Post # 1
Backstory: FI and I are not religious people. Catholicism was pretty much forced on me growing up. I didn’t want anything to do with it then and I don’t want anything to do with it now. FI didn’t grow up in a religous household and is apathetic toward religion in general. For these reasons, we’ve decided not to get married in a church or have any kind of religous wedding ceremony. For our officiant, we found a guy online, interviewed him, and booked him to perform our ceremony. This is all perfectly fine with our families.
Over the weekend we were at a friend’s house for a dinner party. The host’s mother was there and knows FI from when he and her son went to high school together. I don’t know her well and she is not invited to the wedding. She was asking about the wedding and the topic of “where” we’re getting married and “who” is marrying us came up. I told her about our non-church, non-religious officiant wedding. She looked at me like I had 3 heads.
“Well,” she said, “people certainly do things differently these days, don’t they?”
“I guess…” I replied.
Now, I’m used to people raising an eyebrow when I tell them about our decision, but I was not prepared for what came next.
“Well, do you believe in God?” she asked.
Excuse me, but I don’t think that is ANY of her or anyone else’s business. I briefly explained my experience growing up and that I have personal reasons for why I feel the way I do. I may have said something about how it’s a private thing for me and something I don’t really want to talk about (certainly not with her, at least.)
I’m not entirely sure why some one would think that is an appropriate question to ask a person they just met. I know I should brush it off since she’s not a part of my life, but I need a strong answer the next time this happens (because I have a feeling it will.) Thanks for listening! And sorry this got so long, eeks!
Post # 3
I think she was probably just curious about why you had such strong beliefs against church and God. I wouldn’t see it as a personal attack. She doesn’t know your background and it’s not like she randomly asked you this question. She probably figured you were open to talking about it since you were answering all her other questions.
Sorry but I don’t think she came from a place of attack. I think you should probably just not get into these conversations if you will be offended by the questions people will ask.
Post # 4
Ugh, I loathe when people bring up religion or politics in social situations. It’s so innapropriate and makes me wonder what planet these people landed from.
I usually answer, “Oh, sorry, but I prefer not to discuss religion or politics socially” or something along those lines. I actually am a Catholic and believe in God but it doesn’t matter because it’s no one’s freakin’ business ;o)
Post # 5
Yikes, she was out of line. That’s like asking someone how much money they make a year. Completely inappropriate. She’s an idiot and don’t let her insensitivity bring you down. Stay true to you and it sounds like you are.
My FI and I aren’t getting married in a church either. I grew up Catholic, FI not Catholic but went to Catholic grade school and as an adult, I don’t go to church a lot for reasons that are personal, just as yours.
Nowadays, a lot of people don’t get married in a church.
Post # 6
- Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas
That was totally inappropriate, and I don’t think it’s strange at all for you to not get married in a church. FI and I are religious, and we’re not getting married in a church simply because we don’t have a church home in Austin and we didn’t really want to get married in a church just for the sake of getting married in a church.
I can’t believe how some people think it’s okay to say stuff like that!!!
Post # 7
Br1t: I’m not sure how to “not get into these conversations” when I was just answering a question about my wedding. She asked where we were getting married, I explained that we’re having the ceremony and reception in the same place with a guy we found online. I don’t see that as getting into a talk about religion, I see that as answering a question about my wedding. *She* brought God into the mix. Nonetheless, thanks for your repsonse
Post # 8
That’s true, maybe just use hotchildinthecity’s response about preferring not to discuss. I’m just saying try not to let it hurt you. She probably didn’t mean anything by it and if she did, she’s the one with major problems.
Post # 9
Yuck… how awkward. I might say, “My beliefs are quite personal to me. I’m sure you understand.” It never fails to amaze me what topics people think are fair game in small talk.
Post # 10
It’s not something she should have asked you, especially not really knowing you at all. I’m also one for not talking about politics & religion much, even though I am a Christian, just because some people like to go too far. I do know people, especially our officiant, who would ask that, no matter if he knew you or not. He’s not being rude, that’s just him, because if he could, he would turn everyone into a Christian. She could be like that. I would just mention that you would prefer not to discuss it.
Post # 11
Thanks, girls. I’m not a “God hater” or a “religion hater” or a “religious person hater.” Believe what you believe, if that means God, Allah, Buddah, Jesus, no Jesus, Zeus, L. Ron Hubbard, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Preach on, sista friend! I just don’t enjoy being put on the spot when it comes to religion. If it were a private conversation over coffee, I would have no problem talking about it. But at a party over cocktails? It’s just not the time or the place.
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2010 - Carlouel Yacht Club
Hmmm really awkward situation! And, its funny to think about NOT getting married in a church as “different,” since I feel like that is turning into something very normal nowadays! We aren’t getting married in a church either, since it was much easier to have everything in one location.
I am a Christian, but I guess it wouldn’t come straight into my mind to outright ask someone if they believe in God when I barely know them. Even though my answer would have been “yes” if I were in your shoes, I still would have felt extremely awkward. I don’t know…I just feel like it is always a touchy subject to bring up in mixed company.
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2010 - Carlouel Yacht Club
Flying Spaghetti Monster…haha! 😉
Post # 14
Wow talk about a personal question
Well, I had somebody at work find out I have a life science degree, then ask me if I believe in Evolutionism or Creationism during a group meeting. How awkward.
People just know when to keep their mouths shut! You could alwyas say something like, “I don’t think that has anything to do with where I want to get married” cuz…um…it doesn’t!
Then again, I’ve ran into quite a few people that thought getting married outside a church was a big spectacle, inappropriate, and meant lots of bad things, like your marriage wasn’t real or some crap…people are crazy, EAQ!
Post # 15
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
Yeah, that is totally not her business, and she was out of line AND rude. I’d try to come up with a canned answer for the future in case something like that comes up again. Just “we don’t have a home church” if you’re feeling generous, or “maybe this isn’t the time to discuss” if you’re not (or if they push it).
Post # 16
I think it was rude…plain and simple. Thats half the problem wrong with people in this world…they dont know how to leave ppl alone and mind their own business. I would hae taken offense…maybe not to the where and who questions but def to the do you believe in God question. I mean how rude!