Ask Mommy: Can Atheists Say ‘Thoughts & Prayers’?

Ask Mommy: Can Atheists Say ‘Thoughts & Prayers’? April 4, 2018

I believe in positive thinking. Now, before you skeptics lose your bloody minds, let me explain what I mean. I think that excessive negativity can have a real and lasting effect on your real life. You can use negativity to talk yourself out of reaching goals, getting things done and into generally being a quitter. If you tell yourself you can’t do the thing enough times, you’re going to believe you can’t do the thing. You’re going to go into the thing believing you can’t do the thing and so, what point is there in trying very hard to do the thing? So, you don’t try to do the thing, and wouldn’t you know it? You’re right! You can’t do the thing. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s not quite as easy as talking yourself out of something, but talking yourself into something can work the same way. Belief in yourself and your own ability often translates into real, tangible effort and effort can turn into success. In this respect, I believe in positive thinking.

I don’t believe you can picture a million dollars in your bank account and your thoughts help that manifest in reality. I don’t believe you can think the traffic light into turning green. I don’t think you can glitter-and-rainbows your way out of cancer.

As such, thoughts and prayers, to me, are useless self-soothing tricks that offer no real value in the real world. Even though some people define “thoughts and prayers” as a way to send some sort of positive thinking someone else’s way, they’re empty words. Utterly meaningless like “at one with the Universe” and “keep stillness inside of you” and pretty much everything else that slithers out of Deepak Chopra’s mouth. Sure, offering thoughts and prayers can give you a moment’s relief when you’re stuck in that awkward no man’s land after having heard bad news where you don’t know what to say. That’s it, though. That’s really all that can be gained from offering thoughts and prayers. You cannot “think positively” for someone else.

About a week ago I had an atheist write to me. She explained that she’d recently been in a discussion with a believer and offered the believer her thoughts and prayers. The religious person knew our friend was an atheist and took exception to her offering thoughts and prayers. So, my reader asked,

“I am wondering… Can I say “Thoughts and prayers” to a Christian even though I am an atheist?”

Now, given what you know about my position on thoughts and prayers, you’d be right in guessing that my first instinct is to tell my reader that no, there is no point in saying thoughts and prayers. I want to tell her that there is nothing to be gained from it; that they are vacuous, self-serving words and she shouldn’t use them as someone who doesn’t believe in god.

Part of me definitely wanted to say that, but it wouldn’t be honest. It wouldn’t be the truth.

The thing is, we’re atheists. We don’t have a dogma to follow. There are no rules for being an atheist. There is no expected behaviour, no punishment for failing to fulfil your heathen duties. You’re not going to meet your maker and face judgment for your actions. You won’t be cast out of the atheist club for tiptoeing too close to religion.

The best thing about being an atheist is the true freedom of thought it affords an individual. You get to decide for yourself what’s okay and not okay. You can draw your reasoning from anywhere you like: Humanism, nihilism, Buddhism, science, your daily experiences, etc. I cannot tell you how to behave as an atheist because there is no atheist doctrine to refer to; there is no atheist authority to follow.

All of that means that the honest answer to your question is, yes. Yes, you can say “thoughts and prayers” to a Christian if it suits you. If you’re worried about being polite, all you need to do is question your own motives. Are you offering your thoughts and prayers to be sarcastic? Then don’t say it. Are you offering your thoughts and prayers because you genuinely believe it will give them some relief? Then give it a shot.

Deciding whether or not you can say “thoughts and prayers” to a believer is entirely up to you – no other atheist can tell you if it’s the right thing to do or not. What’s more, even if you wanted to actually pray for someone, you are free to do so, and no one is going to take your atheist card away. You can go to church if the mood strikes; you can love the Bible; you can even get yourself baptized and still be an atheist.

All that is required for you to be an atheist is that you have no active belief in a god. The only thing you could do that would be unbecoming of an atheist is believe in the big guy upstairs.

