Author Topic: Do you call people out on PA comments?  (Read 23647 times)

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*inviteseller

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #90 on: October 05, 2013, 07:33:23 PM »
First off, the kid is 5..he will not be doing a solo of Ava Maria..it will be him and other cute kids butchering their way through some songs.  It is cute, but not a once in a lifetime moment for anyone but the parents.  Also, I bet the only reason he would be disappointed his Aunt is not there is because Mommy told him how sad it was that she refused to come (very PA move).  Also, why does OP have to compromise what she feels ?  No means no..it is an acceptable answer and SIL needs to accept it and move on.  OP does NOT need to explain herself (especially her non religious status to a religious person because that can open herself up to the conversion attempts) because it doesn't matter if nephew is singing in church, school, the middle of the street..if OP doesn't want to go, she doesn't have to nor does that make her a bad person.  My older DD was very involved in orchestra, choir, and school plays and sports.  I would tell the family when the recitals/performances/games would be, where they would be and if they came, great, if they didn't they would ask her about it later.  Everyone in my immediate family and an aunt from her fathers side all came to various things but not everything.  She was never disappointed and gladly showed videos/pics when asked about it.  I didn't guilt anyone into anything either.  SIL needs to take the no for an answer and move on.

LadyL

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #91 on: October 05, 2013, 09:10:37 PM »
I was also raised religious and left my faith after going to a parochial high school and realizing that I am not someone who is capable of believing in abstract concepts like a higher power. It was not an easy or quick process and the treatment I received by members of that religion really soured me on going to any sort of worship service. I don't mind attending funerals, baptisms, weddings, etc. as long as the focus is on the life event of that individual or individuals moreso than on worship. I attended one wedding where there was a lengthy speech urging us all to convert to their religion as well as a sermon that was very "fire and brimstone"  - literally "if this couple is to divorce and break their sacred bond they will experience SHAME and SUFFERING" - not the sentiment I usually expect at a wedding! I felt so, so uncomfortable and will never attend any event in that church again.

Another time my MIL bullied us into coming to Easter mass with her, I figured I'd come along and observe. She kept nudging me to sing along with the hymns and recite the prayers. I had to leave the service abruptly because I felt trapped, bullied, and about to have a panic attack. I know my MIL is "special" and not everyone acts this way but it's pushy people like that who make us wary of those like the OP's SIL who don't seem to have much respect or compassion for our religious beliefs (or lack thereof). First it's "Oh come see little Johnny sing" and then it's "Oh why aren't you going up for communion" or whatever. Or at least that's the kind of thing I worry about from people like that.


EllenS

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #92 on: October 05, 2013, 10:25:47 PM »
The OP's update with more detail about her relationship with SIL certainly explains a lot and does make it seem more PA, than if a similar comment had come from someone who does try to get the family together and invest in the relationship.

The point about OP giving some explanation of her feelings about church, is not an etiquette requirement, but in the interest of good communication and furthering a relationship - not wanting to come across as rejecting or trying to distance herself.

If that is not the goal, no need to explain anything.

mbbored

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #93 on: October 06, 2013, 02:03:50 AM »
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.

So, if I don't feel I can accept an invitation for complex, nuanced religious reasons that I know many people are either going to be confused by or just flat-out refuse to try to understand, I'm expected to justify myself to them by extensive explanation of my religious beliefs?

Wouldn't this just invite people to argue with me about what my religious beliefs should or should not entail/permit/etc? Isn't that precisely what's happened in this very thread?

What a quagmire. What would anyone be required to invite that sort of scrutiny into their personal belief systems?

I agree.

And there's a huge difference between attending a religious service to go a niece or nephew's music performance which, in my opinion, are a dime a dozen, versus going to a funeral or a wedding, which are once in a lifetime events and I imagine most people can see the difference.

My brothers are atheists and don't attend holiday services and as a result, miss my niece and nephew's performances during those services. However, they do attend baptisms, weddings, funerals: the events that are actually important to the individual.

If it's a large church, some people only get to perform once, or once in a blue moon.  It IS important to that individual.

I'm not saying that performing at church is not important to the individual, but it can't possibly compare to getting married or having a funeral.

