“Grace” is a word Atheists can embrace.  Make it your own, take it out of the hands of those who perversely proclaim that we are born disgusting and deserving of torture and torment with our only hope being grace granted from a praise-lusting vengeful god.  Take grace back from narrow minds!

Grace is unexpected kindness from others.  Grace is the humble interdependence we have with fellow humans and all of nature.  Grace is a gift we give without expecting in return.   A thankful heart is one that realizes that we live by grace — we live by the kindness of others.

Don’t let the religious steal this beautiful concept.   Make “Grace” a word you are proud of.   Grace is an important understanding to living in this world where no gods, spirits or spooks exist.  Grace is caring for each other.

  • Proto-Indo-European: gwer:  to praise, welcome
  • Sanskrit: grnati: sings, announces
  • Greek: karites: one of the three sister goddesses who were bestower or charm and beauty
  • Latin: gratia: agreeableness, charm; favor, good will, kindness
  • English grace:
    1) Elegance and beauty of movement or expression
    2) Consideration of others
    3) Disposition of kindness and compassion
    4) to decorate and make attractive
    5) a short prayer before a meal
    6) (Christian theology) : the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God


See other “Word!” posts, here.


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10 responses to “Grace

  1. Grace in the biblical and historical sense, is a word representing God’s forgiveness. The term “grace” is used to represent what is not fully understood, for now we “see in part”, like “in a mirror, dimly”.

    If we are born so good in the first place and don’t need any forgiveness from God, then why after 5,000 years of education to the contrary, is there still so much war and rumor of war? Why are educated scientists still inventing weapons of mass destruction and, why did the the so-called “age of enlightenment” result in the rise of global imperialism, the American, French, Russian, Chinese and countless other revolutions, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, etc.? How were these wars caused by belief in God, as Bill Maher and Sam Harris pretend?

    It is quite arguably beyond irrational to pretend that motion can exist apart from primary cause, a universal complexity of zillions of parts within parts can randomly arise, intelligence can arise from non-intelligence and, beings of creative intelligence, conscious awareness, identity of “self”, moral conscience and the ability to analyze our own thought processes, could arise from unconscious sub-atomic scraps of matter, without any Supreme Intelligence behind the process. To pretend there is no God represents a more biased and baseless superstition than all of the myths and other superstitions of human history combined.

    And, I have no doubt that God will forgive an atheist, I used to be one myself.

  2. @ Richard :
    We indeed can not begin to understand all the ways we are dependent on the kindness of others. Grace is a mystery in this sense, it is much larger than us, it is forgiving by its very nature. But no reason to make up gods, spirits or spooks to understand human kindness.

  3. you can cross out #6, but it still exists whether ya like it or not 😉 now only if i can get Christians to live like it… EEEEKK!!

    we are held within a mysterious grace that is much larger than us, that much we agree. for you, you call it grace, for me, i call it “God.” that whole 1 John quote “God is love” has been drilled into me so much that my theology is dependent on that. thus the Jesuit teachers i have triumphed in that way 😉

    reminds me of: “I don’t know what to call it, but I call it “Tao” no?

    “But no reason to make up gods, spirits or spooks to understand human kindness.”

    sure! there’s plenty of reason! ppl are irrationally cruel sometime… yet they are also irrationally kind. if you’re exposed to the badness of humanity primarily, then the source of goodness must come from “outside” the human mind, since it is bent on self-preservation. that’s one reason… there are many others, but i’ll stick on that one. some are able to achieve this out of being naturally polite and understanding. some do it through tradition. both are valid, i believe… and thus my theological teleology is exposed!

  4. CRL

    I think the crossing out of number six was a *bit* too extreme. Let Christians have their words!

  5. @ Ian
    Thanks brother ! 🙂
    For readers: Ubuntu (humanistic philosophy of cooperative relations — without gods)

    @ Luke
    You are right, something can exist or NOT exist independent of someone’s thoughts about it.

    So firing back at you, #6 does not exist no matter how tight you squint your eyes in groups prayer sessions or not. If the prayer circle parishioners go away hoping for kindness from their god or some other spirit and don’t get off their asses and help each other, well, guess what? – nothing will happen. Cause their ain’t no god. 😉

    Conjuring up a spirit/god does not stop irrational cruelty.
    I wasn’t talking of human reason, I was talking about human action for kindness. I really don’t follow your ‘argument’. Humans, as part of their self-preservation skills, have built into them cooperation and kindness. You seem to be showing your lack of understanding of evolutionary psychology. You are doing the classic, “Eve ate the apple so we are all born hopelessly evil so we need a god” argument.
    So you need some more arguments, your first ones don’t work.

    Theists “Grace” supposedly comes from God — why would Christians they have to “live it”? Oh yeah, they are suppose to be nice to show their thankfulness.

    Yeah, my kids get told they are going to hell by their classmates because they don’t have Grace — so, no, they can’t have it! Remember, “Grace” for most Christians, is only for those who believe. And even if someone claims to be a universalist, they still delude people with the notion of some all powerful being jumping down to help us — we are here for each other, their ain’t no god in the volcano or in the sky. I don’t think it is harsh — but then, that may be due to my experiences with Christians and all the stuff I hear on the radio and see on TV.

  6. @ Luke

    (1) If the Jesuits drilled you so much that their theology became yours, are you using that an excuse to continue the same indoctrination? As an adult, you can decide if you agree and try to resist the indoctrination.
    My father taught me to hate all Catholics, blacks, Asians, Jew and you name it. The indoctrination stops here!

    (2) BTW, I intentionally added smiley faces like you to perhaps show that they may not soften up things you disagree with to the extent you wish they do. Confessing your indoctrinations does not help either.

  7. you feel smarter now? get that off your chest? try to offer a light-hearted approach and you always want brass-tacks. okie-dokie, if we’re still in that stage…

    “If the prayer circle parishioners go away hoping for kindness from their god or some other spirit and don’t get off their asses and help each other, well, guess what? – nothing will happen. ”
    -you’re right. theology and the Gospel for that matter are about THIS world and how one acts regardless of whether one believes in God/gods or not. because it’s about treating your NEIGHBOR as you would yourself and thus the love of neighbor and self would be HOW you show the love of God with all your heart mind and soul. when two or three are gathered, Christ is said to be in the midst, and Matt 25 lays out a good rubric on how to orient one’s concerns. doing so would honor God/gods/grace definitions 1-5.

    “You seem to be showing your lack of understanding of evolutionary psychology.”
    -i argued one point, which would be the selfish gene which also competes with the communal one. if you’re going to try to debate psychology, best bring the spectrum. morality is a mess, cross-firing business in the mind and while people jump in front of bullets and run into burning buildings for others, there are also those bastards out there who fire bullets and burn down houses, no Eve or apple needed for that.

    (1) Jesuits drilled me yes, i am also taught it’s polite to name your biases and starting point. that is where i start from. you? and btw, your father sounds a lot like my mom’s ex-bf. after all our talks, it seems you have selective memory and your sinful “stick-it-to-the-theist” gene kicks in and forget that one can keep the good stuff one was taught and leave out the bad stuff (the -ism being one of ’em). c’mon man.

    (2) adding smiley faces wasn’t to soften it but to show where to laugh. apparently it didn’t work. plus i would rather confess my indoctrination then act like i don’t have any.

  8. @ Luke
    Thank for your reply.

  9. Remember, “Grace” for most Christians, is only for those who believe.

    That’s not what I was taught in church, because there is “common grace,” which is given by God to EVERYONE, even those who do not accept Jesus as their Lord. You need that to explain why heathens and infidels and pagans and even atheists still love their kids and enjoy sunsets and such.

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