Myself, I have never needed or had the desire to offer thoughts and prayers to anyone, and I doubt I ever will with any seriousness. I don’t pray and the only real “positive thinking” I believe in is being positive about myself. I can’t send thoughts. I can’t send prayers.

Of course, I grew up without religion, so these words are very unnatural to me. For some atheists who left their religion behind, these words might come easier, but for me, it’s like saying, “I need to shave my beard” or “I sure hope I get picked for the next NASA mission”. They are absurd, meaningless, empty words that get us nowhere.

I want to know what you think. How would you respond to this reader? Let me know in the comments!

Image: Creative Commons/Pixabay

"I'm still surrounded by Catholics who wear their Catholicism on their sleeve and act holier-than-thou ..."

Why Calling Yourself A Catholic Is ..."
"Okay, I've found the incident in question. It's hard to tell exactly what happened. The ..."

Ask Mommy: What’s The Harm In ..."
"Glad to provide a link. I was incorrect as to the location. It was at ..."

Ask Mommy: What’s The Harm In ..."
"If that happened as you describe, I'd say that was an overreaction. Do you have ..."

Ask Mommy: What’s The Harm In ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Myself, I have never needed or had the desire to offer thoughts and prayers to anyone, and I doubt I ever will with any seriousness. I don’t pray and the only real “positive thinking” I believe in is being positive about myself. I can’t send thoughts. I can’t send prayers.

    I don’t pray either, and I see what you mean. But sometimes it helps if we share the realization of how helpless we are in the face of the world’s indifference.

    A friend of mine recently posted that her little nephew was going in for surgery. What can anyone say except for, “I hope everything goes well”? I’m not going to make it sound like I’m going to pray, but I’m not going to point out that everyone’s fooling themselves if they think their “positive thoughts” are going to magically alter the outcome of this medical procedure, either.

    I don’t believe in gods or the supernatural, but I believe in common decency.

  • Tawreos

    There is nothing wrong with it, it would be like wishing your Jewish friends Happy Hannukkah even though you are not Jewish and not celebrating. You say it because it means something to them.

  • MystiqueLady

    On the idea of Positive Thinking, I think there is an aspect of positive thinking that can help how we interact with others around us, which, in turn, may cause those to interact with others differently. I think there is something in the Buddhist Metta Prayer (it wishes all the best, peace, health and so forth on ourselves, our family, our friends, our enemies and to accept the humanity of others). I think that by doing daily meditations on this — seeing the humanity in others, especially those with whom we disagree — it makes it easier for us to be more accepting of the behavior of others that we encounter daily. Yes, I understand that this is a self-script, and that repetition reinforces this thought pattern. but like negative self-talk, when said often enough, and becomes further entrenched by quiet contemplation on what that means, it can help us to look at others as equals and deserving of our restraint from judgement. Ok, I’m not there yet — but I’m working on it.

  • Brian Curtis

    “You’re in my thoughts” is just fine. No need to drag the nonsense of ‘prayers’ into it.

  • Oh, of course. I wouldn’t do that either. What’s good for me is good for me. I have no reason to tell anyone else how to handle things.

  • For me, personally, I would feel like I was being phony saying it. I prefer to say things that have meaning to me as well as them, because it’s more genuine if that makes sense.

  • I agree. The more positivity you put out there, the more it will affect the people around you. it’s not magic or wishful thinking. It’s very realistic. I mean, you smile at someone enough and eventually, they’re going to smile back.

  • Agreed. I like that.

  • I sit have a lot of religious friends and family who honestly and sincerely ask for prayers on social media for whatever reason (sickness, job interview, etc). My response is positive but never religious. Where others say, “I am praying for you” I say something like, “I hope you are better soon” or “I hope things go well”. They are looking for sympathy as well as help from their deity. I can only participate in the sympathy part. But I refuse to lie and say I am praying.

