Author Topic: Do you call people out on PA comments?  (Read 24858 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2013, 12:58:56 PM »
OP here. I really appreciate everyone's comments. It has made me think about things from a different perspective.

Someone mentioned that they may not understand that I would feel u comfortable attending their church. I never have actually come out to anyone and said I didn't feel comfortable attending. I think I assumed it was obvious, but now see that isn't the case.

OP, I do think you need to clarify with your family your feelings about being around any type of religious ceremony. You stated that you didn't want to go to church Xmas Eve because it wasn't how you wanted to celebrate your holiday. So you do plan to recognize Xmas is some sort of fashion, just not as a religious one.

I'm not critizing your choices, but I can say that I am confused by your positions.
On one hand, you feel it disprectful to be in a house of worship on Christmas Eve. But on the other hand you do not seem to find it disrespectful to celebrate a Christian holiday as a secular holiday. I know many non-Christians do, but these same non-Christians wouldn't be bothered by listening to a Christmas serivce.

If the family is having some of the same confusion as I'm experiencing, being honest with them could remove some of the drama around Christmas and Easter.

weeblewobble

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2013, 01:48:44 PM »
I am the OP for the "Giving PA people what they want" thread.  Honestly, I have found that when people make a grand PA pronouncement, i.e. "I can't invite myself to stay with you indefinitely? Well, fine, I just won't come visit you, then.", the best response is to say, "OK, then."

darkprincess

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2013, 04:15:03 PM »
After I left the faith of my family I also faced hurt feelings, confusion, manipulative attempts to get me to church and PA comments. Eventually I had to sit down family ( not as a group) and explain things. For the most confused and the most manipulative( not the same people) I had to be very blunt.
I pointed out that I celebrate holidays secularly. I assumed they would prefer I didn't call it dec 25 Santa clause day, but I could if that would help then understand.
I let them know that I felt uncomfortable in the church of my upbringing. Especially because I knew their ritual and what was behind it and I very much was opposed to it. i also didn't want to be disrespectful of their beliefs and going to a service and then walking out in the middle seems very rude.
For things like musical numbers, speaking etc, I pointed out that I was just as unlikely to go to their kids elementary school recital as they were unlikely to go to my daughters elementary recital. This was the accepted practice in our family. Because I do not believe in the religion in question, so for me  this is just another elementary recital that happens to fall on a secular holiday. I made an analogy and asked if they would want to spend Sunday watching my daughter and her friends erect their homemade flying spaghetti monster puppet in front of city hall? This is important to my daughter and she would love the support.

I wasn't trying to hurt them but they needed to understand where I was so they could be tolerant of me just as I am of them. I say you should talk with SIL, but keep this incident in mind because it is possible that she is trying to manipulate you. I have had this happen a lot.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2013, 04:30:02 PM »
I made an analogy and asked if they would want to spend Sunday watching my daughter and her friends erect their homemade flying spaghetti monster puppet in front of city hall? This is important to my daughter and she would love the support.

For some people, though, the answer would be, "I would love to come support her!"  I attend quite a few events for my sister's kids that I don't have any particular desire to attend outside of wanting my neices and nephews to know Aunt TurtleDove cared enough about them to show up.  I am not saying people who make a different choice are wrong, I am just saying that unless it is clearly spelled out that attending a homemade flying spaghetti monster puppet erection is offensive to you it comes across as "I am not interested in flying spaghetti monster puppets and my lack of interest outweights my desire to support you in your interest."  And that's fine, but own that choice then.

Twik

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2013, 09:23:27 AM »
I made an analogy and asked if they would want to spend Sunday watching my daughter and her friends erect their homemade flying spaghetti monster puppet in front of city hall? This is important to my daughter and she would love the support.

For some people, though, the answer would be, "I would love to come support her!"

Exactly. There are people of all persuasions who may not be at all put off if their friends or relatives are taking part in a ceremony or tradition in some other spiritual tradition.

If you cannot do so, then you need to make this clear to your family, so that you don't get repeated requests, such as invitations to weddings held in religious settings.
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secretrebel

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2013, 01:04:07 PM »
OP here. I really appreciate everyone's comments. It has made me think about things from a different perspective.

Someone mentioned that they may not understand that I would feel u comfortable attending their church. I never have actually come out to anyone and said I didn't feel comfortable attending. I think I assumed it was obvious, but now see that isn't the case.

OP, I do think you need to clarify with your family your feelings about being around any type of religious ceremony. You stated that you didn't want to go to church Xmas Eve because it wasn't how you wanted to celebrate your holiday. So you do plan to recognize Xmas is some sort of fashion, just not as a religious one.

I'm not critizing your choices, but I can say that I am confused by your positions.
On one hand, you feel it disprectful to be in a house of worship on Christmas Eve. But on the other hand you do not seem to find it disrespectful to celebrate a Christian holiday as a secular holiday. I know many non-Christians do, but these same non-Christians wouldn't be bothered by listening to a Christmas serivce.

If the family is having some of the same confusion as I'm experiencing, being honest with them could remove some of the drama around Christmas and Easter.

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.

SamiHami

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2013, 01:37:56 PM »
OP here. Perhaps this wasn't really a  PA comment. I have difficulty always detecting it.

