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Specifically Excluding Religion Politely?

My fiance is pretty violently opposed to religion (he's been burned in the past and has also had major surgeries that make him opposed to the idea of a god) and wants to make sure that there is nothing at the wedding that will trigger him. I want him to be happy and not upset on our wedding day and I am rather ambivalent about religion so this is fine with me. Is there a polite way of asking people to refrain from giving religious words of encouragement (i.e. God has truly blessed you) or openly wearing religious symbols? We also have people from multiple religions attending so we don't want it to be a big issue.
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Re: Specifically Excluding Religion Politely?

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    LitLover said:

    My fiance is pretty violently opposed to religion (he's been burned in the past and has also had major surgeries that make him opposed to the idea of a god) and wants to make sure that there is nothing at the wedding that will trigger him. I want him to be happy and not upset on our wedding day and I am rather ambivalent about religion so this is fine with me. Is there a polite way of asking people to refrain from giving religious words of encouragement (i.e. God has truly blessed you) or openly wearing religious symbols? We also have people from multiple religions attending so we don't want it to be a big issue.

    You two can omit religion from your ceremony and you can talk about your beliefs with others. You can't control what people wear or say. The people I know who wear crosses or other religious symbols as pendants often do so in a daily basis. If you told me not to do this, you'd be asking others to deny who they are. It's really rude and controlling.
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    Are you afraid of certain relatives who may be religious making these statements?  Can you just have a super small wedding/reception with immediate family and close friends?  The chances of someone saying something religious would go down because I'm sure they all know how your FI feels about religion.

    I also agree with NOLA, it's odd how your FI gets triggered when someone makes a religious statement of some kind.
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    I agree with PPs that he may need some help. It sounds like he's been through a lot, but avoiding religious expression his whole life is going to be tough.

    It might not be that bad-I am religious but have many atheist friends and family members, some passionately so. I would never tell one of them "you're in my prayers" when trying to comfort them, for example. I would say "you're in my thoughts." If your wedding is small and people know your FI's beliefs, they may behave similarly. However, if I was warned ahead of time not to mention religion or wear a cross necklace to a wedding, I'd be pretty put off.
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    I am also curious how your fiance handles this issue on a daily basis. Does he explode when people in regular life mention God, etc?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    I am more concerned about the OP.

    You are marrying a man who has VIOLENT tendencies? One whose violent tendencies can be triggered by something like another person wearing a necklace with a religious symbol or hearing "God bless you"?

    Normally, I wouldn't suggest that someone is making a poor choice in their mate, but when it comes to violence, I have to speak up. A guy who has violent tendencies and a hair-trigger temper in one area can get worse with time. The mere fact that you are even considering asking your wedding guests to leave their own personal religious jewelry at home to avoid "triggering" him worries me.

    Please, please, think about this. Find someone you trust and discuss it with that person, in confidence.
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    We're atheists. We had a completely secular ceremony with no religious language. We're both about as atheist as you can get. A few cards had religious wording, we just shrugged it off. It didn't come from a malicious intent, our families are both religious and just assume everyone else is.

    Just like any gift, you accept people's well wishes, however they are phrased, with a smile and thank you. And you move on. If your FI has trouble with that he needs to seek out help.
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    Are you aware of how completely ridiculous this is?  What you are asking is the equivalent of a catholic couple demanding that all guests wear crosses and take communion, regardless of their religious affiliation.  You cannot ask people to do this.  