  • ORAXX

    I’ve often told people I’m thinking good thoughts for them. It isn’t that I think the thoughts themselves will accomplish anything, it’s a matter of telling that person they’re valued.

  • Kevin K

    Well…it depends.

    If it’s a “Facebook friend”, I might reply with something like “I hope things get better for you” or some such. Statements of support and love are appreciated on in their own right. Nothing wrong with that, and certainly there’s nothing supernatural or even spiritual in that. It’s called “being a nice, normal human being.”

    If it’s more corporeal than mere online acquaintance, I might say “let me know if there’s anything I can do to help”. Thing is, once you say that, you’re obligated to actually … you know … help. I’ve rarely been called upon, but it’s always a sincere gesture.

    The problem with “thoughts and prayers” is that it’s basically a signal to the person that the only support you’re going to receive is non-tangible. It’s going to be this one single expression and nothing else. You could equally translate it to mean “buzz off, I don’t have time”.

    I told this story before elsewhere, but it’s apropos here. I have a Facebook friend whose life is … well … a mess. She’s always asking for “thoughts and prayers” … and she has a cadre of prayer warrior friends who provide her with just that. Nothing else. Once just recently, she asked for the name and location of food pantries near her — because she’s broke and needs food assistance. And out came her prayer warrior friends with their hands-in-prayer emojis and every other damned thing EXCEPT what she had asked for. Finally, me, the atheist who never once sent her “thoughts and prayers” gave her the name, location, and hours for the food pantry where I provide some assistance. Only THEN did the others actually glom onto the fact that she needed something other than emojis.

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, “I’m thinking of you” works, along with “Gimme a call anytime you need to talk.”

  • Raging Bee

    It would feel phony for me, because I HATE the phrase; and it would sound phony to anyone who knows me, because they’d know what I think about the phrase. So coming from me at least, it wouldn’t really help.

  • Kay Pea

    I usually go with something like, “We’re thinking of you and sending you love,” for our family members and a less-emotional variant for work colleagues, etc.

  • Michael Neville

    I wish Jews Happy Hannukkah (no, I’m not so crass as to wish a Joyful Yom Kippur), I wish Christians a Happy Easter and Merry Christmas (I’ll wish anyone a Merry Christmas if they say it to me first, otherwise Happy Holidays), I wish Hindus a Happy Diwali (Festival of Lights) and I’ve even offered a Muslim a Happy Eid Al-Fitr (end of Ramadan). That’s called being polite.

    I never offer to say prayers for anyone. It would be hypocritical of me to do so.

  • Clancy

    Maybe my memory is faulty, but to me “thoughts and prayers” was a collective phrase, referring to all condolences, prayers from those who pray, and thoughts from those who don’t pray. I usually say, “I’ve been thinking about you”, and then offer whatever practical help is appropriate. I have never prayed, although I will recite group prayers at church for the purpose of camoflage.

  • Joe

    I just say “May He-Man and the Masters of the Universe watch over you.”

  • Kevin K

    And no kidding, just a couple of hours after I posted this, this gal just posted that her cousin has committed suicide. My response was along the lines of “that’s awful. My sympathies to you and your family.”

  • wolfypuppy

    Oh, I love this! I, too, get irritated when people argue what atheists can and cannot do. That’s turning atheism into a religion. You put this so well, I’m going to save it. One more thing, though: Those people who can’t make themselves say positive things? Consider that they grew up in a critical family, that their parents said those things to them, and, because they were just children, they need a lot of help to dig out those messages. It’s not as easy as a snap of the finger. Our brains develop in childhood, negativity, including verbal, affects our development, particularly how our body becomes wired for fight-or-flight. I think it’s so important for advice-givers to know that. I’m 50 and only now have learned that that is emotional abuse. I’m on a quest to figure out how to fix it, but it’s going to take a while. One of my problems is feeling that no one listened to me or cared, so when I hear trite answers like “think positive!” it just shuts me down. I feel isolated and that my problems are real and more complicated than that, and other people give me a trite answer because they don’t want to deal with complications. Feel free to share this!

