What does “sacred” mean? Does the concept have a place in atheist living? There is a common sentiment in atheist circles that no one and nothing deserves our devotion, but I think there’s some truth in the assertion that “we all worship something”. Is awe important and do rituals have a role in atheist life?
About the Author
I am a graphic artist, mom to two girls and wife of an actor. I enjoy dancing, reading, knitting and I might be a little obsessed with podcasts. I spent the first 31 years of my life as a passionate evangelical, Pentecostal Christian (12 years of which were spent as a minister) and am now trying to find my dance outside of religion.
Basically, prayer is talking to God/gods/nature or making appeals/requests. There are almost an infinite number of ways to pray. Prayer can be spontaneous or use the prayers others have written. It can be modern or ancient. But ultimately, the idea behind prayer is that a person is communicating with a divine entity or entities in some way to express something or ask for something. Sounds simple enough right? WRONG!
Kids have a lot to teach us if we’re willing to learn. Their questions reveal much about the lessons they are learning from the adults around them. We need to take the time to hear them and adjust our conversations.
Atheists face tragedy without the protective mechanisms of prayer and a belief in an afterlife. I think, in many ways, this is a gift we can give to our communities in times of grief – offering it gently and with sensitivity, mostly by example. Atheists are just as sensitive, compassionate and empathetic as theists. We are just as capable of holding space for the grieving. In addition, we are able to model practical things that can be done to help, taking action side by side with people of faith.
Some of the best discoveries are “accidents” on the way to something else. Take the Super Supercapacitor for example. In an attempt to create one thing, they discovered something that became something else even more spectacular.