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Wow.. It seems rather unusual that a lot of fellow foodies are also non-believers! Anyone cooked some strozzapreti... and do you say a prayer beforehand? :laugh:

My family, while culturally Catholic (and raised under the assumption that belief is good), is pretty much agnostics and atheists (I understand the "you can be both argument," but some don't self-declare atheism for various reasons). We don't say grace at home or in public. I think occasionally we've attempted some secular equivalent

My in-laws are believers. One thing I've noticed, is that even though my wife is kind of a doubter (or is at least non-committal to the question of a traditional god's existence, but "believe in something"), she's in support of traditions mainly to please her family. As you might expect, they do say a prayer, ("Bless us in these, thy gifts, which we...") at home, but they do not say a prayer in public. And isn't there something negative in the Bible (Matthew?) about praying in public anyway?

I was kind of put off by the fact that, without consideration, her family took up the habit of saying grace in my house. Then I kind of backpedaled on the whole issue because I figured perhaps it was based on their beliefs that they didn't really have a choice. I guess it kind of irked me because I feel like in any other situation, perhaps in a Jewish home, the tradition of the heads of household is honored. Now that I think of it, they also don't feel obligated to do this at my parents' house either. But it almost seems to petty to get irritated about anyway. Right now, my two year old daughter and I just make funny faces at each other. She knows from her Dad that she has the choice to join in or not. And even if she does, it may make no more of a difference than saying "Bless you" after someone sneezes. You have to wonder, with as automatic as it sounds, how sincere it even is sometimes. That's not meant to intentionally disparage anyone on this board, of course. It's just an observation with a dash of personal bias.

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And isn't there something negative in the Bible (Matthew?) about praying in public anyway?

Yep, Matthew 6:5.

EDIT: Previously linked to 6:6, which is a call to private prayer rather than a criticism of public prayer like 6:5.

Edited by Dakki (log)

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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I pray at home before meals. I expect that others will respect that it's my home and be respectful during the prayer. It's brief and free form - I like to hope that means inspired. I don't ask someone else to pray at my table unless I know they are very comfortable with it. I don't pray in restaurants - I guess because I don't feel comfortable pushing my beliefs on others - or maybe because I'm am not the host usually. When at someone else's home, I follow thier custom because I care for them and respect them. I have occasionally seen other pray at a restuarant. It bothers me when they seem to be making a production of it.

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I'm an atheist but I've had meals that were prayers. Once in Costa Rica, someone I'd just met bought a fish, and four of us shared this one fish and I ate it knowing that it was very expensive for him. Another time, I was a guest in a very poor home in Egypt, there was a litter of puppies sleeping under the bed, and I was given a puppy to hold while I waited for the meal. The meal included raw eggs and a variety of other iffy things; I ate it in wonder.

My father-in-law is an Episcopal priest and I have frequent occasion to hold hands around his table, staring down into my plate while he prays for us. I consider this also a moment of wonder, and I love holding his beefy hand.

Once or twice a year I have occasion to have a meal with my landlord's daughter, and she has a way of praying that I find kind of funny and I always enjoy it.

To me, it is an act of grace to be present while people engage in an intimate act of spirituality in my presence.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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