Atheist GF Shuts Down Family Dinner Grace With "I Don't Believe In Fairy Tales", BF Seeks Advice How To Respond
When dating someone who's belief system is different than yours, you will run into some obstacles. This couple has a situation on their hands.
u/rudesituation posted My girlfriend [21f] had dinner for the first time at my [21m] house with my parents. She is atheist, when they asked her to say grace, she responded with "I don't believe in fairy tales".
This is how it all went down.
Just a background on my family and I; we're Catholic but I don't talk about it that much. My parents are much more into their religion than I am, while for me its just a personal thing that I won't talk about or mention unless asked. While my parents are devout, they don't ever force their religion on anyone and they are polite and respectful to everyone, same goes for my siblings really.
My girlfriend is an atheist. We both are aware of our difference in religious beliefs and we respect that. We don't ever discuss it, its just something we are aware of and respect.
My family has never met my girlfriend before, I sometimes talk her up, so my parents were excited to meet her, as were my brothers and sisters. When she came for dinner at our house, she was very nicely dressed, and very polite the entire time. I had neglected to mention to my parents that she's an atheist, I probably should have, but I forgot and it just didn't come up.
Usually when we have dinner, we say grace beforehand. Before we had dinner, my mother asked if my girlfriend would like to say grace for us, my girlfriend said with a laugh "I don't believe in fairy tales." There was a very awkward pause and my mother seemed very embarrassed, then she said grace herself, and we had dinner. There were no other oddities or problems for the rest of the meal, but it was a bit awkwardly quiet and uncomfortable.
Afterwards when she left, my parents told me she seemed very nice and didn't even mention that incident.
I however feel it was a bit rude. She could have just said "I'm atheist" or "I'm not religious." Instead she went for "I don't believe in fairy tales" which I feel was unnecessarily derogatory.
I was unsure whether I should confront her about it or just leave it, but I decided I should probably say something. When we were alone later, I asked her why she said that. She told me it was a joke, I told her it was a bit rude and she could have politely declined in another way. She said it was their fault for assuming she was religious, I told her maybe so, but she didn't need to be rude in response.
She maintains it wasn't rude and it was just a "joke" but I feel it was needlessly disrespectful.
Am I wrong here in addressing the issue and asking her to be more polite next time, or was she right that its just a joke and I shouldn't have troubled her for it?
Should I press the issue further, or just drop it and apologise for bringing it up?
The real problemGiphy
From an athiest:
The issue here isn't your girlfriend's belief system, it's her lack of manners. No matter how silly another person's beliefs may seem, there is no excuse for haughty dismissiveness like that, especially at someone else's dinner table, and REALLY ESPECIALLY not during the first dinner with a significant other's family!
Does your girlfriend show a similar lack of social etiquette/respect in other situations?
The comment was shadyGiphy
I think it was rude, yes. You'd not be out of line to ask her to be more polite, next time. You can have a difference of belief and not disrespect someone. Her words were purposefully caustic, and I'm betting she knows that.
Your parents have an amazing level of class. Unfortunately your girlfriend has none. She pretty much spit on their faith right to their face and during her first meeting them no less. There are graceful ways of behaving and low class ways of behaving and your girlfriend has zero class.
Get off your high horseGiphy
Regardless of this was the tenth, or hundredth time of meeting your family, she should NOT have said that.
She basically insinuated that your family is beneath her for holding religious views. Saying that they are "fairy tales" is an insult to their intelligence.
It was very rude and made worse that this was the first impression your parents get of her. A dinner with your family isn't an opportune time to be a 3edgy5me b****. There was no purpose in being rude and especially to the parents of your SO.
She wants people to respect her views on religion but will openly mock and insult those that hold differing views.
When you aren't thankful for anythingGiphy
I'm an atheist, if I were asked to say grace I would say "No thanks", ESPECIALLY when its your SO's parents.
Your girlfriend should "man up" and find a way to apologize.
And kudos to your Mother for letting it go and not mentioning it. That's truly a class act.
Is she really that immature?Giphy
Wow. Just look at the contrast in how your girlfriend handled what your parents considered a special moment and how your parents handled her rude response. At best, your girlfriend is embarrassingly oblivious about how to act around "grown-ups".
No idea what your girlfriend was thinking there to be honest. She was just being plain rude, and I would speak to her about it. There's a difference between "Sorry, I don't do/believe in these things" and flat out mocking someone else's faith.
A joke is not just a jokeGiphy
Anyway, even if she meant it as a joke that doesn't excuse anything. Jokes can be rude and disrespectful. You definitely should have said something, hopefully she realizes she shouldn't act like that with your parents in the future and you don't have to bring it up again.
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, or so the saying goes.
The same can be said for your interactions with cops, most of whom are perfectly happy to let minor infractions slide––When was the last time you were actually ticketed for jaywalking?––provided you're not a total Karen should you interact them.
Your local police officer likely doesn't care about jaywalking or the fact that you went five miles over the speed limit unless you give him a reason to, as we learned when Redditor Takdel asked police officers: "What stupid law have you enforced just because someone was an a-hole?"