ANSWERS: 22
  • If you change your attitude from digust to pity, it works out a lot better. Also, instead of viewing the religious aspects as insane and alien, try to focus more on the positive things they're trying to teach.
  • Let me give an example of what I'm talking about. Last year I went to the funeral of my beloved grandfather, who was a Lutheran. I was looking forward to reminiscing with family and learning more about what he was like when he was young. Instead, the ENTIRE service focused around what a good Lutheran he was, and how great the church is, and how everyone should come to that church. I was furious because I came to honor MY GRANDFATHER, not to hear a 2-hour advert for the church. Even at the reception afterwards, the focus never came to the man himself, just to the rituals of burial and hymns and whatnot. I thought it was downright insulting. Then two weeks ago I went to my favorite cousin's wedding, and was treated to a long speech from the priest about how we were created man and woman, and only man and woman can love each other in that way, and marriage was made for man and woman, etc etc etc. I'm sorry, you can believe what you want to but I didn't come for a political speech, I came to celebrate my cousin and her new husband! The last time I went to my parents church, I was treated to a similar anti-gay speech, all wrapped up with a diatribe about how (seriously!) the muslims should be rounded up and removed from the country because it belongs to Christians, and totally bending it around Jesus's speech that branches that don't bear fruit should be removed. WTF!! It's got to where I just don't want to go to these things anymore.. but it's sad because I know people will take it personally if I don't want to go to their events.
  • Well i used to be that way you know I'm an Atheist so i should feel disgusted for the religious services but now I'm more open minded and i can go to any religious ceremony and i just don't pay attention the service itself i focus on the motive which is be there for the ones you love not for the religion.
  • I go for the people involved rather than the religious content. I tend to sit at the back because I don't want to draw attention to the fact that I don't join in with the prayers or hymns. At funerals I go to mourn the loss of a loved one. At christenings I go to celebrate a new life. At weddings I go to celebrate two peoples love for each other. For me its easier to deal with this way and everyone is happy that I made the effort to attend.
  • Generous doses of mood altering substances.
  • I stand back and say that the service is for them and not for me. I regard it as much the same as going to a sporting event in which I am not interested. It does no harm, other than waste a bit of time. Yes, I don't agree with them, but I respect their right to their own opinions and thus to their own service. I will observe all normal customs - wearing/not wearing hats, shoes etc, standing up or sitting down at appropriate moments, but not taking any active part in events.
  • It's all about your viewpoint- you can consider yourself to be an anthropologist, viewing another culture, like Goodall and the gorillas. How would you feel if you saw a Native American ceremony, or a Japanese ceremony, or an African ceremony? You should participate as a visitor participates: a bit at a distance, watching everything, be polite, stand when you are supposed to stand, sit when you are supposed to sit, and always keep in mind the most important thing -- There will be a buffet later. :)
  • I just learned to go along with what ever they want to do. If they want to say a pray before we sit down to eat I go along with it.
  • The ceramonies are about the people who have them, not the people who attend. You choose to go because of the people they are honoring, be it a wedding, baptisim, or funeral. You need to stop thinking that just because of your atheism you family is going to stop having thier beliefs. You need to also stop being so angry because of thier beliefs. The reson God and the church was mentioned so much at your grandfathers funeral was because he was of that faith, and it is customary for believers to look toward God for comfort in this time of loss. It was not meant to offend you personally, just because of you lack of faith. (Which there is nothing wrong with) At you cousins wedding God was brought up because many times people will credit God with finding love they feel will last a lifetime. The happy couple often times gets a lot on input on the tone of the ceremony, and maybe they wanted those points mentioned. Try not to think of any of these religious gathering as an attack against you. Try and take part as much as you are comfortable with. This may just mean being respectfuly silent, and sitting and standing with the crowd - and that is fine. After the ceremony is over and possibly after the religious venue has been vacated, hopefull you'll feel better communing with your family.
  • I don't go to religious ceremonies or practices unless it's a big event (such as marriage) and then, I just sit quietly.
  • Luckily I don't have to go to many of those things. I've only been to a few religous ceremonies in my life. All of the times, I just went, and did what they did, mostly, and just stood there when they bowed to pray. It's their ceremony not mine, so I didn't make it about me. But I didn't participate in things that don't pertain to me. If I go to a religious wedding, I'll probably just sit through it or just go to the reception only. It's their day, so why ruin it because of what *I* believe? (Not that YOU would, just saying).
  • Learn to accept and respect other people's beliefs.. Definately don't judge them for how they believe, try to understand that it is their territory. If they see that you are mature enough to respect their traditions and beliefs, they will be more likely to respect yours.
