Atheist in Church 6, Wedding Edition
I get a blog here too?! I have 106 blogs, usually very long in length, on myspace. My myspace blog is at http://blog.myspace.com/aven_phoenix , by the way.
I guess I should post some of them here... Maybe... Well, here's my lattest one as of... Now.
I have an "Atheist in Church" series. Here is episode 6, the Wedding edition.
Atheist in Church 6! At least... I think it's 6... Let me check. Yep, it's 6.
Atheist in Church 6! The wedding edition series addition.
So I filed for today off from work. My employer gave it to me. Good, because today was my cousin's wedding. Now, I know most of you picture cousins are being around the same age, but not for me. All my cousins are much older than me. I just (and I mean just) turned 18 and my cousin Erik is getting married four days later. And we are careful with who we marry in my family.
About my family: I don't think we have a single divorce in it. I mean I expect we may, but I don't know of it - and my family is pretty close (and pretty big). Oddly enough, my family is the perfect stereotypical American dream family. My parents have never divorced, they had my younger brother and I... decent jobs, great homes, good cars... all the home luxuries... We've all never taken drugs, no one has a horrible sickness or disease, no one has a drinking or smoking problem, and we have these huge family reunions every thanksgiving, Christmas, wedding, or any other excuse we can find to have one. All our grandparents, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces - everyone comes baring potato salad and coolers filled with pops... Yatta yatta yatta. My two grandmas are nicknamed (by me when I was tiny, actually), Grandma Cookie (because she always bakes everyone cookies) and Grandma Kitty (because she has a million cats in her house). My Aunts are middle aged, kinda large ladies who really want to hug you and talk about your growth when they see you. My cousins love cars and music, and we play board and video games. We're the familiest of families. It is so damn stereotypical. So I hope you got the impression down.
So my cousin was getting married and we all flock down to a church. Yep, that's why this is an "Atheist in Church" blog.
Now, my cousin is the groom, Erik. The bride's family, however, is the one who chose the preacher and the church and a lot of the way the wedding would go down. And as it turned out, the way it would go down would be highly religious. I mean - more than other weddings I've seen. They said "Jesus" more than they said... Well... Anything. At a moment when they were reflecting on the life of the bride, they were talking about funny things that happened on their "missionary" trips. And the wife's brother was the apprentice preacher at the church; he did some of the Bible reading. The family had all these missionary and church stories - they're pretty much the cream of the crop for religious nuts. Other than that, they seemed alright, though.
Anyways, I'll start from the beginning. I was born--
Okay, too far back...
We got out of the car at the church after a long road trip. I was reluctant to tear myself away from my game boy, however. I really love Dragon Warrior III. It has so much... Character and party customization, and so much to do, for such an old game. How wild is that?! Pretty wild! I've beaten it twice. Whenever I play it I really feel like I know the people in my party, you know? It even lists their personality type!
Errrrmmm, sorry. But you can see how engrossed in the game I was. So I asked if I could bring it in. Nick and mom both screamed no at me, so I hid it and dragged myself in the church lobby behind them.
We didn't have to wait long for a man to come forward.
Man: "And are you with the bride or the groom?"
My fat ass brother couldn't help himself.
Nick: "Well, I was with the bride last night but I don't think you should tell anyone that... Cause then people will get all upset and blah blah blah, you know."
I hit him over the head and mother told the man we were with the groom, and we were lead down the isle to our seats on the right side. We got the third seat from the front! That's pretty good, considering how large the place was and how many people had to be crammed into it. The bride's family was almost as big as mine, too!
While we were waiting I could see them... Watching us. It was so silent and awkward in there, even more so with the enter group of strangers judging you. Nick wanted to joke around with me but mother kept yelling at him to shut up.
Mother: "We have to make a good impression, they're watching, can't you see?"
Even worse, the bride's brother sat down right next to us. He said he was going to speak when the ceremony started and so he was just sitting here momentarily. Nick wanted to crack some jokes, but the guy was right there, listening.
Me: "Who would want to marry Erik, anyways?"
Aunt Donna in front of me: "Shhh! The bride's brother is right there - careful what you say, don't ruin the day!"
The pastor comes up and tells everyone to please turn off their cell phones. People all around take out their phones are start turning them off.
Me, Out Load for Everyone to Hear: "That won't matter. Some idiot will leave their phone on anyways."
Mother: "Shhh!! Quiet!"
We didn't want bad impressions from our side of the family and I was starting to make them.
Then my bald Uncle, obviously not giving a shit about first impressions, turned around and said to mom and Larry:
Uncle Leon: "And contrary to popular belief, my head is not a chalk board for drawing on when board."
Larry: "Can we connect the dots?"
And everyone around starts laughing their asses off. The brother gets up and moves.
