228 11

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?

By dragon4104
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228 comments

39

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.

Sandro75 Level 2 Nov 17, 2017
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I agree. I've been to many weddings between Atheists, Jews, Wiccan, even Hindu. Its the PERSON you're honoring, not the religion.

19

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.

DharmaBum50 Level 7 Nov 14, 2017
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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?? πŸ˜‰

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

12

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.

testingchemist Level 2 Nov 14, 2017
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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!

11

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

wordywalt Level 8 Nov 14, 2017
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10

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.

snytiger6 Level 8 Nov 14, 2017
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9

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.

kiramea Level 7 Dec 23, 2017
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7

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! smile001.gif

Uncorrugated Level 7 Dec 21, 2017
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7

yes, its only a building. you won't get me in one for any reason other than a wedding or funeral. there is a time and a place to make a stand, your daughters wedding is not one of them. i went a couple years ago to a friend wedding, i did not burst into flames, you should be fine, just don't let them throw holy water on you. lol.

MichaelSpinler Level 8 Dec 19, 2017
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6

It's just a structure! A building. I would celebrate with my daughter.

AmiSue Level 8 Dec 23, 2017
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6

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?

AnneWimsey Level 8 Dec 22, 2017
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5

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

novoxguy Level 6 June 3, 2018
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5

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.

Yosemite62 Level 4 Apr 21, 2018
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5

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.

jacpod Level 7 Jan 30, 2018
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5

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.

PhoebeCat Level 7 Jan 23, 2018
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5

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

gleanerman Level 3 Dec 20, 2017
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4

How is it hypocritical to enter a religious building?

Ungod Level 5 Apr 28, 2018
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4

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

Holdentus Level 3 Jan 31, 2018
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4

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

Elsantoasauro Level 5 Jan 23, 2018
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4

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.

Eponine Level 2 Dec 26, 2017
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I agree

4

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.

Rabbidimus Level 3 Dec 22, 2017
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4

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

Specman Level 6 Dec 20, 2017
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3

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.

BFD301IAFF Level 3 June 21, 2018
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Very well typed.

3

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.

cmontes Level 5 June 6, 2018
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3

I have been an atheist for many years and I also love going into churches. There is no hypocrisy in appreciating architectural beauty. There is no hypocrisy is supporting a loved one with a different belief system. I have no agenda in trying to persuade others into sharing my viewpoints on the topic of religion. I expect the same respect. Is the goal of the ceremony to convert you or to celebrate an important life milestone for someone that you love? There is no shame in entering any religious building. Also, always be prepared to show the same respect for others that you ask for yourself. Good luck, congrats!, and enjoy the wedding!!!

FreeThinker73 Level 5 May 5, 2018
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What a beautiful way of thinking!

@Lola13 thank you for the compliment

Yes...but listening to that preacher is awesome! I love good comedy!

3

Going into a church does not signify your acceptance or approval of anything. She is your daughter, GO!

Bobby9 Level 7 Apr 11, 2018
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