Category Archives: Religion

Prayers for Thanksgiving?

You’re going to be spending your first Thanksgiving with your Significant Other’s (SO) family and have been warned that you may be asked to say a prayer before the meal. This is their way of making you feel welcome and included in their family but, while you appreciate the sentiment, you’re at a loss for what to say. Maybe the prayer in your family has always been done by an older family member, or maybe your not religious and have no clue what will be expected of you.

Don’t panic. Here are some short prayers to give you an idea of what you might want to say. I’ve included ones that are specifically Christian, others that are non-denominational, and others that simply offer thanks (which would work for someone who is a humanist or an atheist).

Prayers that thank God and/or Jesus

The first is the third verse of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson (click the link for the whole poem):

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee.
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

The next is by Harry Jewell:

Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.

And here’s a few short ones. Some families might prefer something longer (ask your SO about their family), but the hungry among us appreciate brevity!:

1.Bless this food to our use
and Us to thy service.


2. Good and Gracious Lord,
Give us true and and thankful hearts

for the many blessings we are about to receive.
In Jesus name, Amen.

3. Jesus, thank you for loving us; And providing food, shelter, and each other. Every moment of our lives is a gift; And we appreciate all the time You have given us. Thank you for all our good fortune.

4. O, heavenly Father:
We thank thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank thee for friends and remember the friendless.

5. God, we thank you for this food, this day, and for each other, and we ask your blessings on the sick and the needy, and all our loved ones.

This next one is a traditional Catholic prayer:

Bless us, oh Lord,
and these thy gifts
which we are about to receive
from thy bounty,
through Christ, our Lord.

If you want, you made do the sign of the cross after you say “Amen”.


The next one was written by Abigail Van Buren (advice columnist Dear Abby):

O Heavenly Father
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service.
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.

Bless this food we have before us, O God. Let it provide the nourishment we need.
Bless this family and our friends gathered around this table. Let us be nourished by our love and care for one another.

Bless those who have less than we have. Let our eyes be open to their needs.
Bless us as we bless your holy name on this day of thanksgiving. Let us praise and thank you always in Jesus’ name.

Here’s one for the Book of Common Prayer. It’s part of the Thanksgiving Day church service, but works well at the table too:

Almighty and gracious Father, we give thee thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we beseech thee, faithful stewards of thy great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever.

Here are some Goldilocks prayers, not too long, not too short, they’re just right!

1. Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.

2. Father all-powerful, Your gifts of love are countless and Your goodness infinite. On Thanksgiving Day we come before You with gratitude for Your kindness: open our hearts to concern for our fellow men and women, so that we may share Your gifts in loving service.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

3. Bless this food we have before us, O God. Let it provide the nourishment we need.
Bless this family and our friends gathered around this table. Let us be nourished by our love and care for one another.
Bless those who have less than we have. Let our eyes be open to their needs.
Bless us as we bless your holy name on this day of thanksgiving. Let us praise and thank you always in Jesus’ name.

4. We thank you, Lord our God, you – who gives food to all, who heals the flesh of all, creates wonders in this world, who forged mankind in great wisdom and who gives refuge beneath the shadow of his wings.

God, from your wisdom grant us wisdom, from your love grant us love, from your understanding grant us understanding. Feed us when we are hungry, give us strength when we are weak, raise us up when we are bent over, set us free when we are enslaved.

Just as our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were blessed in all, from all, with all – may the Lord bless all of us together with a complete blessing: of peace, of strength – with the blessing of being thankful.

This one is also from the Book of Common Prayer. It’s a bit longer but you have the option of reading it directly from the prayer book:

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have
done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole
creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for
the loving care which surrounds us on every side.

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best
efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy
and delight us.

We thank you also for those disappointments and failures
that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the
truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast
obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying,
through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life
again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and
make him known; and through him, at all times and in all
places, may give thanks to you in all things..

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things.

Non-religious statements of thanks

We are thankful for the food on this table.
We are thankful for this time together.
Our thoughts go out to family and friends;
We hope that they are safe and well.


For the meal we are about to eat,
for those that made it possible,

and for those with whom we are about to share it,
we are thankful.

