ANSWERS: 21
  • We generally marry under a justice of the peace, and all the atheists I've known are cremated. So no burial. As for marriage and births no, and why should we?
  • They tend to get married anywhere but in a church. As to whether they need priests...well, that's kind of the critical issue, isn't it? I guess some people might think that they need priests, but it's clear that they don't want them. Whether that's correct or incorrect we'll find out at some point, I'm sure.
  • I'm not an Atheist but I'd imagine they would get married by a Justice of the Peace (US). As for burial, why couldn't they have a secular ceremony? There's no law (US) that says they "need" a priest for any type of function.
  • In the UK we get married at a register office.
  • You do not need priests for any of these activities. All you need is a certificate (marriage certificate, death certificate and birth certificate) from your city/town.
  • I want to get married in a church, if I'm going to be married. And yes, I don't believe in god. I want to anyway, because it's the most traditionally correct way to do it
  • They marry like everybody else. My first husband and I married in my church and by preacher and in God's eyes and later on I found out he was an atheist. He never mentioned it until a few months after we were married. Went through with everything and then dropped the bomb. Yes, I did think of leaving him when he told me that.
  • For marriage there's a civil wedding. In most of the rest of the world people need to have a civil wedding and then if they chose they can also have a religious one anyway. The US is rare in allowing priests the power of state. . Birth and death are always, as far as I know, recorded by doctors, not priests. +5
  • In the UK, they can marry in any of the many thousands of places licensed for such. I married in a registry office, my brother in the orangery of a large park. For what would they need a priest at any time? Marriages can be formalised by a civil registrar, and birth and death tend to happen by themselves (though a midwife can be useful at a birth).
  • The state has always seen fit to administer marriages and birth and death. has lots to do with taxes.Not much else
  • We tend to have civil ceremonies for all of the above.
  • Wherever they like, in their back yards, on hill tops, at a restaurant... or even under water.
  • They can get married in a registry office, or many get married in a church, as it is traditional.
  • My mother and father got married in a park by a beach, just by someone who had the qualifications to conduct such ceremonies. You don't need to be a priest to be able to do it.
  • I am not certain what role a priest takes in any of these activities. Marriage is a civil commitment. Birth is simply a natural event that follows conception and pregnancy, and I can't see what function a priest would perform there unless s/he is also an obstetrician. Unless it's a priest who kills me I don't see any function at a death either. What exactly would one want a priest to do at any of these times?
  • Weddings are mere ritual. Marriage occurs with the issuance of a marriage license by the appropriate government agency.
  • Wow! NASA material over here, folks! Hey, did somebody forget to tell you that to get married, have a kid or die, YOU DON'T NEED A PRIEST?
  • No body ever needs a priest. Period.
  • I've been to several atheist funerals. They were more like memorial services where people spoke about the deceased and their accomplishments. At one atheist memorial, there was no body, because it had been donated to a medical school. That was a little surreal.
  • To park cars? [Hello DRs!] ;-)
  • Well first of all it depends whether both of them are atheists. If so, it could be a civil registry or town hall, depending on the legislation where they are. No, they never need a priest but it can give things a sense of occasion to have someone officiating, a nice dress, flowers and so on.

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