Friday, January 9, 2015

Paying for an atheist wedding

You just have to love it when a close-minded person writes a letter in for advice and gets an awesome answer that I'm sure they didn't expect. In this one a mother writes a letter into an "Ask Robin" column asking if they should pay for their son's wedding since he is an atheist. Robin's answer is great and worth a read, but I'm going to go ahead and answer as well here...
Dear Robin,

My son is getting married in June and his father and I committed to paying for the reception when he and his fiancé became engaged last year. He is our only child and we are thrilled he is getting married. And we love his fiancé! So what’s the problem?
I don't know... You found out how expensive that can actually cost these days? Do tell.
We raised our son in a very Christian household. He went to private Catholic school, including college, and religion has always been a central component of our lives. His grandparents, all of whom are still living, are also deeply religious.
And...?
So imagine my reaction when he announced there would be no mention of God during the ceremony and that rather than our family priest, he was having a friend conduct the wedding and that friend was ordained on the Internet!
So despite having religion crammed down his throat he is now an atheist? Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if all that religion caused him to look into it more and led to his non-belief. So it makes perfect sense that he would not want to have a religious wedding. Also what's more personal than having a good friend conduct the ceremony? This was actually an option that my wife and I considered before deciding to hire a secular celebrant.
Apparently my son and his future wife are atheist, which came as a very disturbing surprise to me and his dad.
Why would that be disturbing? Believers or not, they are still the same people you were happy for when you promised to pay for the wedding. They are still the same people you know and love. Why be bigoted or close-minded?
His father and I are deeply disappointed and angry. This is not how we raised our son.
So they raised their son to be mindless thought slaves that don't stand by their principles, don't compromise their beliefs, and just rolls over to the demands of anyone? Because if they raised their son to be himself, to stand by his beliefs, and not be a hypocrite then he is being exactly who they raised him to be.
Not only will we be very offended if God is ignored in the ceremony but I know his grandparents will be horrified.
Here's the thing... It's her son's wedding, not the parent's or the grandparent's! What maters is what the son and his wife to be want in their wedding.  And why the jump conclusion that anyone will be horrified? My wife and I both have Catholic families, yet we had a wedding without any mention of God. It was a nice ceremony of our design and not one person came forward saying they were horrified that we left out God, or that anyone even noticed.
We are considering withdrawing our offer to pay for the reception if he does not compromise and use our priest for a traditional Catholic wedding.
So what we have here is a childish and petty threat? They might as well yell "We want you to make your wedding all about us and not you, and if you don't I'm taking all my toys and going home!" This also isn't a compromise, but a unilateral demand. How would the parents have liked it if their parents demanded that they have a Muslim wedding like they are demanding their son have a Catholic one?
His fiancé’s parents don’t have very much money so I don’t think they can just pick up the tab, nor can my son, who is just beginning his career in insurance.
In which case they may just decide to have a courthouse wedding with the justice of the peace. I know that if I only had the options of a traditional Catholic wedding or courthouse wedding, I would have gone with the latter. So this threat to revoke the offer to pay for the wedding may still end in a non-religious wedding.
We would still attend the wedding but don’t want to contribute financially if it is going to be a huge slap in the face to our family and our religious beliefs.
But it's not a slap in the face to the family's religious beliefs. It is the son's wedding, not theirs! Her son is not trying to dictate how anyone else worships or what they believe, they are simply remaining true to themselves. 
Thoughts? My best friend thinks I am being unreasonable, but my husband and I are in total agreement on this issue.

Signe,

Future Mother-in-law
Your friend is absolutely correct. You are being unreasonable! You are trying to force your religious beliefs on your son, and then are displaying your outrageous Christian persecution complex to try and make yourself out to be the victim when it is actually your son who is the one being wronged.


-Brain Hulk

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