    Agreed with PPs.  If your FI is so bothered about religion that he's actually prone to violent reaction, he needs to get some help.  I can't imagine how he is capable of getting by in day to day life with the number of religious people and religious symbols around.  Or are you just being overly dramatic?  
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    We had a non religious wedding and everyone invited knew it wasn't going to be religious.  We did have one set of guests get us a religious card, with money in it, and sign our "guestbook" project from my husband's mother with overly religious sayings and such, but it is because they are strongly opposed to people who don't follow their god.  Then again knowing it was a more casual wedding they showed up in work out gear, while everyone else was dressed on the more business casual side
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    WeeshWeesh member
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    daria24 said:
    We're atheists. We had a completely secular ceremony with no religious language. We're both about as atheist as you can get. A few cards had religious wording, we just shrugged it off. It didn't come from a malicious intent, our families are both religious and just assume everyone else is. Just like any gift, you accept people's well wishes, however they are phrased, with a smile and thank you. And you move on. If your FI has trouble with that he needs to seek out help.

    We plan on having a secular ceremony also, much to the chagrin of my FMIL who is very religious.  That being said, I plan on repeating the phrase "Thank you so much for your (ideas, thoughts, suggestions, etc.) but this is what we've chosen.  And then I'm bean dipping and getting out of the conversation.

    I know that we will receive (and have already received) numerous cards from my F's side of the family that will be religious, and I plan on graciously accepting them the same way I would any other card.  It's the thought that counts, and how they plan to express it to you shouldn't set your fiance into a rage.  I agree, seeking help or talking to someone about those feelings might be helpful.

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    Totally agree with PP.  

    It's also perhaps worth noting that if your guests know you well, they are likely to omit religious well wishes anyway (for example, when I bridesmaided for an atheist couple I gave my best wishes/congratulations whereas two Christian friends I prayed for as well as mentioning God in my greeting).

    Either way, I would have been mortified if either couple had tried to dictate to me what was appropriate.  Most adults will get it, and if they don't, smiling and moving on seems best - if this is something your FI is going to struggle with then the issue clearly is still causing him a lot of trauma, poor thing, and some sort of help is probably advisable to aid him.

    Just my 2 cents, of course.

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    SKPMSKPM member
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    I wondered if she was actually looking for the word "vehemently". If he isn't literally violent, it would make more sense. If he is literally violent, then ditto Barb and Stage 100 percent.

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
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    Are you aware of how completely ridiculous this is?  What you are asking is the equivalent of a catholic couple demanding that all guests wear crosses and take communion, regardless of their religious affiliation.  You cannot ask people to do this.  

    Agreed with PPs.  If your FI is so bothered about religion that he's actually prone to violent reaction, he needs to get some help.  I can't imagine how he is capable of getting by in day to day life with the number of religious people and religious symbols around.  Or are you just being overly dramatic?  

    This is exactly what I was thinking.  My FI and I are very devout Christians and our ceremony will reflect that; however, we would never ask anyone to use religious language, participate in religious rituals, or wear religious items.  You telling people NOT to do this things is exactly the same.  Do you realize that you telling people NOT to use religious words and wear religious items is akin to them telling you you MUST do that?  Bizarre.  I have a very small bracelet with a small silver cross on it that I have not taken off in over 2 years.  For me, it is a sign of something I have overcome in my life and means a great deal.  Should I have to take that off because a small flick of a cross in your FI's sight will set him into a violent fit?  If I knew these details, no matter how much I cared for you, I'm not sure I would willingly put myself in a potentially dangerous situation to attend. 

    I know a decent amount about PTSD and therapy as I have dealt with them on a personal level and the things you have said are very concerning.  It is not my place to tell you what to do with you personal life, but your post has honestly disturbed me and I wish nothing but the best for you.  
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    OP, my sister is MILITANT athiest.  If you get a little alcohol in her, she will wax eloquent on the nothingness that awaits us after death.  For hours. 

    She was the MOH in my wedding.  My wedding had a sermon and several prayers.  THIS is how she dealt with it:

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    That is how you respectfully handle other people's religious choices.  You keep your opinions to yourself for a few freaking minutes, and then go on your merry way.  