Yentush

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #94 on: October 06, 2013, 06:13:17 AM »
I am very religious.  I am considered "Orthodox" in my religion.  However, I see things from all sides.

Take out religion and let us make this scenario.

The op is a Vegen.  She is very avid and truly believes that this is the way to live.

Her nephew is performing at a streak-house.

Now, would everyone here give the same replies?

gramma dishes

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #95 on: October 06, 2013, 07:18:57 AM »
A streak-house sounds interesting!  I'd go just to see what goes on there!  Will it be televised?  Exactly what does his "performance" involve?   ;D

I presume you meant a steak house, and you make a good point.   ;)

Hmmmmm

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #96 on: October 06, 2013, 07:44:07 AM »
The OP's update with more detail about her relationship with SIL certainly explains a lot and does make it seem more PA, than if a similar comment had come from someone who does try to get the family together and invest in the relationship.

The point about OP giving some explanation of her feelings about church, is not an etiquette requirement, but in the interest of good communication and furthering a relationship - not wanting to come across as rejecting or trying to distance herself.

If that is not the goal, no need to explain anything.

I agree with this. Without the background I couldn't find a PA slant but with it, it could have been that.

I also had no inclination the OP desired to be home by 7pm.

I say you just tell the family that bed times will prohibit activities on Xmas Eve but your happy to host brunch that morning.

Yentush

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #97 on: October 06, 2013, 03:11:53 PM »
A streak-house sounds interesting!  I'd go just to see what goes on there!  Will it be televised?  Exactly what does his "performance" involve?   ;D

I presume you meant a steak house, and you make a good point.   ;)

Well, maybe he will streak across the stage  ::)

Sorry, I am terrible at typo's.  Steak House

Two Ravens

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #98 on: October 06, 2013, 04:17:27 PM »
I am very religious.  I am considered "Orthodox" in my religion.  However, I see things from all sides.

Take out religion and let us make this scenario.

The op is a Vegen.  She is very avid and truly believes that this is the way to live.

Her nephew is performing at a streak-house.

Now, would everyone here give the same replies?

I'm not sure the replies would be so different. I am sure there are some vegans/vegetarians who would go to a steakhouse to see a performance as long as they were not force-fed meat.

However, it would still be perfectly polite for the vegan to say, "I'm not comfortable there. I'll see him when he performs at the Farmer's Market next month."

baglady

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #99 on: October 06, 2013, 05:27:07 PM »
I'm on the "not PA but guilt-trippy" train.

What if you explained that as much as you'd love to hear nephew sing, worship services make you so uncomfortable that you would be unable to appreciate his singing? Compare it to a venue that might make SIL uncomfortable to a degree that she would feel the same way -- say, Cousin X's poetry reading in a smoky bar if she hates smoke.

I'm a former Catholic, now agnostic, and I know how uncomfortable it can be to attend a worship service and not participate. Even if nobody is looking at you and wondering why you aren't kneeling/standing/praying/taking Communion with everyone else, it can *feel* as if everybody is.

Did I read correctly that nephew is only 5? If so, he isn't even in real school yet. If he likes to sing, he'll probably be involved in school performances and might even get solos, if he's a good singer (for a kid). Even if he goes to parochial school and the performances are in church, those are not worship services. I'm assuming that your problem is with attending an actual worship service, not with simply being in a church building.

Explain to SIL that you would dearly love to hear nephew sing, but you simply can't make this one, and ask her to keep you posted on other opportunities to hear him.
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Deetee

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #100 on: October 06, 2013, 10:58:47 PM »
I am very religious.  I am considered "Orthodox" in my religion.  However, I see things from all sides.

Take out religion and let us make this scenario.

The op is a Vegen.  She is very avid and truly believes that this is the way to live.

Her nephew is performing at a streak-house.

Now, would everyone here give the same replies?

I'm not sure the replies would be so different. I am sure there are some vegans/vegetarians who would go to a steakhouse to see a performance as long as they were not force-fed meat.

However, it would still be perfectly polite for the vegan to say, "I'm not comfortable there. I'll see him when he performs at the Farmer's Market next month."

