Author Topic: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?  (Read 9959 times)

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Arila

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #60 on: October 09, 2013, 02:20:23 PM »
Well, I've been in the following position:

- Wedding in a religious house that I don't believe in or follow.

- Minister went on (AND ON AND ON) about the traditional family roles, it was tempered a bit with commentary on how both roles are deserving of respect, but the husband was the head of the family etc. I don't generally agree with this, and certainly don't live it within my own marriage (aside from mutual respect of our various contributions).

- I knew the HC in no way intended to live the way the minister was speaking.

Actually, I know it might not be very kind of me, but I didn't really expect the marriage to last regardless of where/how it was performed, I never saw them as that compatible in the first place, but she was my friend, so I attended and supported her in what she wanted to do. Who was I to refuse to attend or do other social bomb-dropping things? Maybe there's some aspect to their PRIVATE relationship that I'm not privvy to. I attended the ceremony, smiled, sent good-thoughts, attended the reception and fully participated, and gave a generous gift.



I don't have a lot of sympathy for HC's who get married by a minister they don't know well or don't expect what's going to be said at their wedding, and then are unhappy about it. We took everything that was said in our wedding very seriously, because we thought it was a very solemn occasion, and we wanted to be able to live up to ALL of it. We knew/wrote the whole script, and selecting an officiant was agonized over more than any other vendor! But, that's what was important to us, and we don't hold everyone to that standard.

There was no mention of god in our atheist wedding, and I didn't alert my exceedingly religious relatives to the fact before hand, so although I had thought about how dramatic it might be if they all enmasse got up and left, I didn't really think it would happen, and not a single one did. I figure I can do my family and friends the same favor.

nuit93

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2013, 02:28:59 PM »
I do know of at least one wedding where the pastor was someone unknown to the bride and groom, but the circumstances were a touch unusual.

Many of the bride's relatives strongly disapproved of the bride's religion (it wasn't the same as theirs) but pretended to go along with it until the rehearsal dinner, where they announced that unless she had Pastor X do the ceremony, they would not only NOT attend but not bring their children (who were a part of the wedding party).

Luckily the pastor was very respectful of the HC's beliefs.

Sharnita

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2013, 02:32:17 PM »
Honestly, at that point I think I'd say "Your kids will probably be sad they can't show off in their pretty clothes.  And they'll really be disappointed that they miss out on their wedding party gifts."

DavidH

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2013, 02:32:39 PM »
I maybe the odd person out here, but if my relatives pulled a stunt like that, I'd tell them they were under no obligation to attend and use the officiant we'd originally chosen.

TurtleDove

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2013, 02:33:23 PM »
I don't have a lot of sympathy for HC's who get married by a minister they don't know well or don't expect what's going to be said at their wedding, and then are unhappy about it. We took everything that was said in our wedding very seriously, because we thought it was a very solemn occasion, and we wanted to be able to live up to ALL of it. We knew/wrote the whole script, and selecting an officiant was agonized over more than any other vendor! But, that's what was important to us, and we don't hold everyone to that standard.

This is very well stated.  Regardless of what a person's beliefs are, if you have beliefs that are important to you relating to your marriage it doesn't make sense to me that you would not ensure your beliefs are honored via your ceremony.  The people who have experienced rogue ministers....did the HC actually *know* these ministers and this was 100% out of character for them, or did they choose the church because, for example, it had gorgeous stained windows and that particular pastor was available at the time they wanted?  Because if so, it seems they got what was most important to them (the gorgeous back drop) and if they didn't ensure the officiant was on the same page as them it seemingly didn't matter to them.

Figgie

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #65 on: October 09, 2013, 02:35:17 PM »
I've been lucky enough to never have attended a wedding where I had to listen to the unfortunate things that others here have had to listen to.

A number of years ago, a coworker of my spouse died quite young from cancer.  We (along with the entire department) attended the funeral.  During the funeral, the minister began lecturing the parents, siblings, nieces and nephews of the deceased about how they were going to hell because they were members of the purple religion and exhorting them to come up and kneel before the casket and give up their satanic beliefs.

And what he called them was much, much worse than what I posted.  What made it impossible for us to stay was that he started walking pew by pew, calling out the people who were attending the funeral for their vile beliefs and demanding that they come up to the casket and give up their beliefs for the one that this particular church had.  He was not polite, he was rude, invasive and called people foul names.

While the extended family sat there (with family members crying), when he reached the more general group of people attending, one at a time people got up from their pews and exited the church.  We did the same when he reached our pew, as did the other members of my spouse's department.

I don't believe that politeness requires that I sit there and be called disgusting names and ordered to join another church.  The minister was literally frothing at the mouth and screaming at people as they left. 

