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Published on Nov 23, 2008
Atheists don't pray, don't want to pray and don't have anything or anybody to pray to. However that does not stop Christians asking an atheist to say a prayer, if they make the wrong assumption that anybody well behaved and white must be a Christian like them. This is not a prayer, but it can fill the otherwise uncomfortable silence when an atheist is asked to lead a group in prayer.
Let us take responsibility for our own actions, inactions, strengths and frailties and not project them onto ghosts, spirits, stars, portents and gods unseen.
Let us have the courage to accept that one person's faith is another person's bloody-minded pig-headed refusal to accept the obvious.
Let us have the courage to accept that the person at the front of all crowds, including this one, doesn't know all the answers.
Let us have the wisdom to accept that if our ancestors had fared differently in wars our communities would be holding different absurdities up as sacred truths, and the willingness to accept those absurdities would be seen as the badge of social trustworthiness or even the right to be allowed to draw breath.
Let us accept that the difference between a prophet and a madman is not what they say but whether the crowd accepts the story and tells their children to believe it.
Let us have the courage to accept that wanting to believe in something with every fibre of our being does not and cannot make it true.
Truth needs no help, no believers, no bowed heads and no amens.