This message was in response to holiday plans. (Drat, those darn holidays. You may have seen my post in the holiday folder.). Her child is singing in their church's Chrustmas Eve service. DH and I are both atheist, a fact his family is disappointed with but accepts. Neither of us wants to go to a place of worship, especially for a holiday. We don't feel comfortable, and that is not where I want to spend my holiday. So I told her that we would skip on the service, but asked what time they would be home afterward. (I personally think it will be too late afterwards, but was hoping they would come to this conclusion independently as well.) Her response was "it disappoints me that you wouldn't want to see nephew sing."  Was that PA? I feel it's a bit manipulative.

Not PA at all, imho. She's allowed to be disappointed by that.

Not to wander too far off topic, but I wonder about your aversion to places of worship? Going to one to see someone you love sing doesn't mean you have to actually do any worshipping while you are there. As long as you are respectful of the other people in attendance (no making "there is no god" statements, etc) I don't see any reason to refuse attendance. I only recently (over the past year or so) have come to realize that I do not believe in god myself, but I would not refuse to attend an event that takes place in a house of worship because of that (weddings, funerals and so on).

Anyway, not judging your choices at all. I just wanted to add that perspective into the mix.

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Goosey

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2013, 01:44:52 PM »
For some people, religions are morally and emotionally unbearable. There are many reasons for this, but the "you don't have to participate, just observe" assertions do become difficult when you know that sitting there would be a very emotionally negative experience for you to bear.

SamiHami

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2013, 01:51:13 PM »
I totally get that; there is a big difference between being nonreligious and antireligion. It was just a perspective I was tossing out there since I don't know the OP's POV on the issue.

Of course if it creates discomfort for anyone they should not go. I was pointing out that it's okay to go and just not participate in the rituals (prayer, standing/kneeling and so on) as long as one doesn't actively do anything disrespectful. Like I said, I would still attend a wedding for someone I cared about even if it were in a church; being there doesn't trouble me even though I do not believe in a god. But if I were against religion I would just not attend and send a gift later.

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Twik

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2013, 04:21:24 PM »
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.
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."

Hmmmmm

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #55 on: October 03, 2013, 04:38:24 PM »
OP here. I really appreciate everyone's comments. It has made me think about things from a different perspective.

Someone mentioned that they may not understand that I would feel u comfortable attending their church. I never have actually come out to anyone and said I didn't feel comfortable attending. I think I assumed it was obvious, but now see that isn't the case.

OP, I do think you need to clarify with your family your feelings about being around any type of religious ceremony. You stated that you didn't want to go to church Xmas Eve because it wasn't how you wanted to celebrate your holiday. So you do plan to recognize Xmas is some sort of fashion, just not as a religious one.

I'm not critizing your choices, but I can say that I am confused by your positions.
On one hand, you feel it disprectful to be in a house of worship on Christmas Eve. But on the other hand you do not seem to find it disrespectful to celebrate a Christian holiday as a secular holiday. I know many non-Christians do, but these same non-Christians wouldn't be bothered by listening to a Christmas serivce.

If the family is having some of the same confusion as I'm experiencing, being honest with them could remove some of the drama around Christmas and Easter.

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.

Is it that they wouldn't wish to attend or that they'd feel their presence there as disprespectful to the Church?

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #56 on: October 03, 2013, 04:59:13 PM »
Personally, I think parsing the exact wording of text messages, to discern whether they are one word away from being PA or not, is looking for trouble, and if you look for offense hard enough, you are sure to find it.

I vote with those who find SIL's disappointment honest and blunt, but not necessarily PA.  I also don't think mentioning the Nephew's feelings is necessarily manipulative.  A 5 year old who loves Auntie Green Bean and has been looking forward for weeks to have his family hear him sing, is no light matter.  He is 5, it's not like he can speak for himself in this conversation.

I would also like to point out, that since you seem to be intentionally calculating a way to NOT see them on Christmas, by offering a non-alternative (maybe I could come to your house but secretly I'm hoping that will be too late), your SIL is actually spot-on.  You don't want to see Nephew sing, you don't actually WANT to see them at all.

You are allowed to not want to go, that is perfectly OK and your choice.  She is allowed to be disappointed about that, and to tell you so. 
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Dragonflymom

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #57 on: October 03, 2013, 07:58:47 PM »
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.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #58 on: October 03, 2013, 09:06:22 PM »
I think if the problem is "I am uncomfortable with church and what it means" it would be the same for a children's Christmas program or a wedding. The OP can have whatever boundaries she wants, but if weddings are important enough for her to overcome her aversion to religion but her nephew's performance is not, she needs to accept that it comes across as "I didn't want to be there for nephew but I did fort friend getting married." Because it seems if it's so offensive to attend church it would be offensive no matter the reason.

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #59 on: October 03, 2013, 09:19:17 PM »
I think if the problem is "I am uncomfortable with church and what it means" it would be the same for a children's Christmas program or a wedding. The OP can have whatever boundaries she wants, but if weddings are important enough for her to overcome her aversion to religion but her nephew's performance is not, she needs to accept that it comes across as "I didn't want to be there for nephew but I did fort friend getting married." Because it seems if it's so offensive to attend church it would be offensive no matter the reason.

I see a difference, in that even at a religious wedding, most of the guests are there primarily because they want to see these specific people married. At the sort of service discussed here, almost everyone is going to be there for the religious aspects.

I was a bridesmaid in a friend's religious wedding--neither she nor the priest was bothered by the fact that I am not and never have been of her religion. (Nor were most of the guests.) During the rehearsal, the priest just told me "since you aren't a Purple, when we get to this and this bits of the ceremony, just stand quietly." Someone not of that religion might attend a service other than a wedding or funeral to hear the music, but would be very unlikely to be standing in front near the minister.
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