A while passes and finally the people all come down the isle, Erik, the three girls and three guys, the flower girl, and finally the bride. They get up there and quote after quote from the Bible is read. I was thinking, "Yeah, why don't you read some of the horrible ones like the wife must submit to the husband in everything." Then they actually did read that one...
Several prayers happened. It was kinda odd how they went to.
"Let us pray... Yatta yatta, Jesus, yatta yatta, union of three, Erik, Bethany, and Jesus, yatta, yatta... Amen."
Then immediately after that:
"Let us pray..."
We just did!
Arg, whatever. I thought it was funny they said that a string of three strands cannot be broken when a string of two strands can. That the third strand must be Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. Yeah, two strands aren't good enough, you need a third, made up one to make it strong. *Cough, bullshit, cough.*
But other than that, it was sweet. And to be fair, the stain glass windows weren't too bad.
Then there was the hopeless act of mass cannibalism. The body was passed around and feasted on, after dipping it in it's own blood. I'm talking, of course, about what we did to Jesus' body. The pastor had a bowl of little crackers that he held up and claimed to be the body of Christ, and a cup of some juice he claimed to be his blood. Don't you just love religion? After all, what's marriage without drinking blood? So he goes around, passing out these little crackers and people are dipping them in the glass...
My mother isn't ignorant. She's knows all about my brother and I.
Mother: "Just take the damn cracker and be silent."
Me: "Naw, that's okay."
Mother: "Damnit Sam, just take it, you don't have to eat it. Don't make a scene."
Samuel: "It won't make a scene, mom, you're making a scene."
Then the pastor gets to our side of the church:
Pastor: "Would you like to eat of the body of Christ?"
Uncle Leon: "No thanks, I had some Muhammad earlier."
Everyone around starts snickering.
Pastor: "How about you maam?"
Aunt Donna: "That's okay..."
Pastor: "You? Would you like the body of Christ?"
Larry: "It's a wheat thin."
Pastor: "It's, it's a--"
Larry: "It's a white cracker."
All my other relatives around shake their heads as well.
I turn grinning to my mother.
Mother: "...Damnit, Sam. Fine, I guess I'll just take one..."
And she goes up and gets her cracker, comes back around and sits back down.
Mother: "Someone from our side had to do that..."
The pastor turns and walks away. I make an observation out load.
Me: "Looks like someone's been snacking' a little too much on the body of Christ."
Everyone around starts snickering.
Mother: "Shhh, shut up!"
I never knew how much ass my family kicked.
The final part of the wedding, the vows, begin.
Erik and Bethony are repeating what the pastor is telling them to, when all of a sudden a cell phone goes off on the bride's side of the family. Everyone on my side laughs their asses off. I lean over to my mother and whisper.
Samuel: "I told you so."
Finally the ceremony ends, and they kiss, and we all file down the stairs. All the while I'm still thinking about the last joke I made, trying to think of a better way to phrase it. The under portion of the church is obviously full of food. There was eating and chatting and messing around, you know.
On one of the tables down stairs was a photo of Erik and Bethany in a forest. Signatures are all around the frame, saying "congratulations" and so on. Nick takes the pen and writes:
After I yell at him for a bit, I take the pen and sign it myself:
So when's the bachelor party?
Oh, wait-- Dangit!
--Samuel Thomas Poling
The newly weds finally come downstairs and everyone cheers. There is some dancing and finally we leave. Man, I hope I never get married. I still can't figure out the logical reason to. I can't see me loving at all, let alone standing up there smiling. Then dealing with all the "congratulations!" and other pointless small talks afterwards. Damnit, I hate small talk. Everyone will go up and congratulate me and expect me to say "yeah, thanks a lot," and many throw in a harmless quip or something --- ARG!
Just planning for the wedding with my fiancÃ? would be bad enough.
Me: "No, we don't need to waste money on a damn caterer! We can just buy and set up the food ourselves, and just as well! It'll be hundreds of times cheaper too."
Her: "But it's traditional to have a caterer!"
Me: "I don't give a shit what's traditional. Blood letting was traditional. Tradition says nothing to the validity of an idea. Argument ad antiquitem is a logical fallacy."
What woman in the right mind would even get that far in a relationship with me? No one could live with me, let alone go through a bloody wedding.
Pastor: "Repeat this vow after me, I, Samuel..."
Me: "I Samuel..."
Pastor: "Vow to love you and cherish you..."
Samuel: "Uh... I vow to love you and cherish you..."
Pastor: "To inspire and protect you..."
Samuel: "To... To inspire? I don't know if I vow to do that. I mean, I'll vow to try to do that once and a while, but I'm not going to always have a perfect poetic line to help her finish a haiku the second she asks me for one--"
Her: "Just say it, Sam!"
Hahahah. Love is so fallacious.
Samuel Thomas Poling: Blog 106, Atheist in Church 6, Wedding Edition