Births, deaths and marriages
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
08-01-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Births, deaths and marriages
Hi I'm from England,

I've been an atheist since the age of 14, I'm now 42 years old. Throughout the course of my life I have periodically attended christenings / baptisims, funerals and marriage ceremonies.

Most of the events have been overtly Christian and I've sung along with the hymns and said the lord's prayer etc (not wishing to offend anyone's sensibilities). I reconcile doing this by telling myself that, as I don't 'believe' in the religious thinking behind the ceremony, it doesn't matter that I sing along or pray. eg If I was muslim, I could still take part and sing, it just wouldn't mean anything to me.

So I'd like to know how other atheists cope with the above situation, do they comply with the religious aspects of ceremonial occasions, or do they staunchly refuse to sing / pray / attend, or is it all on a ceremony by ceremony basis ?

(As an aside, I would personally never marry in a church or have a religious funeral ~ including no hymns or religious songs, and if I had children I certainly wouldn't christen / bless them).

cheers

Matt Smile
Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 09:44 AM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
Most of us just go along with the flow(myself included). Though, when it comes to singing, I typically just fake it. But that has more to do with the fact that I don't know the song than religious purposes. It's not like we have a book forbidding us from practicing other religions from time to time. Most here try not to raise trouble. And welcome to the forum.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 09:44 AM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
Welcome to TTA Matt.

I don't sing (I don't know the songs, and you wouldn't want me to anyways!) and don't pray. I do show respect though, by staying quiet. I've never found a need to "display" my atheism at events such as these. I attend them (on occasion) to be suportive of people I care about. If it has meaning for them, then I figure the least I can do is respect their desire to perform these rituals. No harm no foul I guess.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 12:05 PM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
(08-01-2011 09:44 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  Most of us just go along with the flow(myself included). Though, when it comes to singing, I typically just fake it. But that has more to do with the fact that I don't know the song than religious purposes. It's not like we have a book forbidding us from practicing other religions from time to time. Most here try not to raise trouble. And welcome to the forum.

+1

So many of our ceremonies are steeped in ritualism formed under religious influence. I especially dislike the ceremonies of funerals, because on the inside I'm not buying any of it, but you also know you are there to support the greiving and this is how they are working through their loss. It's not fun by any stretch, but not everything in life is fun...

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 01:29 PM
 
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
I still attend church with my family every week, however I stopped the singing, praying, bowing, crossing myself, etc.. At some point, mindlessly repeating the exact same prayers over and over for so many years completely lost its meaning.
Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 03:35 PM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
I just try to avoid religious occasions but I can't avoid a friend's wedding or a funeral so easily.
Staying quiet and minding you own business tends to work since not all people are the same when it comes to faith.

Dealing with life , when you know there's no comfortable emotional walking stick for you is a pain.You just move on and see what life throws at you.One example happened to me today - if my stomach is irritated and I drink soda-pop / sparkling mineral water I get horrible pain. Mt guts hurt horribly.In the past I would cry out to God but today I just sat there , took the pain , learned from my experience and moved on - it's more painful on an emotional level but it helps you deal with reality better.Hope that makes some sense.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 05:08 PM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
Haven't been to any of those ceremonies since I was 9 or something, but if a relative of mine would have one, I would attend. I wouldn't sing religious songs nor pray, but damn how bad I would look if I wouldn't show up just because it's a religious ceremony. Not showing up would be interpreted as a ''my non-faith is more important to me than your funeral/confirmation/name giving/wedding'' gesture.

Correct me when I'm wrong.
Accept me or go to hell.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 05:20 PM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
I will only appear in a religious place for a funeral or wedding type event, Or to see the architecture in a cathedral. One funeral I was at enraged me by the way the minister was promoting his religion instead of comforting the family and talking about the deceased. I kept my mouth shut at the event, but later I made my thoughts known to my family, and I have criticized that event and church about that event several times since then.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-01-2011, 07:47 PM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
I've attended a few religious ceremonies of various kinds, most of them Catholic. (I married into an Italian family, no more of that, thank dog Wink ) I wasn't at all familiar with the call-and response things. In fact I find the mindless droning quite creepy, it's like they are all programmed or something. Anyway, I would stand, sit, kneel with everyone else, but not say anything, or take communion, or anything like that. I never really stood out I don't think. Plenty of people go to Catholic weddings and funerals who aren't Catholic. In the few other churchy type weddings and such, I just stay quiet. No one has ever called me out on it or even noticed, I don't think.

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-01-2011, 08:53 AM
RE: Births, deaths and marriages
the only ceremonies I've attended have been weddings and funerals. I am just quiet when the people pray (if that occurs). Here in the South, the preachers officiating over these ceremonies usually try to slip in something about hell-fire and damnation if you dont' accept Jesus as your one and only saviour. I just tune all that out.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: