I’m not really sure what I’d categorize myself either. I’m actually scared of most of the major religions, not because of the actual faiths but rather the way so many people think it’s perfectly fine to treat eachother with hate and ugliness, so long as they have a religious quote to back up their behavior.
I know that the Westboro Baptist Church is not representative of all Christians, just like not all Muslims are jihadists and not all Catholics are IRA terrorists. I’m talking more about the day-to-day discrimination, war and violence done in the name of religion. And so many people get caught up on the literal translation of any religious text (come on, you really think that something wasn’t mis-translated in the Bible in the last 2000 years? Really?) and do not use the words as a means for spiritual growth, meditation or a development of one’s own morals.
So I pretty much avoid organized religion, and my fiance is an Athiest (and proud of it), and it really wasn’t much of an issue until we started talking about wedding ceremony. We are fine with a 100% secular ceremony, but my mother (who happens to have spent 15 years as a Roman Catholic nun, until she left the Sisterhood to go find her own life) is deeply religious. She is pretty much always after us to go to church, and gives quite a few religious gifts, which I’ve given up trying to turn down, but I do wish she’d spend her money on herself instead of giving me some wacky $600 statue of Jesus that I’m just going to donate or put in the closet.
We are getting married on a chartered riverboat, which is just about the only thing we could have picked that would keep Mom from freaking out over it not being a church wedding (despite my not having been to church for anything other than weddings or funerals in about 20 years), so we’re good there. Finding an officiant was a lot harder, as most of the ones I found in my research had heavily religious overtones on their webpages, and if I can’t get to the Contact form without feeling like I’m being preached at, well, I’m not contacting you.
Fortunately we found a “faith neutral” officiant who specializes in non-traditional weddings. A lot of her couples are LGBT (and I think it is OUTSTANDING that gay marriage is legal here in the District– does not directly affect me as I’m not gay, but knowing that any of my gay friends could get married here if they chose to, well, that makes me really proud of my town) and she is used to crafting ceremonies where one or both parties are very anti-religion.
We plan to keep things very short– 20 minute ceremony, tops– with no actual “god” references but will have an acknowledgement or mention of faith and spirituality, out of respect to my mother (not actually saying “god” or “jesus” because I don’t feel like being a total hypocrite). The ceremony will focus on love, partnership, commitment and celebration, and I think it will be tricky to get the right balance of “secular, but not TOO secular” but I think we can do it.