Would you attend church as an atheist?

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caracharlotte
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So, it's Christmas eve tomorrow and coming from a religious background my mum wants us to go to mass. Being an atheist this is of course against my beliefs, however my mum has guilt tripped me into agreeing to attend, for example: "oh, but it could be Grandma's last christmas and it would break her heart if you didn't come to church."

Now i'm feeling like I need to go as I have agreed, and I will feel bad if I don't, but I'm really conflicted as I don't particularly want to be in a room where people are worshiping "a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

As an atheist would you go to church to please your family, or refuse in order to stay true to your beliefs?
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Jamie S
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(Original post by caracharlotte)
So, it's Christmas eve tomorrow and coming from a religious background my mum wants us to go to mass. Being an atheist this is of course against my beliefs, however my mum has guilt tripped me into agreeing to attend, for example: "oh, but it could be Grandma's last christmas and it would break her heart if you didn't come to church."

Now i'm feeling like I need to go as I have agreed, and I will feel bad if I don't, but I'm really conflicted as I don't particularly want to be in a room where people are worshiping "a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

As an atheist would you go to church to please your family, or refuse in order to stay true to your beliefs?
Yes, I find it interesting to see that kind of culture and why people follow it indefinitely. Also because I love having debates against religious people - muy funny
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SophieSmall
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I used to attend church with a friend despite being an atheist.

Just because you're there does not mean you have to agree with what they're saying or even respect the scripture, so long as you are respectful and considerate to the people around you.

The scripture may be incredibly flawed, hateful and hypocritical but often the people there are not bad people because they cherry pick the pretty bits of the bible, so if you're worried about it being full of hateful people or that you're going to run into confrontation I wouldn't worry to much about it.
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Paracosm
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(Original post by caracharlotte)
So, it's Christmas eve tomorrow and coming from a religious background my mum wants us to go to mass. Being an atheist this is of course against my beliefs, however my mum has guilt tripped me into agreeing to attend, for example: "oh, but it could be Grandma's last christmas and it would break her heart if you didn't come to church."

Now i'm feeling like I need to go as I have agreed, and I will feel bad if I don't, but I'm really conflicted as I don't particularly want to be in a room where people are worshiping "a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."

As an atheist would you go to church to please your family, or refuse in order to stay true to your beliefs?
Hi OP,

This is a debate I've had before with my religious dad. I made the choice to not attend church. This isn't really due to my views on the establishment, which largely match yours… more so to do with the fact that I feel attending is disrespectful knowing my personal views on the Church. I wouldn't want to ruin anyone else's Christmas Eve with my constant sighing and eye rolling. Therefore, out of the respect of others I choose not to attend. The "grandma" thing is really quite manipulative and an awful thing to say. Your grandma will (I imagine) be with you for Christmas, so it's not like you won't see her.

Make use of your supposéd "god given right" to free will and make your own choice. At the end of the day, if you do have to go — just wait it out; as an ex-catholic it's not too bad!

Either way, enjoy your holiday!
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User008
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I am in the EXACT same position as you. Ugh, it sucks!
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BobbyFlay
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I went to Saudi Arabia as an atheist, secret Muslim at the time. I only went cause of the family, I have a pretty complex relationship with them so I suppose I didn't (still don't) have much of a choice.
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Philbert
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I went to nine lessons and Carols the other day, because because it's nostalgic and I enjoy seeing people from my village I don't see very often. I'm an agnostic atheist. To me, it's just someone reading from a story book in a pretty building and a nice sing-song with the fam (with free mulled wine and mince pie), but it gets me in the mood for Crimbo :snowm:
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Blondie987
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Well I'm agnostic and I would attend church if someone really wanted me to, it gives an important insight to the beliefs of others if nothing else. It's really not worth making a fuss imo though it's entirely up to you and how strongly you feel
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username1221160
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Yes, it is a local tradition to go to the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at our local cathedral while absolutely wasted regardless of your religious faith.
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Kvothe the Arcane
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Probably not. They make me extremely uncomfortable.
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lazurm
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Out of love and respect, and a lot of curiosity, I go with my girlfriend to Mass every week. I've decided, when there, to psych myself up to be a believer. Actually, it feels wonderful when I do that and it allows me to be more humble as I now realize the aspects of belief that are positive.
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robbo3045
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Going or not going, I'm sure it won't change much for you. You shouldn't feel pressured to go however to partake in something you feel is not you, or be put in an environment you feel uncomfortable with.

As a non-believer from an area and family linked to Christianity, sometimes have to attend church for funerals, baptisms, weddings etc. I go of course, but do would not get involved in the ritual, such as prayer, religious singing etc.

However, I personally wouldn't attend a mass, because for me that's something for the religiously minded. It's not an event where your support is needed i.e to support a friend or say goodbye to someone. It is purely a religious ritual.
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