Post # 17
@Rachel631: That’s interesting. I totally came in here with the intention of saying “I don’t care if you’re the POTUS- no politics at weddings”. BUT….. my entire wedding is a political statement. I’m getting legally married (which is the “big” wedding) and getting married in the church (smaller) seperately because I believe the legal and sacramental marriage are very different things. I’m not sure if I’m going to actually SAY that at any point, but if asked (which I will be by my very Catholic friends) I will tell them.
@barbie86: I never thought of vegitarianism as a “political” thing. Personally, I see nothing wrong with two vegitarians getting married and having only vegitarian food. It’s not like I CAN’T or DON’T eat vegitables… but they either can’t or don’t eat meat. If they believe it’s morally wrong (which is why most of my vegitarian friends/family are veggie), why should they be expected to serve up meat? I mean, I wouldn’t expect my Jewish friends to serve pork just because I like it.
Post # 18
@weddingmaven: I see the point… I was debating where the line between hypocrisy and disrespect lies. I don’t think it’s straightforward at all, actually, either as a guest or as a host. Personal relationships are always terribly complex in this regard.
@MexiPino: Exactly… this is the issue. What is political and what is not. One could argue that marriage in general is a political statement. Now, I can think of a few statements which I am making… I am having a religious wedding (and I think there is overlap between the political and the religious, although the lines are often blurred), I am having a prayer for indigenous people’s rights, and I am having a loyal toast. Why is the prayer for human rights OK, but the loyal toast not OK, as certain people have hinted?
Where do we draw the line… and how do we draw the line?
Post # 19
There is no straightforward line, but there are some things which will always be over that line. Inviting non-religious people to a religious ceremony: just fine, and appropriate. Having the religious ceremony become unapproachable to non-believers (such as including a reading about those who don’t accept jesus all going to hell) is over the line. The “in between” is going to vary with the social group; if your guests have, for the most part, learned a lot about other faiths over their lives, they tend to have a higher tolerance than people who have been exposed to very little. As a guest, you are expected to respect others’ beliefs even if you don’t actually believe them yourself. This means don’t chew gum, wear sneakers, or talk during the ceremony. This doesn’t mean you’re required to sing along, though. Heck, even the faithful are not required to sing along.
As to politics I believe that nothing political is appropriate, at all. Your wedding is not your place to start registering voters. It’s not a platform for you to preach on the injustices of factory farming, lack of marriage equality, troops at war, or any of that. The prayer for human rights is usually okay, because it’s an invocation on behalf of one’s fellow man; in other words, it acknowledges the needs of the unprotected. Everyone can agree that vulnerable people need to be protected and the wrongfully imprisoned need to be free. The beneficiary of that prayer is not the government but rather the vulnerable population. The loyal oath, on the other hand, is for the glory of the crown– if you’re from the UK you probably know that not everyone in the UK recognizes the queen as the rightful monarch, and by making everyone pledge an oath to the queen, you risk stirring up an awful lot of controversy. And if you are vegetarian, by all means feel free to serve a vegetarian meal, so long as it is well-prepared and tasty, but omit any preaching about how meat is murder. If I wanted to hear that, I’d go to a Morrisey concert.
Basically the host needs to take care not to cause any of her guests to feel uncomfortable, and politics is a pretty sure-fire way to cause conflict and discomfort, as is over-the-top religious displays, although most adults of any faith should be expected to at least be respectful at a moderate religious ceremony even if it is not of their faith.
Oh and marriage is NOT a political statement, nor should it be. It’s absolutely pathetic that the political leaders of many countries have not worked together to ensure marriage equality, but my getting married is not a statement for or against the current political systems.
Post # 20
eh people can say whatever the hell they want. People will judge them for it, but life goes on. Would I think less of a couple who lets say “toasts to the state of Israel at a wedding” hell yeah but then again I prob would not be there are a guest. On the flip side I’d think it’s wonderful if people toasted to the supreme court legalizing gay marriage (if that would ever happen).
I don’t think it’s appropriate or not appropriate, do what you want.
Post # 21
Marriages are inherently politicized today, so I don’t think it’s inappropriate. But it all depends on who your guests are, and what kind of wedding you want. Do whatever you want. If you want a LOTR wedding and all your guests are cool with it, great! If you want to have a Roman vomitorium wedding, and your guests are excited, awesome. Do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt other people. That’s my theory anyway.
Post # 22
@Rachel631: hmm, I personally wouldn’t do it, as I associate with all different kinds of people, some of whom have conflicting views. I was also taught that no one should ever, EVER discuss religion or politics out of context, though this could be a cultural thing. I know many customs are different in the UK. If you’re confident that none of your guests will be offended then I guess go for it – it’s your wedding.
Post # 23
@Aquaria: I think that, sadly, people will always be offended by something. It comes with the territory. Partly I feel guilty about a loyal toast because of the following….
– It was something we wanted in the beginning.
– We compromised and pussy footed around on so much wedding stuff to avoid hurt feelings.
– Eventually, we became very hard-hearted about certain issues, especially when certain people became increasingly rude and difficult. “**** you, I’m going to do what I want, if you’re going to disrespect me” became an unspoken part of the equation.