But then, he was screaming at people for not going up to the casket and joining his church, so I don't think people leaving made that much of a difference as to his behavior.  At least by people leaving, (vast majority of people who were there for the funeral) we didn't have to listen to him scream at us and call us names.


TurtleDove

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2013, 02:39:36 PM »
Figgie, do you know who organized the funeral with that minister at that church?  That story shocks the conscience and I cannot imagine the next of kin (who were called out by the minister) knowingly setting up a funeral at such a place. Was there an estranged from the decedent's family wife of the decedent who superceded the family as next of kin or something?

Figgie

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2013, 02:45:41 PM »
Figgie, do you know who organized the funeral with that minister at that church?  That story shocks the conscience and I cannot imagine the next of kin (who were called out by the minister) knowingly setting up a funeral at such a place. Was there an estranged from the decedent's family wife of the decedent who superceded the family as next of kin or something?

It was a small non-denominational church that my spouse's coworker and wife belonged to.  He had never mentioned religion at work, so no one had any idea what kind of beliefs the church espoused.  The parents and siblings were all members of a mainstream Christian denomination.

I have to assume that it was the wife who arranged the funeral and that she knew and approved of what the minister said and did.  To make it even worse, the minister had a microphone and what he was screaming at people came out of speakers at the church.  It truly felt a bit like being trapped in a hellish place.

Since the only contact we had was through the coworker (I had met the wife at several Christmas parties, but didn't know her at all), I don't know what the outcome was after everyone left, as we never heard.

Surianne

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2013, 02:47:24 PM »
I accept that other people have different views to me and it doesn't bother me to listen to them for a bit, so I don't walk out. Just being present at a wedding where they are spoken doesn't, to me, mean that anyone listening necessarily agrees or approves, and I don't see it as giving it any sort of personal stamp of approval. Presumably those who attend the church regularly agree, but that's not the same thing.

This is pretty much how I feel about it. Lots of people hold views I disagree with. If I got offended every time someone said something I disagreed with, well, that's just too stressful.  People are entitled to their views and I don't have to agree with them. But I don't understand, and maybe someone can explain to me, why hearing something like wives being submissive to their husband would upset a witness. If that's what your friends believe, and what works for their relationship, why would you care?

This is why I originally didn't post the issues in my OP--I didn't want to make it a debate about what posters think I am allowed to be offended by.  But since you're curious and there seems to be a few posters who think I should smile and play nice, I'll try to explain by this is not a tenable option for me personally.

It's not your place to determine that I don't have the right to be offended by being told I'm a lesser person because of my gender.  I am equally offended by hearing white supremacists, for example.  Men > women is not a viewpoint I am willing to sit idly by and support.  Neither is white people > non-white people. 

That's my personal choice -- I'm not asking anyone to change the content of the sermon for me.  I'm asking about how*  to politely avoid attending weddings where this viewpoint is stated by the officiant. 

*if possible -- it sounds like it may not be 100% possible, from the horrifying stories of couples caught off-guard, unless I avoid all weddings, but there have been some great suggestions so far, so thanks everyone.

nuit93 mentions the triggering aspect for abuse survivors, as well.  I'd take it a step further and say that me sitting there, showing my friend the bride that I believe she must obey her husband -- is a damaging act.  The audience are witness and supporters of the marriage, so for an abused woman to hear the officiant say that no matter what he does to her, no matter how he treats her, she must obey her husband, and to see her friends and family sitting there agreeing (or at least, not disagreeing) that she has to take it because she's less than her husband, because she does not deserve to be treated as a full human being...I personally believe that furthers abuse and is a damaging viewpoint. 

Others do not believe this, and merely see it as a quaint philosophy, which is their right too.  Just as it's my right not to tolerate it, and to avoid being a silent witness.  I have a family member who suffered some very serious abuse from her husband and was told by her parents that divorce was wrong, and that she humiliated them and violated her wedding vows.  So I take a very firm stand on this issue.

Surianne

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #69 on: October 09, 2013, 02:48:19 PM »
I've been lucky enough to never have attended a wedding where I had to listen to the unfortunate things that others here have had to listen to.

A number of years ago, a coworker of my spouse died quite young from cancer.  We (along with the entire department) attended the funeral.  During the funeral, the minister began lecturing the parents, siblings, nieces and nephews of the deceased about how they were going to hell because they were members of the purple religion and exhorting them to come up and kneel before the casket and give up their satanic beliefs.

