|The President Publically Praying|
The duplicate bridge club to which I belong has an annual "Holiday Dinner" at this time every year which includes both a meal and then a large-field bridge game. At this year's event I was seated at dinner next to one the players, an older woman named Donna. As the salad was served she remarked to me, "Last year, right about now, we had to sit through an 'Invocation' that sounded a lot like a prayer, and I hope that won't happen again." Amused and interested, I asked Donna if she was an atheist, and she nodded vigorously. Just then a microphone-enhanced voice from the head table announced it was time for the invocation. Donna snorted in annoyance, and as we were all instructed that at this time of the year we should all feel grateful for the blessings conferred upon us by "Our Lord," she continued to eat her salad in determined defiance of the message. I did not bow my head, as most people in the room automatically did, and when I looked around I noticed quite a number of other bridge players who were similarly nonconforming, looking stoically straight ahead until the invocation ended and the speaker moved on to announcements of club business (including applause for those who organized the event, which was dutifully given by us all).
|The Whaleys, Japan, 1955|
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