  • valleycat1

    It seems to me that if the other person knows you are an atheist, offering ‘prayers’ is going to confuse them or antagonize them. If they do not know that about you, then if you are comfortable saying it, go ahead. There is no rule I can set for other people about this.

  • valleycat1

    And maybe add ‘what can I do to help?” or ‘I’ll be in touch with you later to see if I can help out in any way.’ or ‘Would it help you if I do (insert appropriate actual helpful action here) for you or your family?’

  • Larry Schmidt

    That’s what I do.

  • towercam

    Prayer is begging. It is the ‘child’ begging the ‘parent’ for something.
    It is bad for the self. It is infantilizing.

    Religion comforts…and cripples.
    History is clear about this.

  • You can’t convincingly offer your “prayers” to someone who knows that you don’t pray, and you shouldn’t in any case offer them to anyone because *you* know you don’t pray. Thoughts, concern, offers of help, any kind of appropriate human-to-human expression of caring, yes; but “thoughts and prayers” is a mindless cliche these days even when used by believers, and should never even be contemplated by a non-believer.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Anyone with any cogency should realize that “Thoughts and Prayers,” are hollow words, and do nothing to keep us safe from gun violence. What we need to do is to stop this love affair with guns.

  • Tommy Osborne

    I believe positive thoughts are the same as prayers, but not for ones self. There’s so much about the brain and perception we still don’t understand, and technically positive thoughts and prayers would show as the same type of cognition if it were observed by some electrical device. So we put our brains electrical energy toward positive thoughts, whose to say that there isn’t some type of effect. Those electrical impulses escape our brain-pan, and who knows what effect they may have.

  • “Thoughts and prayers” sentiments are similar to the obligatory “moment of silence” that is requested at various public events. For the atheist, what are we thinking in that “moment of silence?” I must refrain from saying my “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims, as it is (1) hypocrisy, as reject the notion of praying, (2) useless (see (1), and (3) and the recipient of my Ts and Ps may know or take me as insincere and thereby be offended.

  • Agree, that is a minimalist sentiment and works.

  • Agree, this is far better than “Ts and Ps,” as it provides both sentiment and utility. I think of teh politicians who expressed their Ts and Ps to the Parkland students but did not join in their effort to avoid future such mass shootings.

  • Joan Connorton

    a prayer is just a wish ~~ your article sounds ‘holier than thou’ even tho you deny it

  • PDF

    I will say “you are in my thoughts” or “thinking of (or about) you” because it actually helps bring comfort to that person, and because I actually AM thinking of them in a time of hardship. You know your audience, you should know who this is a helpful comment for.

  • Joan Connorton

    ‘thoughts & prayers’ translates to ‘buzz off’ ~!! WHAT? it’s a signal you’re not going to offer tangible support? WHAT kind of people do you hang around with? I’m aghast at this whole conversation.

  • Joan Connorton

    a prayer is also ~~ an earnest hope or wish. there’s nothing wrong..or cliche about offering HOPE~!!

  • Oboewan

    Yup…. offer thoughts/well wishing/help but not prayers…..

  • Oboewan

    “an earnest hope or wish” to be granted by someone or something….

  • freethinker1

    when a person offers me “thoughts and prayers” I respond “no thanks, but a pan of lasagna would do nicely”.

  • OV

    Anyone can say: “thoughts and prayers” – The whole phrase is meaningless from pseudo religious types or athests

    Think the Carribian – Oh yeah they are in need of paper towels. A US gift from you know who.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/affee2bc706c5d569881ec269a02fb81cec1f03fe2163d43aaa48ea521575cf1.jpg .

  • I don’t offer thoughts & prayers anymore than I offer wigwamps and zipzorps. BUT if someone says “please pray for us” or something like that, I usually just respond with “I’ll be thinking of your family, but let me know if I can do anything to help.”

