to want a religious wedding?

(126 Posts)
flaquark Sun 29-Sep-13 11:13:35

I had always promised DP that if I ever got pregnant we would get married - so we are getting married.
He is letting me decide all the bits and things. I came to the decision that I wanted to get married in a Jewish ceremony.
We are both jewish but both raised secular and dont believe in a God. But do and did all the other bits.
DP doesnt mind either way so there we go.

I have had more than a couple of comments from people that we shouldnt be doing this, that it is distrispectful things like that.

And it has me doubting and thinking that people will think we are just doing it for a 'pretty' wedding day.

Because I think it's relevant - I'm adopted and dont look 'jewish' (being black with white parents does that) (technically means I'm a convert) so I think I tend to wear my Jewness on my sleeve a bit.

AIBU?

sonlypuppyfat Sun 29-Sep-13 21:26:40

confused every days a school day!!

Catsize Sun 29-Sep-13 21:32:06

I have been in a civil partnership for seven years. As Christians, we would have loved to be married in a church, so this sort of thing always grates a lot a bit.
However, what troubles me even more is your marriage being conditional on your pregnancy. Eh? If you hadn't got pregnant, you wouldn't have married him?! confused

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Sun 29-Sep-13 21:41:56

I'm Jewish and see no issue with it. Jewish identity goes beyond the religious, and that is accepted by most, if not all rabbis. If you are Jewish according to the synagogue you want to get married in, then you have a right to get married there. In Jewish law a wedding is a contract between two people unlike Christianity where it is a sacrament andtherefore there is not the same issue of being secular.

SamG76 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:44:54

Thanks, dwm&cat. You put it much better (and more tactfully) than I did!

TeaAndABiscuit Sun 29-Sep-13 23:54:52

If it's important to you then who cares what anyone else thinks or your reasons for doing it.

Lablab Mon 30-Sep-13 00:24:33

Louise, what an obnoxious post.

LouiseAderyn Mon 30-Sep-13 07:12:37

why is it lablab? I think it hurts no one to get married in a church, even if you only do it because it is pretty. If god exists then I doubt he would mind. The views of people who would object to someone doing the thing that makes them happy on their wedding day are not worthy of consideration.

if it turns out that god does exist and 'does' mind, then I'll take it up with him wheb the tine comes!

monkeymamma Mon 30-Sep-13 08:07:15

I got married in a church and am not Christian. It's massively insulting to imply it was for the pretty building! It's odd so many atheists on here are able to show so much respect for religion and none for culture. I am culturally Christian, I grew up in Christian communities, learned the stories of that faith, visited ancient churches and cathedrals, looked at art based entirely, for 100s of years, on the Christian story. I also celebrate Christmas every year, a lovely mixture of Christian, pagan and Victorian traditions (as I'm sure do most of the people on here shouting hypocrite). It is a sign of how seriously I take my marriage that I wanted to make those vows somewhere that had huge cultural and emotional importance for me. Iirc there were not promises of faith in the ceremony but only to do with marriage (yes, in the eyes of god - but a number of Christians have now posted to make clear that the god they know would not be offended by this). I didn't feel I was lying or making promises I couldn't keep.

IMO it is disgraceful that the only options for atheists are to marry in church (and thus become as I did and the op has done, subjects of a lot of very nasty comments, many to my face and from close friends), marry at enormous expense in a hotel or specialist wedding venue (a cost which I can well imagine is enough to put some couples off getting married altogether) or marry in a grey, faceless registry office (and lucky you if your local registry office is not like this ... Many definitely are). Not as disgraceful as not allowing same sex weddings in church, but that's a whole other thread...

YANBU op, please do what feels right and natural to you - and I hope you have wonderful day!

Catsize Mon 30-Sep-13 08:25:14

louise, I think (contrary to your opinion) that you would find that your views on this are insulting to many, but according to you, they are not worthy of your consideration. Pointless me pointing it out really as you won't care, but there we go... sad

Trills Mon 30-Sep-13 08:30:56

I would find it very odd, if I knew that you did not believe in God, that you had chosen to make serious important promises to one another while essentially lying.

