Author Topic: Do you call people out on PA comments?  (Read 21660 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2013, 09:58:45 PM »
No one is asking the OP to do anything other than attend an event where her nephew is singing. Either the venue is offensive to her, or it is not. If she later attends a wedding at the church I would find her mitivation for not attending her nephew's event questionable.

Dragonflymom

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #61 on: October 03, 2013, 10:04:08 PM »
Most church weddings I have attended have not had much at all in the way of a sermon.  Maybe a speech of a few minutes or so.  Rarely any hymns, or at the most maybe one or two.  The regular and holiday church services that I have attended in the past have been much more religious in tone.
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Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2013, 07:38:33 AM »
No one is asking the OP to do anything other than attend an event where her nephew is singing. Either the venue is offensive to her, or it is not. If she later attends a wedding at the church I would find her mitivation for not attending her nephew's event questionable.

It's not the venue that is offensive. The venue is just a building. It's the nature of the service.

I'll put up with a lot more to see a once-in-a-lifetime thing like a friend/family member getting married.

A kid Christmas concert? I'm sure there will be other non-religious opportunities to see him do so (say, for instance, if he goes to public school).

MindsEye

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2013, 08:10:22 AM »
No one is asking the OP to do anything other than attend an event where her nephew is singing. Either the venue is offensive to her, or it is not. If she later attends a wedding at the church I would find her mitivation for not attending her nephew's event questionable.

Unless you yourself are always 100% consistent in everything that you do, then demanding that someone else be so comes across as a bit hypocritical and snowflakey. 

Everyone has their own scale of where they "draw the line" when it comes to religious events.  And for a lot of people (like me, like, it sounds, the OP) the line is where the focus is on the religious nature of the event.  I will bend to go to a wedding at a church, because the focus is on the couple getting married (though if it were one of those fire-and-brimstone evangelical churches I would probably still give it a pass), and I would go to a funeral at a church because the focus is on remembering the deceased.  But go to a super-packed holiday service where the focus is 100% on the religious celebration?  No way.  Not even to hear a family member sing in the choir.

And honestly, unless the OP has made a point of going to every single one of her nephew's recitals, shows, plays, etc, then the SIL has no reason to get bent out of shape in such a PA, guilt-trippy, way.  I can only assume that it is a dig at the OP's atheism, and that the SIL intended to use the lure of "can't you even come and hear nephew sing?" as a hook to try to drag her back "into the fold" and "see the error of her ways". 

wyliefool

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2013, 08:50:23 AM »
OP, maybe if you sit the fam down and say 'I have specifically, and w/ full knowledge of all aspects of this religion, chosen to reject it. Therefore, please don't teach DD to pray/say grace and please don't try to browbeat me into attending holiday services. Thanks.'

Because there's a big difference between an atheist like myself, raised w/o much in the way of religious teaching, who will go to church for a christening or whatever and just sit there while everyone does their religious thing, and one like you, who was indoctrinated heavily and has come to reject that indoctrination. I don't care about church one way or the other; you care deeply. Make sure everyone knows it.

Twik

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2013, 09:46:32 AM »
I know a bunch of non-Christians who celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday but wouldn't attend a church service. I am not one of them (I am Christian) but I actually think this applies to about 80% of my social group. To them Christmas is a present giving, food -eating holiday. But church attendance is religious and they would not wish to attend.

True, but if you want to take this stand, you must make it clear, so that people *don't* get the impression that its just too much trouble to come out to hear Little Johnny do his solo.

It should also be consistent. If you can't come to hear Little Johnny sing at 10, you should not be offended if you're not invited to his church wedding when he's 25.

This seems unkind and unnecessary.  Many people who are not comfortable attending a regular or holiday church service, myself included, will make exceptions for weddings and funerals.

Everyone has their own degree of comfort or discomfort with religion, and requiring people to be "consistent" about it - ie if you don't attend Christmas eve church service you can't celebrate a secular family Christmas, you can't attend weddings at church, etc really makes no sense.

If there is otherwise a good relationship, not inviting someone who is uncomfortable attending church services to one's wedding seems like a punishment for having different beliefs, and could well spell the end of the relationship.

Then it might be a better idea to give another reason why you can't go to Little Johnny's performance, or even just say, "I'm sorry, that won't be possible". Because if you keep saying, "I'd love to support Little Johnny, but I can't bear to be in a church," people may, in good faith, think that you mean that for all situations.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2013, 10:03:52 AM »
I think relatives/people in general should be able to accept, "This type of religious ceremony makes me extremely uncomfortable. Please respect my boundaries."

Religion is not black & white in its acceptances and boundaries, why should non-theism be any different?

darkprincess

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2013, 10:46:07 AM »
No one is asking the OP to do anything other than attend an event where her nephew is singing. Either the venue is offensive to her, or it is not. If she later attends a wedding at the church I would find her mitivation for not attending her nephew's event questionable.

