Post # 1
…and its not a big deal to me (I’m a Christian). Live and let live, so long as nobody is getting hurt, I say.
Meanwhile my mother is not pleased but she’s not saying much about it since I’m happy. I worry about my uncle, however.
My uncle is something of a militant Christian. No tolerance for anybody that doesn’t fit his idea of what people should be, but especially those that don’t believe in God.
My dilemma? My mother says I must invite him. I fear that if I invite him and he finds out at the wedding that my FH is an Atheist, he’s going to do something ridiculous and ruin my wedding. Frankly I don’t want to invite him at all but if I do, should I tell him ahead of time that the FH is an Atheist and hope he doesn’t show?
What to do, what to do?
Post # 3
If your uncle is very militantly christian, he may simply not go to your wedding, even if you do send him an invitation.
I had a similar situation with an extremely devout catholic aunt of mine. I’m not religious (though I was raised catholic and went to catholic school, but I never really believed and it’s been more than a decade since I left the church) and neither is fiance, so we’re getting married in a civil ceremony. My aunt called me up about a year ago first to beg me to reconsider and get married in the church, and then to tell me that if I don’t get married in the church then she won’t be going to the wedding because (in her own words) “I cannot in good conscience participate in a ceremony for a sham marriage”. Up until then I had thought I’d invite her even if she didn’t go, but from that point on I decided not to invite her. I also haven’t spoken to her since nor do I intend to ever again, since her comment was unbelievably rude and completely disrespectful of me and fiance and our relationship.
Are you having a church wedding? If so, your uncle may not even realize that your fiance is an atheist and cause no problems.
Post # 4
“Live and let live, so long as nobody is getting hurt, I say.” – Just make sure you and your Fiance are on the same page about your kids. One day there may be another that you might care about what they are raised to know/believe.
If this was a random family friend that’s one thing, but an uncle? I’m sure he’ll eventually find out and it may cause drama not to invite him at all, especially if he does know. I think you need to be open and honest with your family and then if he decides not to come that’s his own deal. And, if he does come and makes a fool of himself that’s what it will be.
Post # 5
What about if you told him ahead of time? Then, if there is any drama, you can be done with it pre-wedding, or, if he is really opposed, he’ll make the decision not to come before the wedding?…
Post # 6
How will he know that your man is an Atheist?
I’m catholic (went to church weekly, catholic school until I graduated from high school, etc.) and my fiance is somewhat of an aethist (he’s family is catholic yet he doesn’t believe in any type of religion). No one knows about his religious (or lack of) convictions – its not something my family believes in talking about. We are getting married in a civil ceremony – even though some family members questioned why we weren’t doing it in the church (I even had a friend’s parents – who are extremely catholic – tell me that I should do a small church ceremony a few days before)
Post # 7
I agree, have your mom tell him beforehand. Just say “oh btw, did you know ejoyb’s marrying an atheist?” then let him blow his top off (hopefully your mom is like “as long as she’s happy” and doesn’t fuel it with him) and if he comes, great, if not, whew! Let the blow up happen before.
He WILL find out eventually.
Post # 8
My brother is a recent birn again Christian and he is all about the Jesus. We’re not.
As I’m planning my ceremony and reception, I’m making sure that only the people I want to hear from have access to microphones and a chance to speak.
If your uncle attends, make sure those that will be doing toasts, readings and officiating understand that they cannot pass the mic off to anyone. Notify the DJ or band too. If you have something like a guest book, think about designs that will allow you to remove pages or comments.
You can’t change how you uncle feels or predict if he will be in proselytizing mode at your wedding but you can plan ahead to minimize his impact.
And like others said, if he sees a wedding invite without the word Church, he may decide your heathen marriage is not worth attending.
Post # 9
I would tell the uncle before and then invite him. I would have your mother or you sit down with him and lay it out: either he comes and is respectful or he doesn’t come.
Post # 10
Why does your uncle even need to know? Is there going to be an atheist tradition during the ceremony or something? I don’t think it’s any of his business. People bother me claiming to be Christians but judge everyone who isn’t just like them! I’m a Christian and though I may not agree with everything other people say or do, I don’t stand in judgment. Good luck, hope it all works out.