    You know the best part?  I'm not Christian.  My H's family is though, and my H wanted prayers at the wedding.  You know what the respectful/sane thing was for me to do?  What I'm doing in that photo.  
    @Pele, just had to say this is a beautiful picture and beautifully explains your point.  Doesn't even scream "praying!" to me, just looks like everyone is taking a moment to reflect on your beautiful union...thank you for sharing! 
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    @Pele, just had to say this is a beautiful picture and beautifully explains your point.  Doesn't even scream "praying!" to me, just looks like everyone is taking a moment to reflect on your beautiful union...thank you for sharing! 
    Thanks!  My family is non-religious while H's family is very religious.  Everyone is respectful and polite though, so we were able to have a pleasant and wonderful day despite having different opinions.  
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    phiraphira member
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    My partner and I are both atheists, although we originally came from different faiths (his family is still somewhat Catholic, and I still consider myself Jewish). We're incorporating some traditions in our wedding, but we are both completely adamant that our ceremony wording (and our ketubah wording) be free of any references to god. I'd like to include some sort of wording emphasizing that marriage is a civil institution, or some way of emphasizing the lack of god-talk, but we're worried about making some of my partner's family uncomfortable.

    And that's it. If someone says something nice to us to congratulate us, then we will just smile politely and say thank you. If we get a religious-talky card, we'll just smile, roll our eyes a little, and write a thank you note. The end. OP, if your fiance is THIS UPSET ALL THE TIME about any reference to religion, he needs to get therapy and you might want to consider secretly eloping at the courthouse.

    I'd like to add, though--atheism is not a belief system or another kind of faith. It's a lack of belief/lack of faith. I do agree that the bottom line is that we need to be respectful of each other, but atheism ain't a religion. Semantics? Probably.
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    loca4pookloca4pook member
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    edited July 2013
    LitLover said:
    My fiance is pretty violently opposed to religion (he's been burned in the past and has also had major surgeries that make him opposed to the idea of a god) and wants to make sure that there is nothing at the wedding that will trigger him. I want him to be happy and not upset on our wedding day and I am rather ambivalent about religion so this is fine with me. Is there a polite way of asking people to refrain from giving religious words of encouragement (i.e. God has truly blessed you) or openly wearing religious symbols? We also have people from multiple religions attending so we don't want it to be a big issue.

    No, it would be rude. You can't tell them NOT to believe, anymore than they can force you to believe. By doing so, you will alienate people. I would just leave it alone. If they say anything, just know that's their version of being happy for you. INo harm, no foul.

    If your husband is THAT anti-religion that someone saying "god bless you" is a "trigger" due to surgeries, perhaps therapy is needed. Most atheists just blow comments off because they know it's no big deal. This seems extreme to me that nobody can acknowledge the existance of a religion without ruining his whole night and triggering him...

    To me, that seems like soemthing worthy of HIM receiving therapy. I am not saying his "atheist" issue requires therapy. He is allowed to believe that, but it's the whole "trigger" and "violently" opposed and his whole night being ruined by the sight of a cross that SCREAMS "I need therapy" actually

     

    Most atheitst ignore crosses since they don't believe in them..If something is meaningless to you, you don't even pay attention

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    There's no polite way to do this. Has your FI sought therapy? I am an atheist so don't take this the wrong way, but it's really really weird for someone to get "triggered" by mention of religion or offended when it's brought up in passing. I mean, if he doesn't believe in any of it then it's just a word like any other.

    That is EXACTLY what I was thinking...Based on the "surgery" comment I agree..something happened and perhaps it's a psychological issue, not just a personal preference
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    LitLover said:
    My fiance is pretty violently opposed to religion (he's been burned in the past and has also had major surgeries that make him opposed to the idea of a god) and wants to make sure that there is nothing at the wedding that will trigger him. I want him to be happy and not upset on our wedding day and I am rather ambivalent about religion so this is fine with me. Is there a polite way of asking people to refrain from giving religious words of encouragement (i.e. God has truly blessed you) or openly wearing religious symbols? We also have people from multiple religions attending so we don't want it to be a big issue.


    I know OP isn't coming back, but I'd love to know how surgery turns one against religion.

