(Closed) Calling all Catholic/Christian Bees… I need your (kind) words of advice

posted 5 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2958 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

I have no advice, being as I am also an atheist, but I can’t get passed the fact that you go to church at all. Do the other church members know you are atheist? I mean, it seems like a strange community to want to be a part of if you don’t share their beliefs. 

Post # 4
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

As a Christian MOB, I am so sorry you are dealing with situation with your parents.


My POV – I do believe you need to be very honest with your minister.  If you choose to marry in a faith based environment, you need to be upfront with them so they do not do something against church doctrine.


I am pretty conservative and know some pretty conservative ministers who would jump at the chance to marry you.  Not to convert you, but because you would have sat thru their services and gotten something worthwhile out of it as a non-believer.


Your minister sounds like a great person if she is delivering the kind of sermons you describe.  Sit down and talk with her.  You may be pleasantly surprised.


As for your folks, I am not defending them, but I think the best way to approach a difference of opinion is to look behind the other person’s eyes.  Their faith is important to them, they raised you in it and have every reason to believe you are of the same mind faith-wise.  All of a sudden, you say – Uh, no, I don’t buy that stuff.


You have EVERY right to believe the way you do, but you have pulled their rug out from under them and they have just learned this piece of news.  It is natural that they won’t take it well.  Most faith-based parents would take this quite badly.


They need time.  Give it to them.  Don’t try to talk about this some more right now.  Get some space between you guys and just give them time to digest it all.  Then try to approach it again.


I should add that one of our 4 girls is Pagan/atheist.  She HATES Christianity.  That is putting it mildly.  She is my stepdd and her mom literally shoved religion down all 5 of her kids throats.  Only one of the 5 will set foot in a church to this day.  My Darling Husband is sad his Dirty Delete is atheist, but he totally understands why she feels they she does after being married to her mother.


We just decided to love her to pieces, leave religion at the door and focus on our family.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope she changes her mind someday – but for now, we just love her to bits.


I wish you the best.


Post # 5
9549 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m sorry your parents reacted so negatively. My husband and I were in somewhat the same position as you. He was raised Catholic. I was raised Lutheran and Episcopalean and started going to Quaker meetings in college. We currently attend church at my home chuch whenever we go back to visit (about once a month) but don’t attend if we aren’t visiting. He doesn’t really think about relgion much, but I’ve actually put a lot of thought into it. I agree with the large majority of what most religions teach (be nice to each other, don’t hurt each other, be respectful, be honest, recognize something greater than yourself, give time to inner reflection, etc). But I disagree on the very fundamental belief that there is any one “right” religion. This just seems illogical to me and seems to be the biggest cause for religious antagonism. But we greatly appreciate the community of a church and want to continue to have that in the future.

Long enough speil for you? I guess I just wanted to let you know where I’m coming from. All that being said. We got marreid by 2 Lutheran pastors who are aware that our views do not line up exactly with the official dogma of the church. We were allowed to customize our ceremony so that we could take out the stuff that didn’t resonate with us and add some stuff that did work for us.

I heard an interveiw on NPR recently with a Lutheran pastor who told a story about a member that asked her what to do because he didn’t beleive in all of the Creed (apostle’s or nicene). She said that she thought most people didn’t beleive in every line of the creed. She figures that in any given group that there is at least someone who beleives in each line, so the whole group is covered. She said (and I agree) that it is very unlikely for any one religion to exactly fit an individual’s personal beliefs. And that’s okay. It’s normal. That is, if you spend the time to come up with your own personal beleifs. 

So, I would tell your pastor about what happened. She sounds like a great pastor, given what you’ve said about her, so I don’t think she would refuse to marry you. At least I would hope not! But I would be honest with her. Although you don’t need to go into all the gory details of your beleif. Tell her that you’re concerned about this reaction from your mother and want her advice. Then you can tell your mother that if your pastor is fine with it she should be as well and maybe that will chill her out.  


Post # 6
1129 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@VictoriaK1990:  I agree on being honest to your minister. 

If I was the minister, I don’t think I would marry you. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t because our views about marriage are different, so it wouldn’t make any sense. It’s like an atheist officiant would marry the christian guys we are, just doesn’t make any sense.

She (the minister) would have to make the call, but you do have to be honest. You need to have people there that are backing you up a 100%. 

Post # 7
1129 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

About what @JenGirl says, it is true. Most people don’t agree on EVERY aspect of faith, but I’ve learned that there are things that are vital and basic for a professing *insert whatever religion you want here*. 

There are theology issues that people on the same religious group don’t agree on, but they are not the core of their beliefs.


So share your beliefs to the minister, again, honesty is always better.

Post # 8
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I think it’s awesome that this minister’s sermons are reaching you and that you feel comfortable in their church environment. That’s a really great thing.

As for the wedding, I would say be honest with her, and see what she says. I bet if you tell her how much you enjoy her sermons, she will be very encouraged in her work. It may not work out to have her conduct your ceremony, but keeping an open dialogue will probably benefit you both anyway.

With your parents – give them time, but don’t let them disrespect you. If you are not being rude about their beliefs, they should not be rude back. Calling an adult and attacking them is inappropriate. It might take them a bit of time, but as long as you are both respectful, hopefully things will be ok. I imagine it must be hard for them, but you are an adult, and if they want to have a relationship with you, they need to respect you as a whole person.

Good luck.

Post # 9
969 posts
Busy bee

Hope my reply is not too late and thanks for reaching out!

ABOUT YOUR PARENTS … I’m sorry that the topic of religion has put a riff between you and your family.  That (and politics) seems to be one of those hot topics that can cause problems for various relationships. I know that I’ve gone through my ups-and-downs with friends over varius religious conversations in the past.  Boo!

Religious views (whether choosing to follow a specific religion or not) is something that people use to identify themselves.  It is a huge part of their lives.  That can make it hard for people not to be offended, or at least taken-a-back, when confronted with differing views.  Some people are chill about it, others can become irrate, and still others fall somewhere in between.  And that can all change depending on the specific religious topic … or even the day.  LOL

I think it’s good that you honestly spoke with your parents on this topic.  I know this happened a couple months ago, and I hope things have settled or at least gotten better in some way by now.

ABOUT YOUR MINISTER … As far as my upbringing (my dad is a pastor) and general knowledge of Christian religion goes, I am afraid that your chosen minister may not marry you and your fiance based on your religions beliefs.  She may or may not based on her own personal feelings of the subject, or due to the guidlines set forth by the church’s governing body.  Most religious leaders and their church bodies believe and follow the idea that couples wanting to be married by them/in their churches have to share the same common/basic religious beleifs as they do.  Some religious leaders/churches even go as far as saying you have to be a member of their church body before being allowed to be married.

One way to look at it is this, would you attend a certain type of club that promotes and believes a certain set of ideas, but never join the club?  Would you then expect that club leader to do you a service, even though you openly object to his and his club’s views and ideals?  Every religion and denomination is different.  One Christian minister may say its okay, while another may have valid reasons for denying to marry you two.  Either way, honesty is the best policy.  If she is a good pastor, she will listen and help – whether that means continuing to do your sessions/marrying you or giving you resources to find someone new.

On the plus side, most churches that allow female pastors/ministers/etc. are usually considered “liberal” in their prospective religion.  With that being said, this could prove to work in your favor.  If a church is more liberal with their guidelines for who can lead a congregation, then that same church may also be more liberal towards who their leaders may or may not marry.

Hope all our replies have helped, and keep us posted!  🙂


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