I agree. I think a vegan in a steak house would have almost the same range of personal feelings as a non-believer in a church. Some people would be extremely uncomfortable and unable to attend in any degree of comfort and other would be completely fine observing.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #101 on: October 07, 2013, 09:51:27 AM »
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.

So, if I don't feel I can accept an invitation for complex, nuanced religious reasons that I know many people are either going to be confused by or just flat-out refuse to try to understand, I'm expected to justify myself to them by extensive explanation of my religious beliefs?

Wouldn't this just invite people to argue with me about what my religious beliefs should or should not entail/permit/etc? Isn't that precisely what's happened in this very thread?

What a quagmire. What would anyone be required to invite that sort of scrutiny into their personal belief systems?

No, I am not saying the OP needs to justify her religious beliefs or lack thereof.   To me it isn't so much *what* her reasons are but rather that she actually *has* reasons outside of "I don't feel like being supportive of nephew so I'm not going to go hear him sing."

I am saying that if she just says, "No, I don't want to hear nephew sing" I can see why her relatives would find that off putting.  The OP said she had not explained what was troubling her about attending the performance.  As another poster pointed out, I am not saying the OP *needs* to explain anything, about her beliefs or otherwise.  I am saying that I believe that if this is a relationship she would like to invest in it probably makes sense to explain that it's not that she is not interested in hearing nephew sing, it's that her convictions are preventing her from hearing him during a church service.  Assuming the relatives are reasonable people, this should be all it is. 

White Lotus

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #102 on: October 07, 2013, 12:17:43 PM »
Generally, OurSect Buddhists (and just so you know, Buddhas are not deities; they are enlightened teacher souls who help us also become enlightened.  The misconception lies in translation) don't attend services at other temples/churches.  We may go to weddings, funerals and the like, and for close family/friends, and sometimes we do.  Sometimes we decline, and send a note and/or a gift.  Sometimes we are invited to the reception/wake only, and we go.  We can and do memorial services at our temple (they are no big social deal in that there are no guests, no wake, etc., unless the decedent is a member, but spiritually very meaningful to us.)
We would decline this invitation as it is not a major life event for Nephew, and say we would love to hear him sing another time, perhaps at our annual Solstice/New Year's party?  So much of "Christmas" stems from older religious practices (Sol Invictus, Mithras, Druids. Etc.) that it is very easy to confuse the "secular" Solstice based Christmas with the Christian Christmas, and many people don't get that some do the Pagan parts happily but won't do the Christian parts.  It confuses them, and that is part of what OP is running into, I think.  Since none of it is Buddhist, we don't do any of it.   Don't worry.  We still have parties and presents.  We just do it in celebration of the New Year, in a tradition that predates even Sol Invictus.  OP, stick to your guns and suggest an option.

Sharnita

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #103 on: October 07, 2013, 12:47:52 PM »
As a side note. it strikes me as a bit confusing that people see baptisms as being "not as religious" because those are generally times when the "audience" is called on to affirm that they agree with the teachings of the church and will do their best to support and uphold those teachings as part of the child's upbringing.   Even at Christmas and Easter services I don't see pastors and priests ask for as much confirmation of belief and affirmative action from those in the pews as I do at baptisms.

TurtleDove

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Re: Do you call people out on PA comments?
« Reply #104 on: October 07, 2013, 12:54:44 PM »
I agree with Sharnita. To me a baptism, confirmation, or wedding is asking people to give support to the people involved who are taking vows (or their sponsors are on their behalf) before God. Christmas concerts are more of an "all are welcome" celebratory event with focus on songs and pageantry. Advent and Lent are more about doctrine in my experience. So for me, a pastor's daughter and pastor's wife, it would seem odd for an athiest to be okay with attending a wedding but not a Christmas Eve concert. Mind you I am not saying it is wrong, I am saying it is counterintuitive to me and I would be confused if an individual did not explain her reasoning. Then again, I wouldn't care unless it were a relationship that was important to me, and etiquette isn't really the issue then.

I edited to clarify that I was referring to Christmas concerts, like a performance of Handel's Messiah or something, and not the actual Christmas service, although I still find the Christmas services to be less requiring of holding the actual beliefs expressed than a baptism, for example, where the congregation is asked to support the person being baptized in his or her faith.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 01:39:34 PM by TurtleDove »