You can memorize one of these, or you can just use them for inspiration. Think about the things your are thankful for and talk about that. Say that you are thankful for your SO and his/her family, for friends, for having a job or being able to go to school, and of course, don’t forget to say you’re thankful for the food you are about to enjoy and for the people who prepared it.

Personally, I’m thankful for computers and smart phones, for modern medicine, my pets and chocolate. I could probably work being thankful for my pets into a prayer, I’m not too sure how gratitude over electronics would go over, though.

If you want, you can mention those less fortunate than you and ask that others keep them in their prayers (or thoughts, if you want to keep the offering of thanks secular). This can include the homeless, someone you know who is ill, victims of natural disasters or terrorism…pray for France.

french flag


Songs Used by the CIA for Enhanced Interrogation (Torture)?

Any parent of toddlers will tell you that these first two are a given. When my kids were little there was just VHS tapes so I had a few seconds of sanity while the tape rewound where I could pray for the tape to break or jam so I didn’t have to hear it for the hundred and eleventith time that day. Now with all of the digital delivery systems (Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV…) that can be set to repeat ad infinitum, I don’t know how parents stay sane. Turn off the router, maybe?

The Barney Theme Song

Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination
And when he’s tall
He’s what we call a dinosaur sensation.

The Sesame Street Theme Song

Everything’s a-okay
Family, neighbors, friends
That’s where we meet
Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to sesame street?
How to get to sesame street?
How to get to sesame street?
How to get to sesame street?

And there were a couple that made sure to let the terrorist know just who they had pissed off.

America by Neil Diamond

Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Ev’ry time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America!

American Pie by Don McLean – It’s not the song that’s torture, it’s that they refused to explain the lyrics.

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Stayin’ Alive the theme to Saturday Night Fever by The BeeGees.  If it were me being interrogated, I would tell them everything they want to know just to make the disco music stop.

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm, I’ve been kicked around
Since I was born.
And now it’s all right. It’s OK.
And you may look the other way.
We can try to understand
The New York Times‘ effect on man.

Some of them don’t seem that offensive on the surface. Babylon by David Gray, for example. Nice easy melody and it seems that the Babylon reference might inspire nostalgia and give them some resolve not to talk. On the other hand, dude, you’ve been blind and a fool.

Friday night I’m going nowhere
All the lights are changing green to red
Turning over TV stations
Situations running through my head
Looking back through time
You know it’s clear that I’ve been blind, I’ve been a fool
To open up my heart to all that jealousy,
That bitterness, that ridicule.

Or Raspberry Beret by Prince. Such an upbeat song about a woman who dares to show her skin! And hair!

She wore a
Raspberry beret
The kind you find in a second hand store
Raspberry beret
And if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more
Raspberry beret
I think I love her.

They mixed in some metal for a nice contrast. Songs like Fuck Your God by Deicide. I’m not including any of the lyrics because you can’t understand them! It seems like any metal song would work as well, unless they told them the title. That’s what I’d do. Play this song and say, “This is called Fuck Your God.” Then I’d play a bunch of different metal songs and say that all of them are called Fuck Your God.

Other artists who made the CIA playlist include AC/DC. Eminem, Dope, Metallica, 2Pac (Tupac), Christina Aguilera, Rage Against the Machine, and Matchbox 20.

I don’t know how much thought the CIA put into this list but I do know that they’ve been out done by a couple of 11-year-old boys.

Or would have been out done if it weren’t for this..I am linking to it against my better judgement. Imagine hours of hearing that and only that.

Things Banned by Leviticus?

3:17 -You must never eat any fat or blood. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation, wherever you live.

Is this just animal fat or any lipids? I think we need to be clear here. Either way, no well-marbled steak for you!

5:1 – If you are called to testify about something you have seen or that you know about, it is sinful to refuse to testify, and you will be punished for your sin.

No pleading the Fifth. Not only can you not lie, you can’t keep quiet.

10:6 – Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and the LORD’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of the LORD’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu.

Losing a loved one is no excuse for letting your personal grooming slide. Comb your hair!

11:9-10 – Of all the marine animals, these are ones you may use for food. You may eat anything from the water if it has both fins and scales, whether taken from salt water or from streams.