    Though… being asked for “thoughts and prayers” is akin to being let off the hook from having to do anything concrete!!

  • freethinker1

    countless times I’ve seen calls for “prayer warriors” on faceplant, asking for the “prayer warriors” to pray for sick or injured people, and time after time the outcome is exactly the opposite of what the “prayer warriors” were praying for…. yet they will all tell you that prayer works…. my standard response it “oh yeah, you found your car keys?” ….. I guess that’s the proof they put forth. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84828c3bdc62b81c81f7675e4993d9b514798a002e561ac3c3e5853e8bead9a8.jpg

  • Mamacat90807

    It may be earnest, but prayer is asking a divine being for some form of intervention, whether for you or someone else. It may give “hope” to the person you offer prayers to, but indeed rings hollow for the atheist.

  • Ruth Lafler

    Exactly. It would never occur to me to say “prayers” but I do say “you’re in my thoughts.” There’s nothing vacuous about it, since you aren’t “sending” thoughts as if they would somehow have some effect, but providing the comfort of telling someone you are thinking of them, that they are not alone. I’ll also note that the vast majority of people who say they will pray don’t mean it literally. It’s just a meaningless, rote saying from them. I do know some people who practice formal prayer, and if they want to do that on my behalf, or on the behalf of someone I love, then I take the offer in the spirit in which is it given.

  • Cage KY

    I don’t even pretend to offer thoughts OR prayers. Those who know me know I’d be lying and take umbrage considering such words inappropriate sarcasm. Those who don’t know me seem content with sincere words of sympathy or even empathy that I might offer.

    Most often I express my sorrow for their situation and, if practical, ask what I might do for them to help in the short term.
    If they actually ask me to pray for them (a rare occurrence) I promise to share their story with my wife, …my higher authority.

    If they are closer (emotionally or location wise) to me, I probably already know what they might need and offer practical help such as looking after their house, lawn, kids or pets. Sometimes where we live, such aid needed is hauling hay and feed, bringing in a crop or upkeeping their vegetable and herb garden, tending livestock for awhile or providing family meals. Even if they’re the meanest SOBs in the county, hill neighbors still tend to help each other. And that’s more expected and much more appreciated than thoughts or prayers, no matter WHAT their favorite preacher says.

    Mostly though, in the immediate moment of being told, it just saying, “I’m available” and/or “how can I help?” WHEN they need it and then actually show up AS they need it.

  • RichardSRussell

    To me, “thots and prayers” are the vacuous words uttered by politicians after a tragedy, and what they really mean is “Good luck with that, but don’t count on me to do anything.” I avoid the phrase like the plague.

  • Jim Hudlow

    Anybody who has seen that phrase used to evade taking actual responsibility for trying to help someone in any way you can, whether you are an atheist or not, knows that phrase is a vacuous evasion. It always has been. If an atheist uses it then they can compound the initial problem by also lying. Brian is right…’you are in my thoughts’ is honest at least. However trying to find something more you can actually do to help if you are really concerned would the best way to demonstrate empathy and concern.

  • Richard B

    “Thoughts and prayers” are just fine. The important thing here is to examine your motivations for such a declaration.

  • Kevin K

    Thoughts and prayers is the standard politician’s reply when they want to ignore the issue entirely, but are forced to say something. Mass shooting at a school? “Thoughts and prayers” means “This is the last time I want to discuss this subject”.

    What planet have you been living on?

  • Idaho Spud

    Never during the 50 years I was a believer, have I said “I’ll pray for you.”, “god bless you.”, or anything like that. I’m certainly not going to start now. Mormonism wasn’t big on that kind of thing, and it always felt odd when I heard other people say things like that. I’ve been an atheist for 23 years, and the longer I am, the more those expressions irritate me.