And what he called them was much, much worse than what I posted.  What made it impossible for us to stay was that he started walking pew by pew, calling out the people who were attending the funeral for their vile beliefs and demanding that they come up to the casket and give up their beliefs for the one that this particular church had.  He was not polite, he was rude, invasive and called people foul names.

While the extended family sat there (with family members crying), when he reached the more general group of people attending, one at a time people got up from their pews and exited the church.  We did the same when he reached our pew, as did the other members of my spouse's department.

I don't believe that politeness requires that I sit there and be called disgusting names and ordered to join another church.  The minister was literally frothing at the mouth and screaming at people as they left. 

But then, he was screaming at people for not going up to the casket and joining his church, so I don't think people leaving made that much of a difference as to his behavior.  At least by people leaving, (vast majority of people who were there for the funeral) we didn't have to listen to him scream at us and call us names.

Yes, that's a big part of it for me.  I'm not willing to listen to someone calling me evil.  I haven't had an experience as horrific as the one you've described, but it's certainly been close.

lowspark

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2013, 03:00:00 PM »
I think if you feel that strongly about it then the best thing to do when you go to a wedding is sit where you can make a quick and discreet exit. Because I don't think there's a foolproof way of finding out about this in advance and it seems like your only other option would be to never attend any more weddings.

Leaving, in my opinion, is perfectly ok as long as you don't disrupt the proceedings in any way by doing so. So making sure you can exit quickly and quietly seems like the way to go.

Surianne

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2013, 03:06:31 PM »
I think if you feel that strongly about it then the best thing to do when you go to a wedding is sit where you can make a quick and discreet exit. Because I don't think there's a foolproof way of finding out about this in advance and it seems like your only other option would be to never attend any more weddings.

Leaving, in my opinion, is perfectly ok as long as you don't disrupt the proceedings in any way by doing so. So making sure you can exit quickly and quietly seems like the way to go.

Yes, I think that's what I'm leaning toward.  I don't go to a lot of church weddings anyway, so I imagine it's not something that's going to happen often...mainly two specific incidents that happened a few years ago.  And it's interesting, because I'd say in one of those marriages for sure, the bride is the boss  ;D

Judah

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #72 on: October 09, 2013, 03:35:01 PM »
This is why I originally didn't post the issues in my OP--I didn't want to make it a debate about what posters think I am allowed to be offended by.  But since you're curious and there seems to be a few posters who think I should smile and play nice, I'll try to explain by this is not a tenable option for me personally.

It's not your place to determine that I don't have the right to be offended by being told I'm a lesser person because of my gender.  I am equally offended by hearing white supremacists, for example.  Men > women is not a viewpoint I am willing to sit idly by and support.  Neither is white people > non-white people. 

Re re bolded: that's not what it means at all. But that's a discussion for another venue.

I'm not telling you you can't be offended by whatever you want to be offended by, I just don't understand being offended by the opinions of strangers I'll never encounter again and who have no say in how I live my life.

I agree with lowspark, if something is that offensive to you, your best option is to leave.  Leaving mid-service is not rude as long as you're not disruptive.
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gen xer

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #73 on: October 09, 2013, 03:43:40 PM »
To me the thing to remember is that someone else's wedding is not about you or your beliefs - no matter how right you are or how passionately you believe in it.

Attending doesn't mean condoning everything they preach - you're there to support the HC.  No more, no less.

turnip

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Re: s/o Wedding evangelizing - Forewarning of wedding service content?
« Reply #74 on: October 09, 2013, 04:04:22 PM »
I accept that other people have different views to me and it doesn't bother me to listen to them for a bit, so I don't walk out. Just being present at a wedding where they are spoken doesn't, to me, mean that anyone listening necessarily agrees or approves, and I don't see it as giving it any sort of personal stamp of approval. Presumably those who attend the church regularly agree, but that's not the same thing.

This is pretty much how I feel about it. Lots of people hold views I disagree with. If I got offended every time someone said something I disagreed with, well, that's just too stressful.  People are entitled to their views and I don't have to agree with them. But I don't understand, and maybe someone can explain to me, why hearing something like wives being submissive to their husband would upset a witness. If that's what your friends believe, and what works for their relationship, why would you care?

It can be triggering to someone who has been in an abusive marriage/rel@tionship.

And if the minister says something about them having children it can be trigging to someone struggling with infertility.  And if the minster hopes those children grow up big and healthy it can be triggering to someone with a disabled child.  I think it's unfair to declare that there are topics that can't be approached because they might be 'triggering' - we all have our sensitivities.

I agree with the view that if you attend someone's wedding or funeral, you need to appreciate that the ceremony is about _them_ and _their_ beliefs.  If you will only be comfortable if you can reconcile their beliefs to yours, than you should probably decline attendance.