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Jazin Kay's avatar

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When a Christian says "I'll pray for you", is it actually offensive? Like, at all?

I don't think it is. It just means they're expressing that they care in their own way.

Do the Atheists that get buttmad over it just feel patronized and feel like it's intentional?
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It depends on the context. If offered in the course of a positive encounter, I would assume it was meant in good faith (pun intended wink ) and accept it as such. If offered in the course of a disagreement - especially about religious issues - I would take it as patronizing.
catspook
It depends on the context. If offered in the course of a positive encounter, I would assume it was meant in good faith (pun intended wink ) and accept it as such. If offered in the course of a disagreement - especially about religious issues - I would take it as patronizing.


^^
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A Christian
Hello, i'm interested in converting you to my religion!


An Atheist
Hello, i'm not interested in converting to your religion!


A Christian
Oh...why don't we discuss why you don't want to join my religious cult!? It's so shiny!


An Atheist
*Provides a slew of evidences as to the harm of the cult and cited references to many horrendous atrocities commited in the name of the imposed doctrine*


A Christian
Oh dear, you seem to have a case of the 'don't believe everythings', i guess i'll just have to pray for you.



OP...don't tell me that this paraphrased conversation doesn't get a little ANNOYING (understatement of the century) in real life after a while. It's pretty much the Theist middle finger and safety blanket rolled into one.

I suppose i should say "******** off" to a christian and then announce that they should not be offended at my mention of intercourse and the removal of said intercourse from the area.

Context is key bro.
aw1a
catspook
It depends on the context. If offered in the course of a positive encounter, I would assume it was meant in good faith (pun intended wink ) and accept it as such. If offered in the course of a disagreement - especially about religious issues - I would take it as patronizing.


^^


^^^
That they feel that their need to get a dogged last word trancends politeness offends me.
It depends on the situation. My Christian friends have said they'd pray for me when I was going through hard times, and you know, the sentiment is nice and I know they mean well. There's nothing wrong with wishing good fortune on someone.

But I've gotten the smug/haughty/patronizing version of it too and that's annoying, because it's obvious they're just trying to "win" the discussion and look morally superior doing it. I really hate dealing with people like that. I mean, honestly, using "I'll pray for you" as a veiled insult is just-- gross. It makes me think they don't actually hold their beliefs that sacred, they just like having something to use as a blunt instrument in arguments. -___- It's the theist version of a passive-aggressive "have a nice day!"
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Only when their reason is because I said I don't believe in their god.
Joan Darr's avatar

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It appears that you accidentally omitted the word "don't" before the word "care."
Jazin Kay
When a Christian says "I'll pray for you", is it actually offensive? Like, at all?


Yes.

Jazin Kay
I don't think it is. It just means they're expressing that they care in their own way.


Good intentions aren't necessarily good.

Jazin Kay
Do the Atheists that get buttmad over it just feel patronized and feel like it's intentional?


It's more that it's not intentional - it's unquestioned social conditioning.
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catspook
It depends on the context. If offered in the course of a positive encounter, I would assume it was meant in good faith (pun intended wink ) and accept it as such. If offered in the course of a disagreement - especially about religious issues - I would take it as patronizing.
Exactly. I was at a mall a few days ago, talking to some College Christians about how I lost my faith. They tried to convert me and failed, but ended up just saying that they'd pray for me, which is like wishing me luck I felt in that sense
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Jazin Kay
When a Christian says "I'll pray for you", is it actually offensive? Like, at all?

I don't think it is. It just means they're expressing that they care in their own way.

Do the Atheists that get buttmad over it just feel patronized and feel like it's intentional?

Dude. I'm not even atheist and I get offended. Yes, they're expressing that they care, but in a very patronizing way. As if they know better than us and are hoping we'll "see the light." It's that bizarre self-righteousness that I honestly can't stand from anyone, be they theist or atheist.

I don't think it's intentional... but I do think they need to chill it with all of that.

EDIT: OH! I know what it's like. It's like when a white man says "mah n***a," and a black man gets all up in arms. And the white man means it as positively as he would if he was black, talking to his friends, being hella friendly. But because it's a white man, saying that particular thing, to a black man who may not even be his friend, it's offensive.

It's all about a class of cultures, I guess. One person tries to be friendly in the best way they can factor, and the other sees it as something very, very wrong.
Jazin Kay
When a Christian says "I'll pray for you", is it actually offensive? Like, at all?

I don't think it is. It just means they're expressing that they care in their own way.

Do the Atheists that get buttmad over it just feel patronized and feel like it's intentional?

Context is everything.

I heard "I'll pray for you" a few times when I was going through some surgeries. In that circumstance it was the same as saying "I'm hoping everything goes well", and so of course I didn't take offense.

Now, when someone says "I'll pray for you" and means "My religious beliefs are superior to yours and I hope that one day you'll recognize just how wrong you are and how right I am", then yes, that's offensive.
Insofar as it implies "I'm going to heaven, you're going to hell" of course it's offensive.
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azulmagia
Insofar as it implies "I'm going to heaven, you're going to hell" of course it's offensive.

Ah, right, right, this! It's an implication, and further things. Um... as I mentioned in my edit, with the thing about race issues, it's a lot about the implied things that the speaker may not necessarily feel, but the listener certainly feels. And it emphasizes the history between the two cultures, and how one culture still may feel about the other. And certainly emphasizes how the other culture still feels about that first culture.

"I'll pray for you" feels, to non-Christians, like it's saying "We killed nonbelievers in the past, we persecuted, tortured, and murdered our own people who we suspected might be nonbelievers, we've caused them to become social pariahs because they disagreed with our church's tactics, we've moved into the new world searching for religious freedom then denied it to others, we built a country on religious freedom and now still assume it's a Christian nation, we won't let people get married, no matter what their beliefs may be, and in what religion they may be marrying, because we think marriage is only applicable to our own religion. But yeah, sure, we'll take the high road on this one. I hope you come to your senses and join us in the future."

Not that they are saying all of that, of course. For what it's worth, they could be some of those very kind Christians who actually follow what Jesus said, they love their neighbors, they care about those who need help, no matter where they come from or what they believe... but those words do not express it as such, when dealing with someone who does not believe, and the fact that they don't believe. It implies superiority over them, and from what I understand of the actual principles claimed by the religion... that's just not Christian.

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