A man was brought up in a religious household but had lost his faith during adulthood. However, he soon began to witness religious conservatism within his wife’s family, and this would cause a significant clash over something as simple as a lunch.
His Religious Background
The man explained how whilst he was tolerant of all religions, he wasn’t into it himself. “I was raised Catholic, but pretty much lost interest in most organized religions by the time I was 17,” he explained.
Surrounded by Religion
Despite his beliefs, religion was still inadvertently a big part of the man’s life. Whilst his wife was an ex-Mormon, her family still practiced the religion strictly. This meant that he was often subject to religious practices when in their company.
The man explained how he felt his in-laws were rather strange in how they practiced Mormonism: “They’re just a bit bizarre – they take their faith way too seriously, acting far too self-righteous for their own good. Any criticism of Mormonism is treated like a personal insult. I know other Mormons and they’re not like this.”
Sometimes, the man’s in-laws would take this so far that they would get into altercations with people. During one meeting, his sister was present, and she was a tattoo artist. