195 9

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
Please or register to see comments



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

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.

DharmaBum50 Level 6 Nov 14, 2017

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.


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.

Paul628 Level 8 Nov 14, 2017

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

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.

wordywalt Level 7 Nov 14, 2017

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 7 Nov 14, 2017

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

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

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 7 Dec 19, 2017

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 6 Jan 23, 2018

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

AmiSue Level 7 Dec 23, 2017

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 7 Dec 22, 2017

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

gleanerman Level 3 Dec 20, 2017

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

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

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

Elsantoasauro Level 4 Jan 23, 2018

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

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

I too hate anything to do with religion and find churches cold and unfeeling. But for my brother I stepped into one for his wedding to wish him well and see him marry his wife. Both him and his wife are very religious, but they repect my non belief of any supreme being as I respect theres

On the plus side I didn't burst into flames

BoredJo Level 3 Feb 3, 2018

I am a little confused at your response. I am an atheist and when my daughter got married I went to the church. To me it is just a building. I won't put anymore meaning into it than what it is--a building. This is one of the biggest days in her life. You should be there celebrating with her. Don't let a building, no mater what it signifies to others get in the way.


Your belief is in your family. Go. Be her father. Even walk her down the aisle, if she asks. Don't be a drama queen, that is her day, don't try to make it about you and your needs.

Dick_Martin Level 7 Jan 24, 2018

I don't know why not go in. It's a building and you are going to celebrate the love between two people, hopefully regardless of what they believe. I personally love the architecture of holy buildings, particularly the old cathedrals as artwork rather than some place of worship. It's a building. Different people are allowed to feel differently about the buildings. As long as you don't decide to break out in hymns or praise God yourself which would be the real hypocrisy since you don't really believe, who really cares?

I would like to add if anyone invites you a simple "No thank you" is plenty and if they persist just remind them you are there for the sake of your daughter getting married and to please respect that.

AmyLF Level 6 Jan 23, 2018

And actually I love a good sing song, so I'd sing the hymns too at the top of my voice, just because singing is fun! Even more fun when you leave out some of the words like "god" or "jesus" and substitute "dog" & "sneezes". XXX


Yes. Don't think of it as going into church, think of it as supporting your daughter. If you don't believe in the church, it is just a building.

shockwaverider Level 7 Jan 13, 2018

I think you should be there for the wedding.

IowaFan99 Level 3 Jan 5, 2018

Yes, you are being silly. How is entering a "religious" building supporting that religion? You must think that it does, or why else would you think it is hypocritical to do so. The wedding is about the couple not rather or not you believe in the religious institution where the wedding is taking place.

Axelsan Level 4 Dec 31, 2017
Write Comment
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content read full disclaimer
  • Agnostic.com is a non-profit community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics and others happy without religion!