Post # 11
I don’t see how he would find out at the event, it’s not like it is going to be written on his forehead??? Unless you have chosen a completely non-religious ceremony, if religion is incorporated I don’t see why he would even consider the thought!?
If you think he will find out just get your mom to tell him before hand!
Post # 12
I tend to think it’d be better that he finds out beforehand. He’s probably going to fume a bit, but it’s better if he gets it out beforehand. Hopefully he’ll be respectful enough to realize that you’re adults and it’s your marriage.
We’re having a tough time with this, too, because we were raised Christian but have both come to terms with being atheists within the past year. Our parents don’t know, and we’re unsure of how to tell them because it is going to cause A LOT of blow ups. We are planning on telling them well before the wedding so we can get the hysterics out of everyone’s systems. Blah. I wish more people would just live and let live!
Post # 13
Thanks for all the responses and advice. 🙂
For some background, when I say militant, I mean it. He was an Army drill sergeant and still applies the same personality to his everyday life.
@KLP2010 We’ve talked about the kids and honestly, I don’t plan to force any religion on them. If they want to go to church with me on Sundays, they can do so. If they want to hang out with dad, they can do that too.
For everyone who asked how my uncle will know, I think he’ll know something is up when God is never mentioned by the FH in the ceremony.
Can’t have mom tell him because stress is not something she needs right now due to health issues (brain aneurysms) and he would most assuredly cause her stress about it.
I imagine it’s probably best to tell him beforehand but I’m just not sure how to do it. I rarely speak to this uncle because I purposely distance myself from intolerant people as a rule. He also lives all the way across the country so it’s not something that will just come up in conversation one day.
This is a doozy.
Post # 14
This sounds like the same situation my husband was in with me. He’s sort of a Christian (I think?) and I’m atheist. His parents don’t like I’m not a follower and our ceremony was a hassle. His dad wanted a minister.. my husband wanted to take the road a least resistance (at that time I don’t think his parents knew.. I still don’t think they completely know my beliefs). What ended up happening was we got the mayor to marry us and didn’t tell anyone. It was a surprise 🙂
Post # 15
Since you don’t regularly speak with this uncle, I don’t know that you need to tell him beforehand. It is what it is and he will probably not make a scene at the wedding. You and your mom might hear about it afterwards, but I doubt he would be prone to drawing so much attention to himself in such a public environment. At least, I would hope that!
Post # 16
I know that you dont mind now that hes an athiest but you really have to think about that one…..Im not saying he has to be a fully commited christian but what will you both agree to tell your kids? What will he tell your kids when God for bid a little friend of theirs might die. That theres no God? Theres no heaven? You leave this world into nothingness? Athieism seems so harsh. I know people who dont necessarily believe in God but they dont considar themselves and athiest What if tragically your Fiance dies way before you? Will you believe he made it into heaven? If I were you I would have that constant worry myself being a Christian that I wont ever see him again. Not even in an after life. Religion is a issue in a marriage whether you try to make it so or not. Im not trying to preach anything and I dont mean to sound harsh, but this is something big you two need to realize. Deciding to be an Athiest in my book seems like a very sad thing to be.
My Fiance was pretty much an athiest in the beginning of our relationship. He came from a hard life and didnt think any God would do that sorta thing to people. I have to admit it was hard to accept. We started going to church and he slowly taking his time started to have some type of faith. He doesnt pray really and he doesnt really involve a God into his life but just with him having a faith in something has made our relationship soooo much stronger.
As for your uncle though, if hes a Christian then he shouldnt judge your Fiance that harshly and he would know that. He might try to say things to you but they should all be tastfull. He shouldnt ever make you feel aweful about what you Fiance doesnt believe in. I would for sure invite him but as soon as he starts making you guys feel bad just say Thanks but no thanks.
Again, I dont mean to sound harsh or preach. Im sure you and your Fiance are wonderful people. You seem wonderful by just being so accepting of him and loving him like he is. Im not a %100, every sunday at church Christian. Im just saying from expirience and what will probably arise in your relationship at some point. Sorry this is so long! I wish you both the best of luck!