Unless you think you can somehow have the ceremony without mentioning God or promising anything to God (who you think does not exist)?

I'm another Jewish atheist

I think it's difficult for Christians in the UK to understand because they have no equivalent, where observance and belief are separate things

personally I am not observant or a believer but for most Jews it's about how you live your life not what you believe in

especially when it comes to life events like birth, marriage. death

people from catholic countries tend to find it easier to understand

LouiseAderyn Mon 30-Sep-13 08:53:04

The church is endorsed by the state - we have bishops sitting in the houses of parliament snd therefore I do believe the church should provide it's services to anyone who requires it.

I dont recall my church objecting much, when it took the fees for conducting my wedding. And yes, they were aware that I was not a church goer etc.

Catsize Mon 30-Sep-13 09:01:33

Precisely Louise. The Church of England is obliged to marry those who meet the criteria, with a discretion re:divorcees and those who have undergone gender reassignment. Perhaps surprisingly, there are no criteria as to faith. This is partly because it is the Established Church. Could write 15,000 words on this but won't.
The obligation of the CofE to marry you doesn't make your attitude any less offensive I am afraid.
Hope your photos were lovely, even though your motives were not.

Chunderella Mon 30-Sep-13 09:21:37

Trills did you not read the bit about how the OP will indeed be having a ceremony without mentioning God or making any vows? I admit I didn't know that until now, and I've actually been to a Jewish wedding quite recently, but it was right here in the thread! The discussion about different religious attitudes here has been very illuminating. I'm not C of E and am not keen on the existence of a state church. But since we do have one, I wouldn't be impressed to be denied marriage there. They shouldn't be able to have it both ways. Heartinaspade's point about RC countries is a good one. I'm Catholic too, for me it's a cultural identity rather than a religious belief, and obviously this is something Jewish people understand better than many. There's kind of a similarity between the two in that aspect. And yes, it's quite funny that so many people seem to have such a double standard in that it's fine to do something for religious reasons but apparently not cultural.

Catsize I sympathise. However, the problem with the situation you face is that gay people can't get married in a church, not that straight people whose motives you don't approve of can. Also, do you know the Metropolitan Community Church at all?

LouiseAderyn Mon 30-Sep-13 09:23:04

My motives were to marry the man I loved in as nice a place as I could find. I got married before it was possible to choose hotels etc for the ceremony and my only legal alternative was a poky room in a grotty building. No regrets here from that perspective - my photos are lovely and I dont consider my motives to be bad either!

On a wider note, I do not believe that churches should have the right to marry people unless they are going to provide the service for all people who have the legal right to wed. I think they should only be allowed to carry out blessings and the legal part should be carried out by the state.

My only real regret is in choosing a place to get married that would have denied my darling sister the same right ( she is gay). I wish I had thought that through a lot more.

Mizza76 Mon 30-Sep-13 09:26:30

In the Jewish marriage ceremony, there are no vows to god or anything like that. As is appropriate - in Judaism, what you do is far more important than what you believe. Perhaps the people in your work place don't understand this crucial difference between Judaism and Christianity. You can be a Jewish atheist and still be happily Jewish. They sound extremely mean anyway. Why are they trying to ruin your special day?

Trills Mon 30-Sep-13 09:39:40

how the OP will indeed be having a ceremony without mentioning God or making any vows?

Er, then this is the obvious answer.

The people making the comments are not aware that it is possible to have a "Jewish" wedding that is Jewish in tradition but does not actually mention God. And so they are (perfectly reasonably) commenting that they think it would be weird to have a wedding that mentions a God that you do not believe in.