My grandmother would not attend my wedding because it was not religious. She would not attend my brothers wedding because it was "the wrong religion." Are her motivations questionable when she attends other events with us, secular Easter dinner, secular gift exchange on Christmas, our meet the baby party (which happened at the same time most of the family would have had a baptism or baby blessing."

For my family and me we attend events that happen to occur in a religious venue if the main point of the event is non religious. For example weddings, funerals, spaghetti feeds to raise money for charities etc. we do not attend events where the reason for the event is purely religious. Yes nephew maybe singing, or acting in a play (playing An angel in a living manger scene) but that is not the point of the event. It is not a concert or a play. The event in question is a religious service. Luckily in my family we live just far enough a way that no one feels pressure to go to any nephew or nieces performances unless it is something extrodanary, the lead in the school play, getting a statewide award, a team making state.

TootsNYC

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2013, 11:54:49 AM »
No one is asking the OP to do anything other than attend an event where her nephew is singing. Either the venue is offensive to her, or it is not. If she later attends a wedding at the church I would find her mitivation for not attending her nephew's event questionable.

My grandmother would not attend my wedding because it was not religious. She would not attend my brothers wedding because it was "the wrong religion." Are her motivations questionable when she attends other events with us, secular Easter dinner, secular gift exchange on Christmas, our meet the baby party (which happened at the same time most of the family would have had a baptism or baby blessing."



Actually, to me, yes, they would be. Even if it were my grandmother.

That's an opinion or judgment that I am entitled to make.

And she is entitled to decide that my negative opinion or judgment on this issue doesn't really matter to her, and to continue to do what she wants in this regard.

We're entitled to disagree with someone and even to make a negative judgment about them based on the evidence and our own ideas of appropriateness, etc., etc. We're entitled to let that influence how close our relationships with them are. After all, we do not share values, and that *always* influences relationships.

And they're entitled to disagree with us, and to ignore our negative judgment.

I didn't see TurtleDove's comment as one that means, "You need to change," but more as one that means, "You  need to be aware that people may react this way."

Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2013, 12:27:59 PM »
What we're saying is you don't get to tell other people where they draw they line. There are perfectly good reasons why someone wouldn't want to go to a Christmas Concert by a child, but they'd go to a wedding. Those are personal reasons that are just as moral and spiritual as religious reasons. Of course you can decide how you are going to react to that as far as your judgment of their beliefs goes, but to say, "It's all or nothing! No excuses! You can enter the building or you can't - which is it!" is incorrect and intolerant of someone's deeply held non-theist beliefs.

Twik

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2013, 12:32:37 PM »
Goosey, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you have to accept the consequences of your actions. If you go around telling people you can't bear to sit in a church, people may, with the best of intentions, not invite you to other functions in church. Which is why the "I'm sorry, but I can't make it that night," response is better than, "I could, but I don't want to."
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #71 on: October 04, 2013, 12:36:57 PM »
Goosey, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you have to accept the consequences of your actions. If you go around telling people you can't bear to sit in a church, people may, with the best of intentions, not invite you to other functions in church. Which is why the "I'm sorry, but I can't make it that night," response is better than, "I could, but I don't want to."

I was responding more to the "either the venue is offensive to her, or it is not" fallicy asserted by a previous poster.

But, I DO think the "If you say you don't attend Christmas Concerts, I will assume you won't come to my wedding" issue is a red herring. If you don't invite someone simply because you think they won't come to the ceremony, I don't think you're really going to be that close, so I doubt the invite would be missed!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 12:40:44 PM by Goosey »

Twik

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #72 on: October 04, 2013, 12:43:38 PM »
Actually, if someone had repeatedly refused invitations to come to church functions, even when not expected to take part in worship, I would mark them down as "Invitation to reception only," thinking it would be a courtesy. I would have thought it would indicate that I was paying attention to their preferences.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2013, 12:56:49 PM »
Actually, if someone had repeatedly refused invitations to come to church functions, even when not expected to take part in worship, I would mark them down as "Invitation to reception only," thinking it would be a courtesy. I would have thought it would indicate that I was paying attention to their preferences.

IME, reception invitations and wedding invitations are never separate, so I was assuming that rejection from one meant rejection from both.

I'd have no problem with what you describe, but I would also be careful not to make assumptions about the tolerance levels of your non-theist friends. If it's not going to hurt anything to send them a full invite, why not just do that? They can decline one part and accept the other if they feel they can't attend in good conscience.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #74 on: October 04, 2013, 01:18:06 PM »
I think the OP can take from this thread that it makes sense to explain her atheism and what it entails to her sister and inlaws so they understand where she is coming from. It seems lots of people on this board don't fully understand the OP's reasoning and it's probably best for the long term relationship with the inlaws if they do.