Post # 1
So, my fiance and I are both atheists. We are having a 100% secular wedding on July 7th in Austin. It is a beautiful, moving ceremony that I am sure will please my guests.
Well, today I was talking briefly with my aunt and grandmother. They both know that I am an atheist, and yet the insist on repeatedly saying “god bless you to me” every time we talk. I find it utterly disrespectful. It is going to irritate the eff out of me if they say this to my Fiance and I on my wedding day.
Would it be appropriate for me to have a discussion with them to ask that they kindly refrain from disrespecting my beliefs on this special day?
Post # 3
@LauraFaye4411: Personally I think you may be overreacting. So you don’t believe in God, but is it wrong if they do? Typically a phrase like that would signify that they are hoping nothing but good comes your way. Unless you think they are deliberately doing to annoy you then I think I would accept it in the spirit it was meant.
Post # 4
@lapetitefleur100: Of course I don’t think it’s wrong that they do. But I find it disrespectful for them to throw their religion in my face, when I do not do the same. They know I do not believe. How hard would it be for them to keep that to themselves?
Post # 5
I’m also an atheist and would say let it go. I just see the sentiment behind it rather than the god part when people say things like this to me. I don’t think they are rubbing their religion in your face, remember they believe so that is how they share their well wishes for you. Now if they wanted you to say it back, that’s where I would have a problem. You want them to respect your views, and your non religious wedding, maybe try remember you should be doing the same by accepting that’s their views 🙂
Post # 6
@Cabbagefairy: I understand what you are saying, but in my secular wedding there is absolutely no mention of our atheist beliefs (we just aren’t mentioning god, traditional wording or prayers). If there were, I know most of my family would be offended. And I can pretty much guarantee that if someone said a Muslim greeting to them or a Muslim version of “god bless you”, they would be offended. To me, religion is deeply personal. I guess I just don’t understand why some people can’t keep it to themselves.
Post # 7
I have totally been on the recieving end of a passive-aggressive “god bless you” before, and it is annoying. However I would just let it slide. They are either being genuine or not, and if they aren’t they are looking to get a rise out of you. Either way requesting they don’t say it won’t be constructive. Maybe try to say something like “peace be with you” before they get a chance and avoid it all together?
Post # 8
You can’t tell people what to do – especially if it’s so they’ll respect your views. Prior to finding God, I really believed I was an atheist and it’s things like that – telling people what they can or can not say – that helps people paint their horrible stereotypes about aethists and agnostics. Let it slide. I’m Catholic. When someone says “Maztov” to be (a Jewish blessing), I don’t get pissed because in the end it’s just a blessing founded in someone’s beliefs. I’m not going to stop themand say “Actually, I’m Catholic and the blessing of your God offends me – please only use these Catholic-God blessings. I know you don’t want anyone’s God in your face or your wedding but you invited/love/etc these people enough to invite them – that includes a tolerance of their beliefs the same as you hope they are of yours. Good luck!
Post # 9
You may not believe, but they do. You should accept it just like any other gift that you don’t want. You don’t have to pretend to be thrilled; just be gracious.
Post # 10
@LauraFaye4411: I totally hear you – I am secular too, and I totally bugs me as well when people throw religion in my face, but I know they mean well, so I just take the high road and let it go, rather than getting into it. Can’t argue with zealots! Just let them be and feel like the smarter person.
Post # 11
@LauraFaye4411: Not trying to be critical at ALL (I promise) but religion IS personal. If you can’t understand why people can’t keep it in, why are on an open online forum talking about your belief or lack-therefore-of? Just because something is private doesn’t mean anyone wants to keep it couped inside and hide it just to be PC. If you can’t understand why people don’t thenwhy are you considering asking others to not say sone thing in order to honor Your views? Just a different perspective 🙂
Post # 12
for goodness sake.
you may not believe, but they do. i wouldn’t get upset if a jewish person said ‘mazel tov’ to me. it’s meant as a good thing. just smile and move on.
Post # 13
I dont understand why it is disrespectful? They are saying it because they care. I too am having an athiest wedding, I am even blatantly telling my guests that I dont believe in a god during my wedding, but I have no issue with people saying ‘god bless’. Whenever I say good bye to my dad on the phone or in person he always says ‘love you darling, god bless’ and I always say ‘thanks dad, love you too’. I love it when he says it because he means it. Even if I dont share his beliefs, I know his feelings are coming from a good place.
I think you are getting a bit too wound up about it. They do it because thats how christians show they love you. It doesnt harm you, it doesnt take away your rights, it doesnt attack your beliefs. There are far bigger issues in this world than a family member saying god bless you!
Post # 14
@LauraFaye4411: I most certainly would not be offended if someone said a Muslim version of God Bless You. Or any other type of relgious greeting. I also hate it when people push their religion on me.. but saying God bless you is not pushing anything. You must look at the sentiment behind the phrase. Someone saying God bless you is wishing you well. Someone telling you that you are going to hell if you don’t accept (insert religion) is pushing religion on you. Are you also offended if someone says “Thank God” after hearing good news? I really think you are overreacting. Your wedding day is one of the most important occassions in your life.. why are you worrying about a phrase someone might say to you? Honestly, if they say it, why not just ignore it & enjoy your day? Worrying about little things like this will literally drive you insane.
Post # 15
If they say it sincerely, then I’d let it slide. Most of my family is Buddhist, but when someone says, “Merry Christmas!” to us, “Thanks, you too!” is the usual response. They’re just trying to spread their happiness and good cheer. The same kind of thing applies to bless yous after sneezes.
If people are saying “God bless you” to spite you or try to “bring you back into the fold,” then eyerolls should ensue.
Post # 16
@LauraFaye4411: Think of it as the same thing as saying “may the force be with you”