Jeffrey Tayler, writing for Salon, offers 15 responses atheists can give people who use any number of religious clichés:
1. “Let’s say grace!”
No, let’s not. When you’re seated at the family dinner table and a relative suggests clasping hands, lowering heads and thanking the Lord, say “No thanks. I’m an atheist. So I’ll opt out.” Nonbelievers have every right to object when being asked to take part in superstitious rituals; in fact, if children are present, they are morally obliged to do so. Courteously refusing to pray will set an example of rational behavior for the young, and contribute to furthering the atheist zeitgeist.
10. “As you age and face death, you will come to need religion.”Perhaps in dotage anything is possible, but this turn of events is unlikely. Aging and the prospect of dying by no means enhance the attractiveness of fictitious comforts to come in paradise, or the veracity of malicious myths about hellfire and damnation. Fear and feeblemindedness cannot be credibly pressed into service to support fantastic claims about the cosmos and our ultimate destiny.
It’s a helpful list and actually encourages atheists to be more vocal, which is a nice change of pace for that website.
And in case you missed it, I’ve made a couple of videos along the same lines, exploring things Christians often say to atheists that they really shouldn’t:
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