At funerals, Warren Hughes always finds a seat in the back where, when the preaching and praying begins, he can slip out discreetly. He doesn’t bow his head pretending to pray because he hasn’t believed in prayer, or God, since he was 30 years old.


“If I stay there and bow my head, I am sanctioning what they are doing. I don’t sanction it because I think it’s wrong,” said Hughes, who grew up in the Christian Science church. “I give no validity to mysticism at all.”