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Should I attend a wedding at church as an atheist?

my daughter gets married soon and its in a church. i've made it a policy not to enter religious buildings as i don't believe and i'm not a hypocrite.
she's ok with it but her fiance's family are making life difficult. i will not go into a church.. therefore the question.
am i being a bit silly?

dragon4104 4 Nov 14

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Go to your daughter wedding. This isent about a belief in a god. This is about a major event in your daughter life and i'm assuming she would like you to be there.

I agree. I've been to many weddings between Atheists, Jews, Wiccan, even Hindu. Its the PERSON you're honoring, not the religion.


I visit churches for weddings, funerals, and as a tourist. And when you think about it, I'm kind of a tourist when I'm at the weddings and funerals as well, observing the customs of an alien culture from the viewpoint of my own much different one. I don't participate, I just observe.

Well, I have to take that back--I did once participate in a Catholic funeral. It was my father-in-law's, and he had requested that everyone in the family be involved in it. I could have been dogmatic and refused (and thereby alienated all of my wife's family), but I realized that my father-in-law was a real iconoclast, and that was the reason he wanted me included. He knew better than to force anything on me. Appropriately enough, I was given the wine to take up for the communion. My brother-in-law had the wafers, and on our stroll up to the altar, he mumbled over at me, "Don't drink it all, Cuz." After the ceremony was over, the look on the priest's face when he learned I was an atheist was worth the whole experience.

The important thing, though, is that I was able to honor my father-in-law and stay on good terms with my in-laws while they knew full well that it did not affect my status as a nonbeliever one iota.

NIcely put. (Sometimes I think Im a tourist in my home town)

Catholics are weird. You can't even hold a funeral or wedding without doing the body and blood ceremony first? And the forced way it's done. At least when the Christian church does it, the worshipper serves himself. But, I would visit churches if I were touring. It is another look into local culture.

Love the part about the priest's face ?? Just one question - Did you drink all the wine?? ?

@missbizzylizzy No, I'm pretty sure it was rotgut. LOL


I could definitely put my ass in a pew for my own daughter's wedding.
Frankly, I can't believe you're going to pass on giving the bride away.

I get it that you don't want to enter a church, but this is a huge day for her and you can suspend your disbelief for her I think. At least for just a little while.


Yes you are being a bit silly, but let me explain. We need to live with people who are religious. They are religious and follow, often, strict principles. Why would you want to have strict principles also? Who cares because it is only a building? I would enjoy meeting people and having fun. You did not convert to atheism, it is not a religion where you have to prove anything. I think you are carrying religious baggage. Let it go and be thankful you are not taken in by religious superstition.

So much yes.

At least as an agnostic you can say I am not sure. As an atheist? Well it might be a surprise to recognise that a lot of the world carries quite delusional beliefs.

Allah's tropes, the Jewish cannon, animist and pagan belief?

Have you heard the good news?
You don't have to challenge their beliefs!


you are honoring the people you care for, not the church.


I'll enter churches for weddings and sometimes for funerals. A church is just a building. By going in I an not supporting the religion but paying respects to the people in the wedding or funeral. Granted I am bored silly by the religious stuff, but I don't join in prayers or even sing hymns and I definitely don't give them money.

To totally avoid churches, you are still lettign churches and religions manipulate/influence your life and how you behave. To act like it matters means they have some power over you and your life. I suggest you act like it doesn't matter to you at all one way or the other. It would be a qay to live your life and feel a lot more freedom.


This is about your daughter, not about you and your non-beliefs. No one is going to go up in flames if you enter a church.

Put aside your prejudice (and yes it's a prejudice if you are contemplating on not going to your own daughter's wedding because of your opinion), and go. I'm pretty sure you'll regret it if you don't.


Of course you should. This is your daughter's wedding. It's not about you. You don't have to pray or join in with any religious element of the service. Visiting a church doesn't make you a hypocrite, but boycotting your daughter's wedding because you don't like her choices would be devastating for her.
I don't know where you are based, but most churches over here in the UK are awesome buildings and worth a visit just to see the craftsmanship that went into them and to learn a bit of history about the area.
Make your daughter's day complete - it's what dad's need to do sometimes.
You know it makes sense! 🙂


What difference does the building it takes place in make...unless you are giving it some kind of mystical power? If you want to see the couple married, attend. If it was in an American Legion Hall and you were a communist, what would you do?


Yes, you are being silly. You are there for them, not the religion.


Entering a building is no more an endorsement of religion than touring the White House would be an endorsement of whoever happened to be the president at the time. Attend the wedding.


I don't think its hypocritical to go to a wedding, its kind, you don't have to join in the service, you can sit at the back and enjoy someone else's pageantry with their beliefs, without sullying your own beliefs. If it would make someone else happy seems like a humanist thing to do as I see it and I guess its really down to you to make that call or not.


IMO, you're being silly. Principles are great until they start to negatively affect the important relationships in your life. Even if your daughter is fine with your actions sooner or later it will become an issue in her relationship with her in-laws which will in turn most likely become an issue in her marriage...that will end up as tension in your relationship with her.

Go to the wedding and celebrate your daughters wedding as a proud parent.


You must go, it's your daughter, do it for no other reason.


How is it hypocritical to enter a religious building?

Ungod Level 6 Apr 28, 2018

It's all about your Daughter, the brick and mortar that surrounds the event is irreverent if you want it to be.


Yes. You are being silly. Go to your daughter wedding! Is not about you, it's about her.


Yes you are being silly. You are also acting like a believer who fears the church will have some power over him. If you are an atheist then a church is just a building. Your daughter’s wedding is an event you will regret missing for the rest of your life.


As an Atheist, or as your daughter's father? You can go, respecting your daughter's wishes without compromising your own values. You are being a bit silly with not going into religious buildings, as you should be comfortable enough in your own beliefs that simply entering a building will not affect them.


Yes, you are being silly. Think of the church as just another building. It is one of the most important days in your daughter's life and she will always remember that day and you being there for her. If you sit it out you don't get a mulligan.You don't have to participate in the service or bow down to some golden idol or huge cross. It's your daughter, for Christ sake.. LOL


Although the ceremony itself may be held in a religious venue and there may be trapping of religious nonsense and tradition in the wedding, it is about your daughter and her hearts chosen. You should be there for her. You are not paying or giving any respect to the church by being there, because you are there for them. Do not miss out on an important event in your child's life. It is easier to deal with a moments discomfort than a lifelong regret.

Very well typed.


Its your daughter. Go to her wedding. You will regret it later if you dont. Your daughter should be more important than self imposed bans from religious buildings.


It would be cool to discover if you burst into flames! If not, ask the pastor why at the end of the service.


A bit silly doesn't come close to covering it. At the start I thought this was some random friends wedding in which case it was a bit silly would be about right, but this is your daughter so get off your high horse and walk her down that aisle or do whatever other stupid ritual will make everyone happy.
Fundamentalism is not pretty whoever is doing it, even an Atheist.

Kimba Level 7 Apr 8, 2018

To use an old saw, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. Listen to what everyone has said and go, support your daughter and let go of old, needless, baggage.

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