Post # 1
FI and I are both atheists and we are fairly, but not EXTREMELY, young to be getting married (we will be 22 and 24). For some reason the combination of our age and religious views has really gotten some people bent out of shape over our upcoming wedding.
people (not close family or friends, more peripheral acquaintance types…) will comment that they don’t understand why we are getting married at all, and certainly don’t understand why we can’t wait until we are older since God plays no part in our decision.
i’m tired of going through the laundry list of good reasons we have to get married and i do not particularily care whether other people consider them valid or not, but if i have another person be so rude as to ask me to justify my decision to them i think i am going to scream.
anyone else felt this way? vent session?
Post # 3
Atheist here. My husband is as well. We’re “militant” so to speak, and everyone in our family knows.
I’d remind them that marriage did not start off as a religious action and you don’t need a god to validate your union.
I personally would say a lot worse considering, well, I’m super bitchy like that. I haven’t had anybody judge my marriage (I have had a few people on this website make snide comments though) but I’d have a field day if someone did.
Post # 4
We are both athiests and nobody questioned our motivations.
I think religious people have a hard time grasping the concept of athiests having motivation to do things (including be moral and the like) without the threat of god/the bible, etc hanging over our heads. Never ceases to amaze me. We don’t need a mythical being telling us what to do in order to be good people, make a lasting committment, etc etc.
Post # 5
No… no one has said anything like that too me.
Like Hyperventilate, I would probably get pretty bitchy about it if people asked me.
Post # 6
You know, to be honest, I just don’t get reactions like that. What part of the country are you in?
FI and I are both atheists/agnostics, and while my family is relatively non-religious, his family is pretty hardcore Baptist. The only thing that has EVER been said to me was when I told his mom she could consdier me agnostic instead of atheist, and she was VERY happy about that – for some reason I think she really has a stigma tied to the word atheist.
We are a little bit older (28/29), so maybe that has to do with why we don’t draw comments? Or honestly, maybe it’s because we just laugh off any discussion and change the topic. We’re not outspoken or “militant” atheists, and we don’t try to share our views any more than we would want others to try to share their views with us. It’s just a non-issue, and I like it that way. When someone brings up religion or asks us a question, we don’t get defensive or uncomfortable, just answer it politely and change the topic.
Not sure if that helps… I’ve always found that being comfortable without being aggressive about my views on this topic has made relationships with those that are religious (and that includes many of my very good friends) easy and smooth. It’s not that I’m hiding anything, it’s just that we don’t really discuss topics we don’t have something constructive to discuss on. We smile, give a non-answer, and change the topic to something else we’ll both enjoy talking about.
Post # 7
I’m agnostic but never have to justify myself. I don’t have a single religious family member or friend. I guess I’m lucky.
Post # 8
@NAvery: We’re in the heart of the midwest, which I’m sure has plenty to do with it. For the most part my basic protocal is very similar to yours, when it comes to discussing religion. I suppose most people actually would call me agnostic (I’m a former philosophy major so for me it pretty much goes without saying that it’s a basic truth nobody can truly KNOW anything… in my opinion anybody who considers themselves open minded to the views of others should probably be categorzied as agnostic… but i digress). I tend not to use the terminology though because I’ve always felt like it’s a term people like to hide behind. Not suggesting you are doing so, just a trend I’ve noticed with a lot of my friends.
It’s not so much a matter of what do I say… i have a pretty good script with diversion tactics memorized, but I am just appalled at the audacity some people have to come right out and say my choices aren’t valid due to my beliefs. obviously nothing could be further from the truth, but the rudeness of some people… i swear. glad to hear this problem isn’t too common…
Post # 9
My husband and I are atheists. When we were getting married, we invited an older friend of mine who was sort of my boss a few years ago. His wife refused to come to the wedding because the ceremony was perfomed by JoP. Her explanation was that she didn’t consider our marriage a legitimate marriage because it was not performed in front of God. Yeah….. I just shook it off and didn’t let it bother me at all, because some people are just…stupid and ignorant. If any person asks you to justify your reasons for getting married, just tell them to get lost.
Post # 10
I had a non-religious ceremony, and nobody noticed the lack of Scripture readings or Christian blessings. I’ve never had to justify my beliefs – though my mother constantly tells me to “say a prayer of thanks” etc. I just ignore it.
DH and I married not much older than you (23 and 25 on the day). I have zero patience with organized religion and probably would pull a super bitch like Hyperventilate.
Post # 11
Here in Oklahoma we’re pretty much surrounded by Baptist Churches on every street corner (Not even exaggerating) so we’re in the beating heart of the bible belt. Then again, we don’t have any family here. We’re just here because my husband is stationed at an AFB here. I haven’t openly told anyone that I/we are Atheists, but everyone we know back home in California is pretty understanding and accepting. The family friend who is officiating our formal wedding in June is a Pastor, but he’s pretty cool about not doing anything religiousy.
All I can say is roll with the punches. If I was in your shoes, I’d have a field day and would get super bitchy and super snarky.
I’m sorry people are giving you this kind of crap, though.
Post # 12
I get this shit at work. I love my coworkers, but I have one who doesn’t understand why people who aren’t religious get married. Uh, because we love each other? Because we want to be legally recognized as husband and wife? Isn’t that why anyone gets married? Religion doesn’t have a monopoly on marriage.
Other than that, I don’t think anyone in our families realizes that we’re Agnostic/not Christian. I’m sure they just think that we’re Christian but don’t attend church (which is what coworker thinks). I’m sure they’ll be shocked when they realize that there will be no religious anything at our ceremony, no blessing at dinner, etc. but I don’t really care.
Post # 13
My family is pretty chill and about 50% agnostic/atheist. SO’s family is VERY Catholic, especially his youngest sister (16). She was horrified when I said I wasn’t getting married in a church. I said, “(FSIL), wouldn’t it be a little strange for two atheists to get married in a Catholic church?”
Post # 14
@rawrrrrr: I’m agnostic and no one has ever said anything to me. Maybe they will once we’re officially engaged? We are a bit older, though. My SO is a non-practicing Catholic (divorced).
Maybe I just don’t know many religious people?
Post # 15
I literally just had an argument with an old HS friends about this. I am working on Easter. She was stunned. I said, “I don’t celebrate it anyways.” She knows I’m not religious.
She asked what I would do when we have children and I said there would be an egg hunt and that would be most likely be it. She said, “Oh, your kids will just love that. It’s like having two Halloweens for them. All of the joys of prizes with no meaning behind them.” It was a pretty low blow but I didn’t even want to get into it with her.
She asked me if I celebrated Thanksgiving and I said, “Of course. It has no religious connontation attached to it.” And she started going on and on about how Indians believed in multiple gods…
I just sat there like, “What? How did we get here?”
Post # 16
We consider ourselves atheist.
However, our families do not know that we are atheist; it would cause too much drama and I find that unneccessary- we stay neutral and sway away from religious discussion with them.
My parents are probably aware of my stance on religion, but don’t question it often. Each time they do, I try justifying myself and they end up screaming and yelling that I’m going to hell (seriously?), so I shut them down quickly and try to never discuss religion. It’s a hopeless effort, because they are so closed-minded it’s a waste of time to even try.
ETA: We live in Alabama, (the buckle of the Bible Belt, if you will), so that is our main reason in staying mum about our disdain for organized religion.