But you must never eat animals from the sea or from rivers that do not have both fins and scales. They are detestable to you. This applies both to little creatures that live in shallow water and to all creatures that live in deep water.

No shrimp, clams, lobsters, or crabs.

19:13 – Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.

Payday, every day!

19:15 – Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.

If this is true, Hell should be full of politicians. Just knowing that should make you want to avoid it.

19:16 – Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.

So, true gossip would be okay?

19:19 – You must obey all my decrees. “Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.

Poly-cotton blends are the work of the devil.

19:23 – When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden. Do not eat it.

So I can eat the fruit in the fourth year?

19:24 – In the fourth year the entire crop must be consecrated to the LORD as a celebration of praise.

Damn. I mean, darn.

19:27 – Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.

Wait, not trimming the hair on your temples will ban mullets right? Okay!

19:31 – Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead.

This is good advice because there’s no such thing as ghosts! Mediums are scammers who are just taking advantage of grieving people.

19:32 – Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged.

This used to just be good manners. Young people stood up to show respect for older people, gentlemen stood to show respect for ladies. Now you’re lucky if other people look up from their phone when they talk to you. (I love smartphones, but can’t stand rude people.)

25:23 – The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me.

For not being able to own land, mankind has fought a lot of wars over it.

Seven Deadly Sins?

1. Pride – Unrestrained self admiration.
2. Greed – Avarice, a desire for material possessions.
3. Lust – Uncontrolled desire.
4. Anger (Wrath) – Rage and hatred.
5. Gluttony – Uncontrolled consumption and wastefulness.
6. Envy – Jealousy of others possessions or status.
7. Sloth – Physical and spiritual laziness.

They are also called Cardinal Sins or Capital Vices. They are believed to be the root of all other sins.

Each sin has a virtue that is its opposite:
Envy/Brotherly Love

Proverbs 6:16-19King James Version (KJV)

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

“Victims” of the Streisand Effect?

Can we call them victims when they brought the trouble down upon themselves? If you don’t know, “the Streisand Effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.”

– A Glasgow hostel owner fights back after a guest left a negative review. There was even a drinking game created for the comment fight (at the risk of alcohol poisoning). Sure, you can say, well, it’s Glasgow, what did you expect? But the hostel owner was originally Canadian! They’re supposed to be nice!

– Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing (a PR firm) did not handle a customer’s complaint about not receiving gaming controllers. There’s even an internet meme based on it.

– Beyonce’s publicist didn’t like the fierce photos from her Superbowl halftime show.

It did not go well.

Faith healer Adam Miller sues over a YouTube video.

You go, girl! It went from a barely noticed video to one with thousands of views.

– A Boston moving company called Casey Movers received a bad review on Yelp so they sent a letter threatening legal action. That led to the discovery of bogus positive reviews for the company.

– You might think that politicians would know better but Texas Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson has experienced the Streisand Effect. The section of her Wikipedia page about how she granted scholarships to relatives and children of her congressional aide kept disappearing. That got the attention of the media. It didn’t matter in the long run, she was still re-elected. Having a (D) beside your name lets you get away with all sorts of funny business that would get you booted from office if you had an (R) instead.

5 Pillars of Islam?

These are the five main obligations of faith that a Muslim must fulfill.

The first is the belief that “There is no God, but God (Allah), and Muhammed is his prophet.” This is called shahadah and it is a statement of faith in only one God and in the finality of Muhammad as prophet.

Salat is second and it is the ritual prayer that is performed five times a day: at dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, nighttime. Prayer is done facing in the direction of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.

Muslims must give a sort of religious wealth tax, zakat, where a fixed proportion of their wealth is collected and used to benefit the poor, debtors, volunteers in jihad, pilgrims, and tax collectors. Traditionally it is 2.5% of a person’s wealth (the value of all of their money and possessions), once per lunar year.

Fourth is required fasting during Ramadan called sawm. All adult Muslims are required to give up food, drink and sexual intercourse during daylight hours. It is a test of self-control that helps bring the person closer to God and increases their awareness of the suffering of the poor. At sunset they break their fast with a meal called iftar.

The fifth pillar is the Hajj. It is the requirement that those who are physically and financially able to must go to Mecca once in their lifetime. The number of people making the pilgrimage has reached two million.