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How do you honor family and friends at weddings, baptism, bar mitzvah, etc. without participating in religious ceremonies?

Sierra4 6 Feb 10

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I attend because I respect the friend. I don't participate in the religious component because that's a reflection of their faith, not mine. No need to play a game or create false impressions; likewise, no need to be obnoxious about it.


I stand in the back of the room and observe. Fortunately it only happens every decade or so.


I go, but refuse to participate in any superstitious activities. If I can respect their beliefs, I don't see why they can't respect mine.


I simply witness their joy.


I honor my family and friends by participating in their rituals and sharing their celebration. I find no need to draw attention to myself by refusing to bow my head, etc. I attend weddings I'm invited to, whether they are in a formal church, a park, or Las Vegas chapel. I don't have to believe what they believe in order to be happy for them.


i don't mind bar mitzvahs or other jewish ceremonies; my atheism wasn't a matter of rebellion. i just realized there were no gods. i still enjoy some of the rituals. i'm not offended by them. i just take the god stuff allegorically or outright ignore it, and the rest of it -- being kind of people, protecting the planet, working to end slavery and starvation worldwide -- i certainly have no objections to those things.



Luckily marriages are not religious events. You are not married until and unless the form is turned into the county courthouse and filed. The religious part is for personal preference.


I stay quiet and respectful. Don't bow my head or act like I'm praying.

Same here. Especially no kneeling.


Pretend your really drunk and just have a goofy smile on your face as you nod your head to people. Plan B, don't pretend, be drunk.


Sometimes you just have to show up, be polite, and smile and nod and whatever silliness is going on. It doesn't cause you harm and other people seem to appreciate it. Your close friends and family realize what you're doing and are probably grateful for your support though they may laugh about it with you later.


I participate. I even bow my head during prayers. I daydream, but since there's no thought police on duty, I'm OK. ? (I don't rain on other people's parades. I don't have to believe to understand that others do. At my son's Celebration of Life, I agreed to some religion in the service. My son was an Atheist, but many left behind needed some religion during such a horrible time. One person's comfort may not be my comfort, but I get it. I'm a human being long before I'm an Atheist.)


By not being there. If I was there, they would become very embarrassed.

THHA Level 7 Feb 10, 2019

It's easy really.
Sure I sat in the church at my fathers funeral laughing at the minister trying to act like he was aware of all the aspects of my Dad and our family. He announced to the congregation that I lived in Georgia when I lived in California, he thought my sister had two kids, when it was me. His description of the whole family was as different for our actual family as Fox News is different from reality.
I married an atheist in 1993 and her and her friend wanted to deal with the marriage details and we held the wedding in one of those Vegas chapels. A couple of months later she realized that we were actually married when we filled out the paperwork at the courthouse then got mad that we had to go through all the religion bullshit. I laughed and told her, sorry but I had NOTHING to do with that. The ceremony was a disaster, Religion really does ruin everything.


Well I think the question would be do they find offense in your lack of belief? The reason I ask is if you do not believe or find value in someones actions the choice is simple. Do not go. Now if they do not judge you for your position but simply want you to participate out of love and a wish for your presence then go with the understanding that your love and respect for them is enough of a reason despite your lack of belief. Religious/Cultural ceremonies are many things to many people. Many Catholic's in this modern era freely use birth control in defiance of their church yet still practice the cultural activities of the faith and would consider themselves good Catholics. Zealots among the Catholic faith I imagine would consider them less then. But who cares about them? You cannot I think honor some one if you hold their actions and thoughts in contempt. I do not believe in many culture and religions beliefs yet I decline to be so arrogant as to hold myself as better then them for the lack. Cultural practices like female circumcision, Christian scientist denying life saving medicine to their children, treating woman as slaves, marrying young girls to old men (Mormon zealots, some Islamic and other religious faiths practices.) are too me all abhorrent for their actions whatever their root origin. For you I would ask can you respect them and can they respect you for your divergent views while enjoying time together? Can you be honest with them? If no to any of these questions I would not go and make it clear why. So many poisons course through human interaction simply due to people not being honest.

Quarm Level 6 Feb 10, 2019

Attend to lend support and acceptance for your family or friend. You are under no obligations to participate in any activity you do not want too participate in. If nothing else just go outside until you feel comfortable to return to the activities.


I just turn up for the chance to put a posh frock on and free grub. If its a churchie thing, me and my sis grumble to each other....or worse (at my great grandma's funeral) get the giggles

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