Some years ago a woman wrote to Ann Landers. The letter writer told how she and her husband were atheists, though they didn’t make a big deal about it. At a family gathering in another state her husband was asked to say grace at dinner. He mumbled something off and let it go at that. The woman wanted Ms. Landers to tell her how to deal with this in the future without compromising their principals. Ms Landers said to pass it off, to say, “Let cousin Lem do it,” or something to that effect.
That column inspired me to compose a ‘Non-Believers Grace.’ I sent it to Ann Landers but, to no surprise, she never responded. I share it here for humanists and freethinkers this Thanksgiving.
A Non-Believers Grace
I offer my deepest appreciation and my most profound apologies to the plants and animals whose lives were forfeit for our good health this day.
We give thanks to the ranchers and the farmers, their workers and their hands whose skill, sweat and toil have brought forth this bounty from the Earth.
We are grateful to the workers in the fields who pick our food, the workers in the plants where our food is processed, the teamsters who carry it to market and the stockers and the checkers who offer it up for our selection.
We are particularly appreciative for those at this table who have prepared this food with love and affection for our enjoyment and nourishment this day.
We remember fondly those who the miles and circumstance keep from joining us today as we remember those who are no longer with us and are grateful for the time we have shared with them.
We enjoy the warmth and fellowship that surrounds this gathering as we share the fervent hope that people the world over can share the good fortune, warm feeling and conviviality that embraces this gathering.