you can’t reward them in this life, promise them something after death and warn them whichever god they fear the most will punish them after death if they’re bad. Classic carrot-and-stick. Hey presto, the policemen are now in your head. Pray you keep on their good side…

The idea is so ancient it may well have started during our earliest African migrations. Even Catholics don’t push the hellfire and brimstone these days - they recognise that education has helped folk to see past the Wizard of Oz’s curtain - so they tend to push the reward side instead, but in return for treading a very narrow path. Some folk find that approach comforting, because they don’t have to try and work out the rest of life for themselves. Remember that the average reading age for European adults is 12 - that’s the age that medicine leaflets are written to. It makes a lot of things clearer!

The question one must always ask is ‘am I helping to create my future or am I re-creating the past and hoping it will create a future worth having?’

The Taliban are re-creating the past because the present does not fit well with their view of Islam. They kill those who want to advance, just as Catholics once killed heretics that threatened their monopoly on income by questioning corrupt practices. Henry VIII was not about marriage, the monastic incomes went to Rome, not as taxes to the state, and Henry (like Saddam Hussein) had a thing for palaces….

Today, organised religion is an industry - it markets products offering hope, just like the cosmetics/beauty industry. Look closely at a health spa and the effect is has on its customers and compare to a church or temple experience. Both make you look and feel better on both the inside and outside. One is made sacred by the agent of a divine concept, the other is deemed sacred (‘heavenly’) by its customers. Both achieve healing - a product in demand from our earliest times…. Some now pray to be able to afford a hairdo or treatment. Prayer is no longer just a religious thing, but it’s still the mainstay of our hopes and aspirations. Those who get offended by religious prayer still have prayers of their own, it’s just the tint that has changed….

Answer #28

Do you believe Allah’s heaven is different to God’s? Do all heavens exist in different parallel universes perhaps?

Remem that the faithful of every extinct religion believed just as strongly as you do in the truth of their god. The Vikings were completely convinced that they would go to a big drinking-hall in the sky and spend eternity wenching and getting drunk - that was their idea of a better place after a tough life. The ideas have evolved, but the principles remain the same.

Catholics were convinced they were following the one true path up until Calvin and Luther challenged assumptions; it took 1500y for people to realise things might not be as right as they were told. Each Christian sect - including those now defunct, like the Sandemanians - has been convinced that its version is the true path, just as all the Islamic sects have been convinced in theirs.

If we all thought of ourselves as global rather than local national citizens, and worked to build humanity’s future rather than to advance our own personal heavens, the world might unite as a single team instead of squabbling over ‘my god’s better than yours’. Is God pleased that we are letting ouselves get so caught up in the intensity of personal religious experience that we letting the planet burn out its life support system and potentially wiping ourselves out! It doesn’t matter what you think His plan for us might be - we’re the ones who have to sort out the mess this planet’s in - - He helps those who help themselves, apparently, and that means working together rather than shutting ourselves off into large cliques because we can’t work with others - ‘they’ are not ‘us’ is a species-destructive tendency and an indulgence humanity cannot afford.

Answer #29

I agree with TY all the way. As long as no one is shocing anything down my throat, I don’t care what they do or say. And as long as NO ONE else critisizes me for my beliefs!

Answer #30

& when I say no one, I mean no one who expresses their beliefs publicly should critisize anyone else who does

Answer #31

i did not see anyone who finds prayer is offensive.as a free country we all have the right to follow any religion we like.the heaven is the same for all…muslims/christians/buddhists/whatever it is we all like to go there.so why our attempts to reach heaven would be offensive? :S as long as we are not forcing anyone to follow the religion we do,it is absolutely okay i think.

Answer #32

Well to me i know absalutly no one who finds prayin offensice like thats just really wird

Answer #33

It happens even when you are used to that sort of thing. I grew up around it. Didnt make it any less annoying.

Answer #34

:) i was trying to be considerate…I know what you mean!

