Aside

Atheists In Church

I once went to a wedding at a Greek Orthodox church. It ended up just being a religious ceremony with a nervous couple waking around in a bazillion circles in front of a priest for 90 minutes. I wasn’t bothered by it. (Though, 90 minutes in, they guy said he would cut the service short. REALLY, dude?!!!) I didn’t feel I was endorsing some kind of religious activity by going. I just wanted to see my friends get hitched and have some free wine.

As a rule, I stay as far away from church ceremonies as possible. Unless someone is getting married or has died, I’ve no use for the place. And even on special occasions, my episodic attendance could at best only be labeled a concession. I’ll attend such rituals to honor my friends and spend time with them. But I think it is well known I myself do not ascribe to such beliefs.

But is there some line in the sand to be drawn between times one would sit through a church gathering, and times one would not? For instance, a wedding is ceremony symbolic of two people’s shared love. But, a christening is ceremony symbolic of committing a helpless child to christ (a long dead being of questionable existence). I feel that is very coercive. I certainly do not endorse religious indoctrination of babies.

But I don’t know that I would refuse to attend a christening simply on principle. I’d have to take on each situation as it arose. What if I was asked to be a godmother? I wouldn’t want to abandon my friend’s child. I could certainly be a spiritual guide for a child, though maybe not in the sense a religious person might want.

Knowing this is the only life I get to enjoy, I plan to make the most of it. I don’t need to spend ridiculous quantity of my scant time on Earth inside of four walls praying to nothing. But I love spending my brief time with my friends and family. And if I have to go to a church every once-in-a-while to be in on the party, I’ll do it.

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2 responses to “Atheists In Church

  1. moine (@moinedeisme)

    Yes, there are times one puts up with the unpalatable for the sake of family or friendships. My friends wife cant get over the fact I left xtian life 50 yrs ago and every chance she gets she asks me to pray in public settings. I don’t understand her motivation and haven’t confronted her about it for the sake of my friend and peace in general. My answer is always the same. “I’d prefer not to.” My position on religion is well known in the community. Occasionally I see heads shake. :)