Hey, me again, this time with another question. Recently, my mother asked me what I was going to wear to baccalaureate. I told her nothing, since as it wasn't a required event, and we weren't Christian, it didn't make sense for us to go. Unfortunately, this started a massive argument, the kind that takes a half an hour and ends with both parties feeling slighted. During the argument, I asked why she thought this was so important, and she replied by saying that everyone expected me to be there, which also confused me, because no one in my family's Christian. Then she claimed that after all the work she put in as a parent, she deserved this. I replied that wanting me to go to important events is fine, but not when its express purpose (in this case, dedicating students to God,) completely clashes with both my and what I assumed was the rest of my family's beliefs. Am I in the right here, or am I just being a jerk?
Both. In the end, I think you should just go for your mom. You're becoming her big man and she won't have many more moments like these. Haha
As for the religious aspect, who do you hurt by faking it?
The fact that I'm having to leave early from work and skip a violin lesson, both of which are very important to me, to go to something that is very explicitly not for me?
See now, that's what makes me think he shouldn't go. Faking allegiance to a religion he rejects? No!
OTOH: just to avoid postponing a violin lesson?
Now, it's clear that Mom believes she has a stake in it. Someone said later no, he shouldn't be putting his foot down, he's in HS (which means living at home, not self-supporting). So she and possibly Dad paid for it. May be true if it's a college graduation too.
In which case a reasonable compromise might be: OK, you paid for it, I'll let you call that shot. I'll pay for my own stuff from here on.
...and however this turns out, there's some separation that has to happen. "if I'm not there Sunday, then there will be consequences. ... I try not to get on her bad side. She stays mad for weeks." This is a bad situation. It may be financially too soon to take the main site's advice on separating from Mom, but it's not too soon to be working to make it happen sooner.
Graduation services and the like really aren't for the student.. they're for the parents. If they were for the students they'd be structured a lot differently.
Do it for your mom.
And as an agnostic, I'll tell you it doesn't do any harm to sit through religious ceremonies a couple times a year or receive a blessing here and there, especially when you're doing it for someone. Just meditate for the length of time.
Just being a jerk. If mom says you gotta go, you gotta go.
Normally I do what she tells me, because what she tells me to do makes sense. This just seems so out of left field and unlike her, that I have to say something. I would think that she'd know me well enough by now to know that I wouldn't want to go.
My mom made me go to mine. I didn't have a problem with the religious aspect, I'm a Christian, but I just didn't care. It's far less religious these days than it used to be.
I don't think you're a jerk if you're doing it on truly religious grounds though. If you're an athest I understand you not wanting to go to a religious thing. I wouldn't go to a service that puts emphasis on the non-existence of God because it's not what I believe and would bother me. If you're an agnostic and are of the opinion that there could be a God but you don't really concern yourself with it that's slightly different.
It just really offends me to be required to go to something that, as an atheist, I want no part in. Heck, the fact that some of our fund raised money goes to providing for the service is bad enough, but forcing me to go? That just doesn't seem right, and I can't let it go.
You're too easily offended. Choose to attend ... then you won't have to be offended because you were 'required' to do something you didn't want to.
They won't make you hand in your atheist card because you went to a ceremony that's important to your mom.
Seriously. Let it go. You'll have plenty of opportunity to be offended at having to do something you don't want to do throughout the rest of your life. Let this one slide.
One lesson and one short work day won't kill you and you'll make your Mom happy.
Stop thinking this is about you. It is not. It's about her.
We've all had to endure crap we'd rather not have for mom, or wife, or daughter. You're being a jerk. Just go.
I have to say that I agree with the general theme here. And ultimately when you’re young and your parents want you to do something like this, it usually works best to do it, or it gets ugly…quickly. I understand that you don't want to sit through religious ceremonies, but maybe you can look at it a different way. Maybe by doing this for your mom it will make here a little more at ease come graduation time when you want to be out all night with your friends. I know that worked for me all through high school. I went out every Friday, and Saturday night and my parents hated it. But if I went to church with them on Sunday morning they didn't hassle me as much about it. It was kind of a give and take with my parents.
Also maybe you will meet a friend or a girl you don't know that well there. For example when my parents made me go to my baccalaureate it strengthened my friendship with this girl I knew but not that well. She was a foreign exchange student and went because the family she stayed with wanted her to. We immediately bonded because we were both there for someone else. That friendship blossomed from that point on, and I have even been to see her home overseas. We are close to this day!
Another explanation would be that maybe not all your family members can come to the graduation ceremony (number of tickets given to each student is limited) so some might be coming to the baccalaureate. I don't know your situation, but I know that for me when I'm stuck doing something I’d rather not do I try put a different spin on it, and always keep an open mind you never know what could happen.