Answer #35

I think that would all depend on what faith you consider to be your own and how deeply you believe. In case it passed notice, I am a born-again (saved) Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, Mary and lived on this earth. He died in a crucifiction (a painful execution) to repay for the sins of mankind because our heavenly Father required a sacrifice. Jesus was that ultimate & Perfect Lamb of God. He died for my sins so that I could be saved and live in eternity with His son and all those who believe in His Son as the true Messiah. I believe He died and rose again on the 3rd day to go up to be our risen Savior. I believe He will come again (in the Rapture) for all His believers (the saved- the ones who accepted Him as their personal savior & god) and He will come yet again at the Second Coming (after the tribulation period) to battle it out with Satan–All of this is recorded in Revelations and I believe the last book of God’s Holy Word as I believe all the other books in His Word. I believe Genesis, the first book that reads that God created the earth and all it’s inhabitants and creatures…He is my creator and God. I said all this to be very clear to you that THIS is what I believe and live by. How then, can I accept any other god or doctrine as a “maybe” if I believe THIS to be true? I can’t. That is what true belief and faith is–it isn’t abt being open-minded and wishy washy…it isn’t abt history or science. As I stated before, Faith is about loving and trusting to a point of not requiring proof–I have faith that all I read about my personal Savior Jesus Christ to be true–THE gospel–the Word of God–and no one can theorize or alter my convictions. It is not about being moved or swayed when you believe that strongly in anything or anyone. Jesus is the ONLY Way–“no one comes to the Father, but by me” is Jesus’s Own words. I believe that. IF by any chance I am wrong, I’ve lost nothing, but IF by any chance YOU are wrong–you’ve lost your eternal soul to burn (forever) in a lake of fire. I pray that judgment does noT come to you. I would want instead, for you to be my brother in Christ & live a glorious and wonderful eternity in heaven. I’d want that for anyone. Jesus wants that, too–that is why He would have us witness to one another & spread His word to others. You have this moment to decide if you will accept Him and serve Him as your master or to choose whom you will serve. You may or may not ever have that opportunity, again. It is a gamble I would not want to make. If you read God’s word (the bible) the understanding of it comes when you have His Son living inside you and His Holy Spirit guiding your understanding and perceiving the scriptures (inspired and taught)…you have to first pray and ask God to forgive you your sins and ask His Son to come live in your heart. Otherwise, your are just a mere scholar trying to gain knowledge. Wisdom comes from God. Denying Him and His Son is not wise, but foolish. Please understand that I DO say ALL of this in LOVE—not hate. I care about others enough to share what I know to be a blessing and it is more precious than gold.

Answer #36

you could also say though, that if by chance you are wrong and the Muslims or the Jews were right, you have lost something! Just saying… I mean I am a Christian too, but telling people they are foolish and going to burn in hell for their beliefs probably doesnt help with the whole prayer is offensive thing!

Answer #37

That is right. But I am telling them what God’s word says is the punishment for those who do not accept His Son Jesus (according to my bible–my belief). Like I said, I believe His Word to be true, so, I cannot accept what the Muslim faith instructs. Jewish people worship the same God as I do. But Jews do not believe Jesus to be Christ (or, THE Messiah…they believe the messiah has not come, yet). But Jews are also God’s chosen people (not that He has any respects for anyone, but He shows mercy to them, and so, they will prob be the only ones accepting Christ during the tribulation period Also, are you (as a Christian) implying that the lost will not burn in a lake of fire if they don’t accept Christ?

Answer #38

Gotcha, thanks.

Answer #39

lol. I know :) but a spade is a spade.

Answer #40

No, Im not implying anything. I have my beliefs, but I have to understand that they have theirs. I cant force people to believe what I do, but I am always willing to disuss it with them if they wish to, and I try to promote my faith more through the way I live my life.

Answer #41

I don’t think anyone wants to force anyone to believe another way, rather than they may want to enlighten someone they care about to understand the full meaning of it, as in this case, Christianity, You are completely right, too, about your faith. It should be promoted more w/ the way you live your life. That is true, Sometimes one’s life is the only bible one will ever read. I was simply explaining all/ most of what I believe to be true in God’s word (I believe aLL of it–all of the bible, I mean; but could not list it all, of course. I did want to include that one part abt hell b/c I believe it just as strongly as I do all the rest.) I don’t go around talking like that in my everyday life, either. I only mention those type things when we’re in a more “in-depth” conversation on the topic. For the most part, I want to “live the life” and that is it, but I am more than willing to “share the gospel”, as well. I believe (I believe) that is what my Heavenly Father would have me to do, just as you must believe what you will in given circumstances. All Christians should follow His leadership in all we do- especially when it concerns other souls & their eternity. I’ve lived as close to the Lord all my adult life in the presence of my younger brother, but it wasn’t until recently that I was presented an opportunity to say a lot of what I said in an earlier post here. I shared all that with him b/c he was becoming irrational and out of control over something that could have been handled in a more civilized manner. After I talked w/ him, he was still angry- he even said I was no longer his sister. But w/ prayer and time (time for him to think and for us both to get a cool mindset), he wrote me an apology the next day and said he loved me. We never know what seed goes where or when it may fall in the right places, but God is good and faithful to bless us when we do His will. I can consider you my sister in Christ and just wish you goodness and blessings. I don’t think anyone should or would question your obedience to Him. You have already been a blessing to me (b/c you’ve helped me to understand how to articulate some of the things I’ve wanted to share) and I am very sure you will be blessed for that, too.

Answer #42

Through prayer, the love of God grows and assumes a form which is called supreme devotion. Prayer is divine love alone. When this highest ideal of love is reached, philosophy is thrown away. Who will then care of it ? Freedom, salvation, nirvana- all are thrown away. Who cares to become free while in the enjoyment of divine love? If the offended person ever understands prayer he will never get offended at all in the first place.

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