Ask Richard: Parents Pressure Atheist to Persuade Her Sister to Have a Catholic Wedding

Note: Letter writers’ names are changed to protect their privacy.

Hi Richard,

I’ve never actually come out and told my family that I’m an atheist, but it’s something of a poorly kept secret. They certainly know that I’m no longer a Catholic as I was raised, as I’ve refused to have my daughter baptized. But now my parents have decided that it is my lack of faith that has pulled my sister away from the Church, and now that my sister and her fiancé have set a wedding date, this has become an issue that must be immediately remedied.

Both my parents have separately taken me aside and “requested” in the strongest possible terms that I try to persuade my sister to have a Catholic wedding. She doesn’t want to have a Catholic wedding, her fiancé doesn’t want a Catholic wedding, and I think that should be the end of the matter. But my parents want them to have a Catholic wedding, and his parents want a Catholic wedding, so somehow that’s my problem? I would try to talk to the parents about it, but frankly, I’ve never been able to have a rational and reasonable conversation with my parents.

I’m tempted to just stay away from my parents for a while until they cool down, but there are two things that make me hesitant to cut them off. First is my daughter, she spends a day with them every week, and they are wonderful to her, and everyone would be truly crushed if they didn’t get to spend the day together. The second is that I don’t want my little sister to feel that I have abandoned her. She and her fiancé are capable of standing up for each other, and have been more honest with their parents than I have, even though they are much younger, and I don’t want them to feel that they have to make this stand alone.

So I guess my question is, do I just walk away from the situation and hope things calm down? Or do I allow myself to get dragged into this drama and actively try to keep everyone calm in what appears to be a hopeless situation?

Sandra

Dear Sandra,

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Apparently, Women Love It When You Begin a Date by Saying a Prayer

Guys, want some advice?

Begin each of your dates with a prayer. It’ll make the ladies swoon.

At least that’s what I took away from this clip from an old teen dating forum featuring Christian apologist Josh McDowell.



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Campaigner Against Fifty Shades Movie Claims That S&M Games Are “Brutality” — “No Woman Wants That”

It always amazes me that busybodies like Ohio activist Lynn Stevens don’t simply say “Thanks, that’s not for me.” Instead, their goody-goody view seems to be, “I don’t like it, and other people shouldn’t either.”

Lynn Stevens has been watching in horror as her friends make plans to see Fifty Shades of Grey, a film that tells the story of a recent college graduate involved with a man who introduces her to sadomasochism. “My stance is empowering women, not overpowering women,” said Stevens, who directs We Are Cherished Ohio, a group that takes the Christian message to women who work in the sex industry.

The film… “glamorizes and glorifies domestic violence” and creates a romantic image of a man who abuses and manipulates women, she said. “And that’s not a love story in any sense of the word.”

It certainly can be to people of either gender who safely and consensually engage in dominance and submission.

By the way, have you ever heard of BDSM aficionados visiting churches or prayer groups, trying to convert people away from plain-vanilla sex? Me neither. Why does this type of meddling only work one way? Why is it OK for Stevens and her posse to do what they would find offensive if it were done to them?



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How About Some Godless Pickup Lines for Valentine’s Day?

Jaclyn Glenn offers some atheistic pick-up lines that are guaranteed to impress that special someone… or keep you single forever. I can’t remember which one.



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Check Out This Trailer for a Fascinating Documentary About How Evangelical Christians Deal with Sex

If I asked you to describe evangelical Christianity, “sex-negative” would undoubtedly be near the top of the list. The culture that embraces purity rings, and abstinence-only sex education, and compares women who have fooled around to a glass of spit-up food that no one would want to drink has warped a lot of people’s minds about what constitutes healthy, safe sex.

A few years ago, I posted about a Kickstarter campaign for a movie all about the relationship between Christianity and sex.

That movie — Give Me Sex Jesus — is finally premiering later this month (at least a version of the final film, anyway) and will hopefully be available to view online soon.

Check out this trailer:



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