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Featured Do You Bow Your Head?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SalixIncendium, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    At my daughter's graduation party, my ex-wife's husband (who is a devout Christian) asked a guest who is a pastor at his church to lead a prayer before food was served.

    As the prayer began, I glanced around to room to see who was listening, who had their head bowed, and who had the expression of, "Is it almost over?" written on their faces.

    I'm not a Christian, and while I don't bow my head, I'm not bothered or offended by others' needs for an invocation before a meal or other sort of event.

    Do you feel it is disrespectful for someone of a different faith or no faith at all to not remove their hat or bow their head during a prayer or invocation?

    Do you feel disrespected if someone attempts to embarrass you into making this gesture if you don't follow that specific religion?
     
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  2. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    I tend to go along with it to avoid a fuss.
    I must admit, I keep saying that I will write a Humanist invocation that I hold in reserve. Then after a request for a prayer I would request I have the opportunity to speak afterwards and then pull it out and read it.
     
  3. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Not at all. I would feel respect for that person for being respectful of others, while being respectful of themselves at the same time. To bow the head when it is meaningless to them just for the sake of others, seems both patronizing and insincere for them to do so.

    Now, I'll add some qualification to what I just said. I was speaking in terms of an informal setting. If however, you were actively participating in a given ritual where everyone was required to stand up, for instance as a show of respect, then you don't want to "make a scene", by not doing the same. It's when it crosses over into where, for instance they ask you to take communion or something. There is a line between being respectful of others, and being true to yourself. In that case, refraining would be a show of respect for the meaning of their symbols.
     
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  4. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    If I'm spotted......I look up
     
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  5. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    I feel it depends on the people and environment. When I was at my aunts funeral this jan and gathered around her mothers grave to spread her ashes, my uncle, a pastor, prayed very heavily. I tilt my head for respect but I know they arent asking me to remark. I dont say amen.

    In a Church, I'll wear business casual clothes at the least. Buddhist, mosque, and hindu temples I take off my shoes. The last two dont expect me to do anything with belief just respect cultural differences. Bowing ones head is a cultural means of thank you or other places greeting. Its a form of humility. So, if you think of it that way, then it wouldnt be tied to beliefs just cultural norms.

    Even if you dont bow, avert your eyes or no eye contact. They may be annoyed but if they knew you, hopefully, they dont expect anything more.
     
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  6. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    13 jun 2018 stvdv 011 13
    Very interesting post this is. Makes us realize how easy it sometimes is to "not be true to our feeling, just to avoid confrontation..."

    Every human has his own ritual when eating. Some pray others don't. So it goes both ways. Each should do what he feels good for himself. (non)Praying should not be imposed on others [including ritual like bowing head, taking off hat etc]. non-praying person also don't ask praying person to stop his ritual.

    I think it is very disrespectful to demean the other into doing things that he does not belief in.

    I got myself in a tricky situation. Went to visit a mosque. Many rituals that I don't follow. What should I do now. Simple rule is "Muslim would never do a ritual to please a Christian as far as I have experienced [and even read in the Koran I think]". So from that I learned that I need not do what does not feel good.

    1 man did exactly what you explained. Tell me to bow down, flat on the ground etc.etc. Did not feel good that he said that. So I asked other Muslims and they said "Never do what this Muslim said, that is not good. If you don't feel that way, don't do that". Glad I asked. This felt very true.

    Although I now know I should NOT follow their rituals, I still feel uncomfortable being in this type of situation. But slowly learning.

    [Now I shortly explain to the one in charge how I feel and if I am welcome to do it my way; of course in silence not disturbing them]
     
    #6 stvdv, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  7. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    What I do depends on my mood and the situation. So, for example, at a funeral, I will typically bow my head as a respect to the person who died. At other services I might just stand quietly. I would remove my hat (if I wore one) just as I removed my shoes when I visited a mosque in Istanbul. When in Rome.....so to speak.

    But, for example, I would not typically sing the hymns or say the prayer responses. And I might sit quietly instead of standing/sitting/standing/sitting/standing/sitting, etc.
     
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  8. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    as I recall.....some instruction from the new testament.....

    when you enter someone's house....do as they do....
    but do not sacrifice to their idols

    so.....play pool.....drink beer.....whatever
    but no consumption of any item having been offered to some other deity

    likely no head bowing to any graven image

    no offering of your own to the communal plate
     
  9. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    To get along, go along-I am a guest in someone else's
    culture, here.

    In China, you dont poke your chopsticks into your
    rice and leave them there, whether it is your culture, or not!

    Mom taught me how to say grace, if I am ever asked to.

    (I actually was, once)

    So, they ask if I want to say grace, what is the graceful
    way to handle it?

    Here it is:

    "SANCTIFY, oh Lord, this food to our use, and
    us to Thy purposes. Amen."

    No bored "when will it end" looks. No embarrassment.
    No cultural gaffes.
     
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  10. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Could you like, spare us all the inappropriate elipses, and write normal sentences?
     
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  11. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    Are you seriously suggesting others change their posting behaviors to accommodate you?

    I find it arrogant to suggest that someone change how they write just for you. Read him or keep scrolling. Your choice.
     
    #11 SalixIncendium, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  12. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    13 jun 2018 stvdv 01118
    To get along, go along-I am a guest in someone else's culture, here.

    I like that one. Does it also apply here on RF when "being in the topic of someone else"?

    I am kind of a guest then in the topic of the other. Who is so kind to share his inner feelings.
     
    #12 stvdv, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  13. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Is that like a general rule, that one should never
    ask others to be accommodating?

    Arrogant to do so?

    So, lets see... someone is making racist slurs, you'd
    not ask them to change to "accommodate" you?

    A bit extreme, that, but you were suggesting it seems, that no request for for accommodation is appropriate.

    There is an element of arrogant disregard for others
    implicit in prose that shows no effort at clear
    communication, is there not?

    In the event, it was not addressed to you. You, as you suggested I do, are free to ignore posts that do not suit you.

    If Thief wants to continue as before, he is certainly free to. If he wants to take a hint at more effective
    communication, he can do that.
     
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  14. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    You feel I showing disrespect to the OP?
    Im sure he can tell me if he is offended.
     
  15. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    I don't bow my head. For me to do so would be insincere, pointless, and meaningless. Usually I look around to see if anyone else has their head up, though usually if they do it's to chastise someone (such as their kids) for not having their head down. No one has given me any grief about though.
    As for doing public prayers, I wish they'd knock it off to be more inclusive and acknowledge that not everyone present is Christian. I don't even like them at funerals because they focus on the person being dead, rather than celebrating the life of the deceased.
     
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  16. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    In the interest of keeping this thread on topic, I'll not be responding to this here. However, feel free to create a new thread to continue this discourse and I'll be glad to engage you there.
     
  17. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    I guess it would depend upon the function. Most cases I wouldn't bow my head or close my eyes whatsoever.

    I would make exceptions if it is something like a funeral or Memorial. I'd have no problems bowing my head out of respect.
     
  18. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    13 jun 2018 stvdv 011 21
    No no disrespect. You just asked it very friendly IMO. Your question did enter my mind already a few times

    But reading now your nice "chinese anecdote" I found it very useful for myself in situations as these

    Because my major lesson in life is "change myself" and I already learned "others i can't change"

    And it fits perfect in this post "Bow your head" I have the feeling. So good reply of yours.
     
    #18 stvdv, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  19. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    uh ok, I was not looking for a conflict and glad I did not find one.
     
  20. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    nah, but tnx anyway.
     
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