    As far as just not believing in a god, I’m the type of atheist that not only does not believe in a god, but I’m quite certain there are no gods, as well as all the other things that theists believe in. Life after death, heaven, hell, satan, angels, or any kind of a ghost, especially the “holy” kind. There’s no evidence for them, and quite a bit of evidence against them.

  • greg-harding@bigpond.com

    Absolutely, we can’t “send” thoughts or prayers to anyone. But we can let them know that we are “thinking about them” (even if it’s not really true on a daily basis), and tell them that “if there is anything that I can do to help, don’t hesitate to ask”. That doesn’t automatically mean that you WILL help – it depends on what the ask is. If they ask you for a million $$$ to help them, you can tell them that you are unable to assist.

  • Sinonymous

    Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in the late 18th century. He put frogs in closed jars and they died. He later added plants and they lived longer. Another Joseph Priestley may discover those electrical impulses you mentioned and in a century or two (or less) we will take it for granted and forgotten her/his name as well.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    “Can Atheists Say ‘Thoughts & Prayers’?”

    Atheists can say whatever we want to say.

    But speaking for myself, I wouldn’t say thoughts and prayers. I would say my thoughts are with you.

  • C_Alan_Nault
  • C_Alan_Nault

    This video sums up thoughts and prayers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2HrIudXzh0

  • Yes, I can’t ever bring myself to say I will pray with any seriousness.

  • Fair enough. Knowing someone has you on their mind can be uplifting.

  • “The problem with “thoughts and prayers” is that it’s basically a signal to the person that the only support you’re going to receive is non-tangible. It’s going to be this one single expression and nothing else. You could equally translate it to mean “buzz off, I don’t have time”.”

    Exactly! Well said.

  • Yeah, I’ve said similar.

  • Yes, I don’t pray at all so I feel offering my prayers is hollow.

  • Perfect.

  • Ugh, how awful 🙁

  • ORAXX

    That is my hope.

  • Oh, yes, you are so right. It’s not just as easy as saying think positive. My Stepdaughter lives with us now after spending most of her life living in an unstable environment (while we fought for her) and she experiences this sort of negative self-talk. It’s so hard to help her change that, but we are trying. We try to be understanding and offer as much positivity as we can.

  • Agreed. I don’t think I would ever say it though, because it wouldn’t be genuine as I do not pray.

  • Yes, exactly!

  • And similar to a prayer, how does a wish help in a serious situation?

  • So much better than thoughts and prayers.

  • Ooh, now I’m hungry.

  • I wouldn’t mind some wigwamps and zipzorps.

  • Ugh, prayer warriors. I get the prayer circle chain letters on Facebook sometimes, too. What a waste of time.

  • Yes, even when I don’t know them very well or they, themselves are religious, I will always offer, “is there anything I can do?” and then I do it if they mention something.

  • Perfect translation.

  • Yep, no rules for being an atheist.

  • freethinker1

    lasagna cravings?

  • Totally having lasagna for dinner tonight. Maybe. If I have time.

  • That is perfect!

  • RichardSRussell

    [who’s] to say that there isn’t some type of effect?

    Anyone who’s run a double-blind controlled experiment on the hypothesis.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Yeah, I liked it. It was mentioned in the latest issue of the Skeptical Enquirer or Skeptics magazine, I forget which. Soon as I read about it, I had to look up the video.

  • John Do’h

    Sure, it’s all about pretending you are nice and care, and making sure others know it. Pat yourself on the back, you are so awesome! Atheists can lie too.

    Still have not figured out what “praying” for them is supposed to do? Change God’s mind about killing your relative? God is already all knowing, all powerful, and all compassionate. Why does God need prayers to make up or change his mind?

  • Andrea Fitzgerald

    I’m sending you all my positiv energy, is what I usually say.

  • Laurance

    Wow! Wow! That’s great! I get disgusted with all the thoughts and prayers that pop up like mushrooms when something horrible happens.

  • Laurance

    You want to offer thoughts and prayers? Shucks, knock yourself out. As for me, if I told someone I was offering thoughts and prayers I’d have to wash my mouth out with soap!

