This will be my first post on the site and I'm looking for some advice.
Me and my current girlfriend are having a baby and have decided to do so without being married. We are happy and that's all that matters to us. I am an atheist and she is Catholic and comes from a family that is very involved in their religion. I love her very much and respect her choices in life as she respects mine. We are both very aware of each others beliefs, with that we have talked about getting married eventually.
She has looked down the road many times and explained to me what she has always wanted, a traditional catholic wedding. Now from my understandings that means I must be approved and accepted into their religion ( Accepting Christ and all that he is ) to be a part of this ceremony. Like I stated before, I love the girl and she is a huge part of my life. I want her to have everything that she desires, but this one causes some issues. It's a ways down the road but I figured i would start getting some input on it now.
When looking to my options I run across a few personal and moral dilemmas. ( What's that you say? Atheists have morals? Why yes.... They do. haha) Do I tell her she can't have the wedding she wants and cause a rift in our almost perfect (so far) relationship? Or, do i go along with it even though I don't believe, perform their ceremonies to make her happy and just put on the show for her and the rest of the family?
Now you may say, where is the dilemma? Well, being that i don't believe in a god but i do believe in being a good person, I don't want to outright deceive people. That's not who I am. I don't believe in what they believe in and I'm absolutely positive I will not have fire and brimstone rained upon me because I said i believed so that she can have the day of her dreams. Overall I know it's a decision I have to make but i just wanted to have some advice or see if there was anyone else out here that had faced a similar situation.
Thanks for reading and i look forward to the advice.
In this thread I also see something else. I see many of us not being able to really embrace who we are. There still is a level of guilt and position of subservience to Theism. I in my life go to visit family and say nothing about my Atheism. I come from a evangelical family and we have very strong discussions in which I pose many questions and challenges yet never proclaiming my atheism. They think I am just doing an intellectual exercise. I say let them think it. I won't pray over dinner. I just say, "Let so and so do it." I do not bow my head or anything like that. I just stand in silence. I have never been directly questioned on my position and I leave it like that. I explain to my children why I do this. Having said this, I did not baptize my children into some church, I did not make them go to church. In fact their maternal grandmother wanted to have them baptized and I that I told her no.She also used to ask them to go and I told them they didn't have to if they didn't want to. Now they are both in their 20's and are atheists. I never taught them to be atheists.
I agree that atheists are limited in how vocal they can be about their beliefs. My own background, being brought up without any real reference to god, is a little different. I don't have any guilt or feeling of subservience (although the reality of the real life subservience is there).
What I do know is that I have had a knife (literally) at my throat for being an atheist. I also have many many verbal fights under my belt for letting anyone know my position. Eventually I learned that shutting up in public was the better part of valor as theists feel vindicated and even obligated to bring you to christ........dead or alive.