  • I've been to a lot of job presentations where I'm told by the boss that everything is really great because I'm about to get a piece of laminated paper as a substitute for something more substantial, like a raise or even a half day off. But I go anyway because it is expected of me. I've been to middle school concerts where one-third of the orchestra didn't practice enough, resulting in frequent mistakes which are jarring to the ears. But I go anyway because my friends and family want me to see their children play music. I've been to high school plays where at least one actor didn't know all his lines and/or didn't project his voice enough to be heard in the auditorium. But I went anyway because my nephew wanted everyone to see his friends perform a play. I think about these sorts of events, events which I have to attend to please people I love and care about. Then I compare them to the intricately choreographed christenings, weddings, and funerals they also ask me to attend. I realize quite quickly that christenings, weddings, and funerals should be savored as one of the few events a family with children will ask you to attend which you might actually enjoy (and certainly relative to the other events you will enjoy them more). And unlike the other three events mentioned above, christenings, weddings, and funerals are often accompanied by free food. Everyone wins.
  • I am not an Athiest... I am Pagan; however I do have an opinion on this... if you do not mind it. Preaching gives me intense migranes, it always has. Gospel music only adds to it... it is horrible to me, it makes me feel sick in the pit of my stomach. The whole ceremony disgusts me beyond just mental, I get physically ill. ...........So, why bother with it, after all, they don't do my ceremonies, they don't accept my religion fully. ... I feel alienated quite often...... So, why bother and how to put up with it? 1. Remember I am there for those whom I love; not for their spiritual choices 2. Remember we are all climbing the same mountain, we just have different ways of getting there. 3. Hold my tongue. A little tact will go a long way. 4. Remember that tolerance is a little-known concept to this world and you are contributing to it's existance by merely bieng there. 5. Know for myself that I know, to me, what the truth is.... and they have thier truth as well. 6. look out for lightning bolts... lol :) 7. Keep in mind the name of a curch near your home. If approached about joining the church or about religious affiliation... tell them you are already a member there. It may be dishonest, but I find this works best. If you tell them you don't believe or tell them you are anything other than that which they are.... they tend to follow you around or harrass you about joining thier church. (In my experience.... this happened to me at a friend's wedding.) 8. Daydream ... just don't fall asleep 9. Remember that the event will eventually come to an end. Family is forever. 10. Bring headache medicine... you will need it. Grin and bear it.... perhaps if we tolerate their strange ceremonies.... one day when we have a happy day.... they will honor our practices. You could always hold it over their head that you put up with it for them.... lmao j/k
  • I am Agnostic and my son is going to be christened in November. It is so normal here that the local church contacts you, not the other way around! Anyway, to make matters worse the ceremony is going to be in a language I am not fluent in! Anyway, the way I am going to deal with this is to just think "its only an hour". Time will pass soon enough. The dinner afterwards will just be thought of as a little party in thehonour of my son! Also, allways remember.. THE iPOD IS YOUR FRIEND!
  • You just suck it up and remember that you're there not to worship god, but to honour the one's involved and to be with your family.
  • ah, athiest. i dont discriminate at all towards them, but i do pray for you all. it must be hard living your life not knowing christ. knowing that you're going to hell if you don't become closer to him. he died for you ya know. but hey. my belief.
  • I usually only go to the big things (Wedding, funerals and such) Sometimes I have to remember that the real reason I'm there is to celebrate people, and everybody has a different way of doing so.
  • Stand back and recognise that such ceremonies are a human constant, but that each culture gilds the ceremonies with its own fake gold. The celebrations of birth, marriage and deaths are a central to human society. Join in. Pas as little attention as custom will allow to the flatulent words and meaningless ceremonies, but meet and enjoy the newly arrived or married, and console the newly bereaved. See it as a human ceremony with religious tinsel, not a religious ceremony.
  • I am supportive of my family with occasions that are important to them. I don't pray when they pray, but I sit quietly while they do what they have to do. It's all about give and take. I give them my patience and they take it thinking that saying a prayer for me will eventually bring me back into the fold... of madness. Atheist for life.
  • Simple, turn up wearing all black with 20 drunk mates in tow. Very quickly they will come around to your way of seeing things, or failing that, get trampled in the mosh pit
  • I don't let it bother me, it means nothing. If they want me there, and If I want to go or can even make it, I go. Some of them are scared to be near me, but I have no fear of what other's beliefs are at all. Other than the things people do in the name of god sometimes, which makes me sick!

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