  • BradInCA

    I normally would not say it myself, but yes, it’s perfectly fine for someone who wants to to say “thoughts and prayers” to a religious person who might find comfort from it. But saying “I’m so sorry to hear that. You and your family are in my thoughts. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO ?” — would for me be the most appropriate thing to say.

  • LeekSoup

    The best summary I’ve heard on this one is that people have to tell you they are praying for you otherwise you would never know.

    I would prefer someone drop me a text saying they hope I have a good day or saying something nice about something I’ve done. A little encouragement goes a long way.

    I agree there’s no set path for people who are atheist. I feel it’s good to promote practical responses that make a difference to people – just generally in life! Thoughts and prayers don’t do anything.

    EDIT: for 35 years I believed that God answered prayers, originally fervently then gradually less so, until for the last years I honestly didn’t think prayers get answered but felt I should still pray anyway. If I prayed out loud with someone I would use it to say nice things about them. That’s about the only way the prayer made a difference.

    Eventually I admitted to myself that there is a simple, true reason why prayers don’t get answered.

  • Yes! Atheists can lie and be jerks, etc. I don’t understand what prayer is supposed to do either.

  • haha, fair enough!

  • Yes, me as well.

  • PDF

    And to clarify, I wouldn’t say this randomly (as many people will with the “prayers” things), I only say this to someone I actually know and if I think it may be something to help them emotionally. I refuse to ever say prayers, because I feel it is so hollow and meaningless that it would almost be a joke, same reason I will be quiet when someone is saying grace at a dinner (out of respect to those who are believers) but I don’t bow my head and pretend to be praying.

  • PDF

    A bit of an aside here, but I don’t ask if there is something I can do, or say things like “let me know if I can do anything” because I would then be putting the burden back on someone who is already having some sort of a crisis, or just putting platitudes out there. If I know I could do something concrete, I will offer that, like “can I bring dinner by tomorrow night?” “what day would be best for me to come mow your lawn?” etc.

  • Morgan Lefaye

    If I knew someone was an atheist and they said “thoughts and prayers” to me, I would be worried that they were now born again. I say “worried” in the latter case, because that would oblige me to avoid profanity and not say “gosh” “Jesus,” etc. I would also have to not talk about sex, politics, movies, music, etc. with them for fear of offending them. I like metal and horror movies, things that offend fundies. If they said they had not converted, I’d give them the stink-eye and ask, “Why did you say that? I’m not born again, and neither are you!”

    But then, I am a literal-minded and strange, strange person.

  • Morgan Lefaye

    Ugh. Sounds like that woman could use some smarter friends! How hard is it to google food pantries, for fuck’s sake?

  • Morgan Lefaye

    Wishing someone a joyful Yom Kippur in my earshot would end up with me taking the offender aside by force and explaining to them why they are being a clueless ass. I am not Jewish, and even I have an inkling of what it is.

  • Morgan Lefaye

    What do you say to the people who say the purpose of prayer is to change you, not receive what you ask for?

  • Morgan Lefaye

    I’d only say if it I were in church or in the South.

  • Dorian Aronson

    Thank you. I liked your thoughts and prayers comments.

  • Michael Neville
  • Morgan Lefaye

    Who was the fuckwit who came up with that??? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John Do’h

    What is the rationalization here with Christians. God already is said to know everything and love everyone, and is already an absolutely loving caring god. God already does what is best for everyone, is what I’ve heard over and over. Trust God and have faith. So why would a prayer change what God in his infinite wisdom does? There are so many massive contradictions here, the conclusions are always self serving.

  • Kevin K

    She’s a very nice person, actually the friend of a friend who I FB befriended for “reasons”. But she’s leading the most-jinxed life I’ve ever encountered. She’s a very talented singer, and I would love to have her in a group with me … but I’m afraid some of that bad luck will rub off. And I’m not superstitious in any way.