My mother was raised Catholic. I'm not really sure what this means for her now, though. She's been out of a church building for years because she’s a misanthrope and she's never really exhibited the sort of behavior you'd expect from a Catholic woman except for it's notorious hallmarks. She's never really shared any of her beliefs regarding saints nor have we ever really had a discussion about her god, even when I was being groomed for the role of ‘Obedient Christian Daughter.’ No, the earmarks of her faith come out to me in areas related to social guilt and emotional debt. She married my father, a Protestant (gasp!), and yielded to raising me in his faith path. My extended family is and has always been intrinsically involved with the Christian Church. I was an acolyte from the day they trusted me to carry fire down the throat of the veneration chamber (It was a stomped-upon red-mahogany colored carpet surrounded by dirty wooden pews), and I would spend my Sunday afternoons running around the church like it was my personal playground since my grandmother, aunts, and uncles all additionally worked for the UCC in some shape or form. They were the administrators, the Sunday School teachers, the spaghetti supper throwers, and the Youth Group leaders. They still are, every Sunday, in a ritualistic clockwork that has served them far better than ever it did me.
I've been to my cousins weddings, every single one of them since they're older than I, and they were all gloriously sappy in gratitude to the Lord God Almighty (aka: Yahweh or ‘He who must not be named'), for the blessings brought to them on that day of merriment which were not being bestowed in third world countries to starving children….But nobody thinks about that at weddings, do they? It's about the champagne, the dancing, the self-deception.
I always took a personal issue with Christianity and its absence of clarity regarding same sex couples. It's one of the topics in the Bible that is selectively referred to when it suits the speaker. (See: Leviticus 18:22 and then see all of the weird ways people try to interpret this black-and-white commandment.) It felt wrong to marry the lady of my dreams under the forced “blessing" of a god (by proxy of pastor) who didn't seem capable enough to communicate to its followers how it really felt about basically anything. Why would I want a blessing from something like that? I wouldn't even keep a human like that in my social circle, let alone a pathetic god. I never wanted God at my wedding. It was far too personal a thing for something so impersonal to be the glue of the union, but I never anticipated that I'd actually have a choice in this.
My world was seen through lenses inserted in my eyes at birth. It is how my family sees the world: anyone who they do not know the religion of must surely be a Christian like them. God was the natural way, the only truth, and anyone claiming otherwise had been mislead by the devil himself!
Please excuse me while I prepare my ritual attire and my “Hail Satan" indoor screaming voice, fam.
Now, her side of the family, because that's equally as important, is just as adamant about their love for Baby Jesus. Christmas is war every year because both families try to dig in their talons and rip us to spend the day with them instead of the other family. (How caring.) In the end, we may have found a solution with this in celebrating the three wisemen in January with my fiancee's parents. Christians, I ask you: have you ever heard of doing this? No. Unless you're from Puerto Rico you have not. That's how religious her family is: they are not Puertorriqueños but they lived there for a short period which is where they got this fantastic idea for an extra Christian holiday.
So here we are: I think I've done a half-decent job at painting a picture of the Capulets and the Montagues. Here is where the twists begin to itemize. First! The Christian god is not invited to our wedding! (#SorryNotSorry, it's RSVP only and I still don't have a PO BOX address for imagined deities.) We are going to have a Justice perform the ceremony, not a pastor. We sniggered a little bit at the idea of having a Satanist perform the rites, but we decided against it. The ceremony will deviate from the standard Christian script though, because WE DON'T LIKE OLD FOGEY BULLSHIT. Your question undoubtedly is, “Will it have an invocation to Satan?” My answer is to redirect you back a few sentences of this paragraph where I point out that imaginary deities are not invited due to not owning a PO BOX, hah.
From there the differences between their expectation and reality only continue to broaden, and the cherry on top is that it will be a non-alcoholic wedding.
For two families that hate each other, this wedding really will be Hell on Earth.
Though, unlike the Shakespearean play, we will have all of the excitement and none of the death. I'll keep you appraised as developments hit the fan, denizens of damnation.
Hail us, hail Satan!