    And religious symbols trigger violent tendencies? So does he alter his routes everywhere so he never drives past a church? What if he's driving on the freeway and sees a cross somebody put in the median to remember a loved one who died in a horrific crash in that spot? Does he pull over and start beating the steering wheel and kicking windows out of the car?

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    There's no polite way to do something so incredibly rude and offensive. He has his beliefs, your guests have theirs.

    The fact that it sounds like he has an absolute meltdown over what other people choose to believe has me concerned. Your FI needs to get the help to get past whatever his issue is, because not everyone believes what he believes, and it's beyond irrational to expect everyone in the world to bend around his feelings on the matter, just so they aren't caught in the awkward situation of him freaking out over something so harmless.

    If he refuses to get any kind of help, or at the very least, refuses to even put on a polite and rational "front" around other people that might accidentally "trigger" him, you might want to re-think jumping into a marriage with him right now. As ambivalent as you are about religion, are sure you're okay with running the risk of him essentially making an ass out of himself in public (And yes, I don't care what his reasons are, flipping out over people saying things like "God Bless You" or wearing a crucifix is making an ass out of yourself) for "as long as you bother shall live"? 

    It may be heartless, but personally, if my s/o was set off by even the slightest mention of God and refused to do anything to work on it, there's no way in hell I'd be walking down the aisle.

    *I felt sorry for my husband before I met him. Take a number.*
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    BMoreBride6BMoreBride6 member
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    edited July 2013
    this was nothing to do with anything, but @RamonaFlowers your siggie cracks me up...haveyou seen this?

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    BMoreBride6BMoreBride6 member
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    edited July 2013
    Double Post sorry...
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    phiraphira member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    My partner and I are both atheists, although we originally came from different faiths (his family is still somewhat Catholic, and I still consider myself Jewish). We're incorporating some traditions in our wedding, but we are both completely adamant that our ceremony wording (and our ketubah wording) be free of any references to god. I'd like to include some sort of wording emphasizing that marriage is a civil institution, or some way of emphasizing the lack of god-talk, but we're worried about making some of my partner's family uncomfortable.

    And that's it. If someone says something nice to us to congratulate us, then we will just smile politely and say thank you. If we get a religious-talky card, we'll just smile, roll our eyes a little, and write a thank you note. The end. OP, if your fiance is THIS UPSET ALL THE TIME about any reference to religion, he needs to get therapy and you might want to consider secretly eloping at the courthouse.

    I'd like to add, though--atheism is not a belief system or another kind of faith. It's a lack of belief/lack of faith. I do agree that the bottom line is that we need to be respectful of each other, but atheism ain't a religion. Semantics? Probably.
    Well, if you really want to get into semantics, it isn't a religion, but it IS a belief. Contrary to the Christian adoption of phrases like "believer" and "non-believer", belief is not in any way synonymous with religion. Thinking there is one God, many gods, or no god are all beliefs.
    It's more of a lack of belief. It's kind of hard to explain. It's like how, since I was raised Jewish, I never believed in an afterlife. It's not as if I was taught, "There is no afterlife." It just never ever came up. It was a non-issue.

    I do agree with you, though--it's not an organized religion of any kind.
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    Wow...just wow @OP

    If I knew a couple was atheist, I'd certainly tone the religious talk down a bit.  I might still say something like, "Hope you have a blessed marriage" or something, but I wouldn't say, "May the Lord Jesus bless your marriage yada yada."

    I'm really wondering if this guy gives people who wish him "Merry Christmas" the stink-eye or something.  I agree completely that it sounds like this guy needs a little help.  People are free to believe or not believe whatever they want, for whatever reason.  But your beliefs shouldn't be based in some deep psychological pain that causes you outbursts.  Whatever your beliefs are, be secure enough in them so that you're not bothered by others.

    On my wedding day, I probably would not have even noticed if someone had "Hail Satan" on their shirt.  

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