On churches and same sex marriages - I think that everyone should have to have a civil ceremony (or even just a civil paper-signing) at a government-registered place, and then they can go have whatever vows/pictures/cake/dresses they like at any place of their choosing (church/mosque/hotel/woods/beach/back garden). No one religion's church should be able to do more or less than any other.

Maryz Mon 30-Sep-13 09:46:43

I think Louise's attitude is very reasonable.

It's the same reasoning many people have about baptising children. If there is a god, will he really mind if you follow religious customs without fully believing in all the laws around organised religion. And if god exists, and minds, does anyone want anything to do with such a god?

And if there is no god, does it matter?

Personally I believe there is a lot of cultural significance to religious ceremonies that simply isn't replicated in most civil ceremonies. And that many people who were brought up with those ceremonies surrounding birth, marriage and death would miss them. Certainty of belief isn't a prerequisite for wanting a link with the culture.

Maryz Mon 30-Sep-13 09:49:10

And I also think the fact that the op is adopted is very significant.

I know it's very important to dd, for example, to feel included in things to do with us (her adoptive family), to know about family traditions and to inherit family traits and belongings. It is probably much more important to her than it is to ds2, who inherits blood and therefore is more confident in his belonging.

If that makes sense?

Chunderella Mon 30-Sep-13 10:03:59

Trills although some people's posts were made before Sam and Dancing explained, yours wasn't.

Interesting point re being adopted Maryz. can see where you're coing from.

ABaconAndOnionTart Mon 30-Sep-13 12:48:53

Louise, although my opinion is not worthy of your consideration, I will offer it anyway.

Getting married in church is an act of worship before God. Most of the traditions of marriage, family sat on either side, white dress etc are derived from the Bible.

The words Dearly Beloved are an invitation to the congregation to partake in that act of worship, and the words that the bride and groom say are a covenant with God.

By reducing this down to have a pretty venue is rather insulting to those people who think that churches are more than wedding venues.

Perhaps you need to consider how God would feel about you performing a false act of worship. And also how it makes Christians feel.

Maryz Mon 30-Sep-13 12:49:58

Are you a Christian ABacon?

Because in my church, everyone is welcome.

ABaconAndOnionTart Mon 30-Sep-13 13:04:59

Everyone is welcome in my church too, they wouldn't want to be married there though, it's not pretty enough!

We do ask that people only take communion if they believe, so why should making promises to God be any different?

LouiseAderyn Mon 30-Sep-13 13:07:24

It's daft to say to an atheist 'how do you think god would feel?' So far as I am concerned there is no god. Thus for me, a church is a pretty building and as an institution has benefited from public money (historically, at least) and state endorsement. I consider that I have a right to use it . If the time cones when church and state are completely separate, I will reassess my position on this.

My using it as a pretty location takes nothing from you - you are not compelled to attend the wedding of someone whose views offend you.

As I said earlier, I considered that I was making my vows to dh, rather than to god.

Catsize Mon 30-Sep-13 13:07:51

chunderella, my issue with this is not so much as a gay woman but as a Christian. Sure, it is galling that Louise can marry in church and I can't (even more galling for the vicar if he/she is gay!) but that is an issue for the church to sort out. What bothers me more is the covenant of marriage, and the promises made to a God the participants do not believe in. I find that insulting to people who do. It makes the ceremony very disingenuous in my opinion as the vows are not just made between two people, as suggested by Louise. I have been to a number of atheists' weddings in church, including my brother's, and found them a bit odd. Their lack of belief made their vows less sincere in my opinion.

Equally, there is a part of me that would rather have atheists in church than out of them.

For what it is worth Louise, I too am of the opinion that everyone should have to have a State wedding with a religious element later if they so choose, until everyone can marry in the Established Church. I am a somewhat liberal Christian in favour of disestablishment until the gender recognition/divorcee/same-sex matters are changed. shock

Think how offended proper vegetarians got on a recent thread by people who ate fish, occasional chicken etc. calling themselves vegetarian. Then multiply that by lots.

Anyway, conscious of this going somewhat off-thread...

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