Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Does this exist?

I'm an atheist. I have disabilities (I swear I've started a post that same way before).

Groups that are full of religion and prayer requests are extraordinarily uncomfortable for me. Yes, seizure exacerbations or sensory issues or GODICANNOTTALKTODAY are all shitty things. But 'praying for me' isn't going to do anything. I know it's a reflex for many people, I think for a lot of them it's kind of like "I will keep you in my thoughts", but that doesn't change that it's uncomfortable. I mean, thoughts and goodwill are nice and all, but overall they don't do anything. Neither does praying, but you can't say that without a lot of fallout.

I think what I want to find is a secular, truly secular, group for all disabilities or all neurodivergences or even one for epilepsy, one for autism. I'm talking nearly aggressively secular here. One where it's ok to say flat out that prayers aren't going to help the actual problem. One where I don't need to worry about being called satan's spawn because I disagree with something totally not even about religion (or if I do, for that matter. That's pretty much not ok).

And not just for me, though selfish motivations brought me down this train of thought. Lots of people are of minority religions. It's just as uncomfortable, I'm sure, for someone Pagan or Jewish or who follows Islam to listen to people beseeching Jesus on their behalf. Maybe it isn't. But if it is, then I want to see that lessen.

What do y'all think? Know of any? Know a way to make it work?

*and yes, I do know a number of people of many faiths who I love dearly. They probably know a number of atheists and followers of other religions who they love dearly.*


Anonymous said...

I'm a polytheist and yes, it's terrible for me too that minorities don't have much support without Jesus talk, I use prayer very rarely but it's really different than christian prayer and it doesn't have the same effect of it.
I wish more secular groups existed in my country.

Ettina said...

What I find hardest is that every time I'm having flashbacks in public (I'm autistic and have PTSD), someone always tries to give me a reassuring talk about Jesus's love. This is especially a big problem because some of the people who abused me were Christian, and abused me in a particularly Christian way (they thought acting autistic would send me to Hell). And I feel like those people are trying to take advantage of someone they see as being in a vulnerable emotional state, and less able to make an informed decision about religion. And when I tell them I don't want them to talk about religion with me, they don't shut up!

outoutout said...

Hmmm, I guess for me it all depends on the intent. If people are being sanctimonious and holier-than-thou, praying that I'll stop being autistic/gay/whatever, that's one thing. But I'm honestly not offended by religious invocation per se. I know many people find comfort in their religious beliefs; who am I to say that it doesn't help or make a difference in their lives? Quite frankly, it would be nice if all would just live and let live.

Anonymous said...

Online you could come and join us at . It's a bit of a bear pit at times, but it's atheist, and it's one of the few 'general' forums where sexist/ableist language is firmly slapped down. Plenty of auties, LBGTQ people there and great fun when an issue really takes off (like elevatorgate). We regard trolls as chew toys, perfect for keeping our teeth sniny, the insult of choice is 'cupcake' (strange how in my mind that has become a pejorative) and MRAs get...well, you might not want to know at this stage.

Anonymous said...

I like the Pastafarians and the Subgenii for folks who are not going to berate someone for not liking this 'I'll pray for you' crap.