Archive for June 18th, 2012

Why you shouldn’t be offended

Posted on June 18, 2012. Filed under: Atheism, Atheist Ethics, Personal, Religion, Social Justice |

So as promised, I’m blogging my impressions of my brother’s wedding to a wonderful Muslim girl- which happened this weekend.  This event will be followed by their coming reception on July 2nd.

My post has taken a different turn though.  Things did not go as expected.

My wife and I dropped off our middle three kids with relatives and headed down on Friday afternoon to attend the wedding that was scheduled for Saturday.  As you can imagine- when you have five children- we had to make several concessions in order to make this trip

Who has two thumbs and is about to politely tolerate misogyny? This guy.

happen.  My second had a birthday party to attend (he doesn’t get invited to many of them- it was a big deal)- my wife and I had to watch him cry when we told him he couldn’t go.  For the last several years, my wife has spent Father’s Day weekend with her dad- golfing one day and going fishing the next.  Ahh, but it’s my brother’s wedding- and things like this are important.

So off we went with oldest and youngest to make it down for the barbeque Friday night with family to celebrate the coming wedding.  Friday was great. I finally got to see my Aunt and Uncle’s new house, it was great seeing cousins and my brother and his bride-to-be.  Everything was planned for Saturday, we would all meet at the Mosque and share in a nice ceremony and a different culture together.

Saturday morning- and the bride calls to let us know that women will not be allowed to attend the ceremony at the Mosque.  When I say “women”, I mean all of them- bride included.  Now the dynamic changes.  My wife is mad- and rightfully so.  She thought she was making all these special plans in order to go to a wedding.  Now she is told that her vagina disqualifies her as a guest at the wedding.  I’m mad- I can’t believe that anyone would be okay with telling women they are not important enough to be included in a wedding.  My Mom is here, and she is finding out that she will not be attending her son’s wedding.  She seems unfazed- my Mom always seems that way.

Any of you who follow me on Twitter (and, because the accounts are linked-Facebook) know how I dealt with the issue.  I live-Tweeted my personal ruminations on the visit to the Mosque.  The tweets were petty.  They were cheap shots.  They were purposely offensive:

Here they are in order so that you can read just how bad they were.

I’m sure that people are offended.  That’s good.  They should be.  They should be offended that my wife and my mother were forbidden from being at my brother’s wedding.  They should be offended that people think that this is okay.  They should be offended that some cultures think women are so unimportant that not even the bride needs to be at a wedding ceremony.

The problem is that those who so far seem offended (save a few- shout out to Nelson!) are offended because I dared disparage Islam on my Brother’s wedding day.  How dare I ruin their special day! How dare I make a scene by doing this on their wedding day!

I guess nobody cares to ask “How dare they treat women that way?”

So my actions- grounded in my deeply held beliefs- made family and friends uncomfortable and offended.

What is the lesson I’m supposed to learn about my bad behavior?

I assume it is that decent people don’t let their deeply held beliefs ruin a moment by making friends and family uncomfortable and offended.

To that I would say


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