– I am now wondering, in the very 11th hour (as the wedding is only a few weeks away) about whether or not I should reconsider some of the politics of this, especially given my belief that reactionism is politically regressive.
– BUT… it is very difficult to draw the line on how much one should compromise for others. I am not having anywhere near the wedding I would want in an ideal world. How much of a wedding should be concerned with intellectual honesty?
Anyway… just a thought…
Post # 24
I think that at your own wedding, you are free to do whatever you want. But I think that it would be silly to assume that guests wouldn’t be potentially offended by your addressing of a controversial topic in a toast or in ceremonial text. At the weddings of others, however, I think it’s totally inappropriate to bring up a political or controversial topic.
Post # 25
Hmm how interesting. Politics should absolutely NOT be a part of a wedding IMO. If I am spending my time and money to celebrate your future together, I could do without a lecture or statement. A wedding is not a “this is who I am” party, it is a “this is who I will love forever” commitment.
I am a devout Roman Catholic and attend mass weekly, etc. If I were invited to a Jewish wedding or Indian wedding, for example, I would absolutely follow all of the protocals and participate as much as I could during a mass or ceremony (stand, sit, kneel, read along with any readings, shake hands if they do that, etc.) Similarly, I have happily attended weddings by judges, or ministers from non-traditional religious organizations, with just as much interest and good intent. If a couple wanted their guests to walk around a poll 10 times throwing rose pedals so they would be blessed by the sun goddess I might personally think it was silly (and never tell them that) but I would do it – what the hell? It doesn’t hurt me at all or cheapen my own personal faith. If this means something to you, OK let’s celebrate.
The reason I would do this is out of respect for the culture and beliefs of the hosts. I consider being invited to a wedding an honor, and my participating in your ceremony does not mean I agree with you, it means I am respectful of what is important to you, and don’t mind putting MYSELF on the back burner for an hour.
If I were to encounter a “political” agenda at a wedding, it would make me think less of the couple, and believe that they were very immature. I feel the same way about guests who use the weddings of other to make their own “statements.”
Post # 26
@EquiBee2013: “If a couple wanted their guests to walk around a poll 10 times throwing rose pedals so they would be blessed by the sun goddess I might personally think it was silly (and never tell them that) but I would do it – what the hell? It doesn’t hurt me at all or cheapen my own personal faith. If this means something to you, OK let’s celebrate.
The reason I would do this is out of respect for the culture and beliefs of the hosts. I consider being invited to a wedding an honor, and my participating in your ceremony does not mean I agree with you, it means I am respectful of what is important to you, and don’t mind putting MYSELF on the back burner for an hour. ” Absolutely. I would do the same. I think we are of the same mind here.
“If I were to encounter a “political” agenda at a wedding, it would make me think less of the couple, and believe that they were very immature.”
The question remains, however… what is political? Interesting, is it not? I should qualify that I intend to make my loyal toast humourous and full of in-jokes. I wouldn’t say this makes it necessarily less political… but it probably does make it more acceptable, because self-awareness appears to always be a prized social skill. Just something to consider.
Post # 27
@Rachel631: being “political” in my opinion is saying or doing or asking guests to listen to or participate in anything outside of a belief or participation request as related to the actual process of your being married. I don’t believe in knowingly trying to do something which might make your guests (the people who are there for you) uncomfortable. I personally believe that if you have to ask yourself if it might make people uncomfortable, and it is outside the actual procedure of being married (ie the reason for being there), then I would think it’s probably not a good idea.
Post # 28
@EquiBee2013: Out of curiosity… would you include vegetarianism, for example? Would you say that serving vegetarian only food qualified as a political statement?
My experience is that it is very easy to criticise things like this (ie rejecting vegetraianism) as ignorant, but then to allow other things…. and that so many things are very culturally determined.
Post # 29
@Rachel631: I think my line would be drawn at anything monetary for one. Like, while I may feel that legal marriage should be open to any two consenting adults, I’m not going to do the “favors” that are charitable donations to a marriage equality group or a “honeyfund” that goes to the HRC. I think your things- the religious ceremony, the prayer, the toast- are all things people can respectfully not participate in. I mean, sit through the prayer and don’t pray if you don’t like it. Bend over and “fix your shoe strap” when people toast. Whatever.
Post # 30
@Rachel631: No I would not consider vegetarianism a political statement. Some cultures don’t eat meat, and some people don’t like it or don’t believe in eating it. That’s fine. I am a vegetarian actually for full disclosure, and had meat served at my wedding. I understand most people like it and didn’t mind at all including it in the menu. That said, I WOULD think it was a political statement if a vegetarian couple had signage on the tables that said “by eating this meat-free meal you have saved the lives of 100 chickens from being horribly slaughtered” or something like that – if there was some meat eating shaming that went along with it, it would be political.
I am not very familiar with loyalty toasts but I’m just going off of what I assume is something like the equivalent of bringing up politics in the US, which fires people up pretty easily lol!
Post # 31
I think politics are not appropriate at a wedding. It’s just not the time or place. Politics is one of those subjects that many people feel passionate about and starting a conversation about politics provokes passionate reactions from attendees. Think about it, the point of a wedding is to celebrate unity. Why turn it into something needlessly divisive?