I protested about my friends wedding
I've been an atheist for most of my life, starting from when I was around 12 or 13 (I'm now 35). Before then I did not know what to believe and really didn't have enough information at hand to make an informed decision. My parents seperated when I was around 4 years old and I stayed with my mother. My father eventually became a seventh day adventist and because my brother and I spent the weekend every fortnight with him we attended church with him. Eventually when we were old enough we had the choice to continue going to church or not, both my parents gave me that choice. I've been very thankful all these years that both of my parents have always respected my choices in life, and my father totally respects my choice to be an atheist. Religious conversations between him and I have been very enlightening to say the least.
Anyway I met my friend when I first started high school and on the first day, I was 12 years old. So we have known each other now for 23 years and we regard each other as brothers. Our friendship bond is very strong. About 13 years ago he married a lovely woman who I get along with very well and they have 2 amazing daughters. The wife is of greek descent and her parents are Greek Orthodox. The marriage was done in secret because the parents would not approve of a marriage between their daughter and a non-religious Aussie male
Fast rewind to last year, they announced to me that they are getting remarried but under the Greek Orthodox faith and that both of their daughters will be baptized. Naturally I was invited to the ceremonies, however I refused.
I refused because they weren't getting remarried for themselves, they were getting remarried and the children baptized because her parents demanded it. To me this was wrong, very very wrong. My decision caused some distress for them but they did respect it and they did understand it. I did however attend the wedding in the capacity of the photographer and wore normal every day clothes (her parents were not impressed
Now rewind a bit more to around 6 months before the wedding. I was having car troubles and managed to limp my car into the carpark of a church. The doors were open so I went up to them to see if I could get any assistance, I think I needed some water to fill up my radiator. The father/pastor and the other man with him both indicated to me that they could not speak english so were unable to help me. I thanked them both and went back to my car.
The church where I broke down also happened to be the exact same church my friends got married at, much to my surprise. Even more surprising was that the father/pastor in attendance and the man with him were the same men I spoke too when asking for help in regards to my car. The thing that really made my jaw drop about the whole thing was that they both spoke perfect english!!
So we have two men who lied about their language skills (a sin), marrying a couple under what I deem to be false pretences (another sin)! To me that is just plain wrong and I see these types of things happening in church after church after church and it's perfectly acceptable by the religious community at large. If you are going to believe in a god and follow his teachings and his morals to do good then at least do it properly and consistently. It's not a part way choice, either you are all in or all out. If you aren't all in then you are deceiving yourself and should not be a theist.
On another encounter with a different church group, I met a really nice woman who I got along really well with who was not attending church. However because of problems in her life she decided to start following the faith for salvation (real disappointing to me) and that's when she started to go real funny. She did relay to me at one stage something that a group of males (around 20-25) that attended the same church told her. They said that it was wrong to have sex before marriage. That's fine with me, if people don't want to have sex before marriage they can do so. I have no problem with it. It's the next part that she mentioned they said that floored me 'But it's perfectly ok to masturbate to porno movies'.
: Freedom - The opportunity to have responsibility.
: Liberty is about protecting the right of others to disagree with you.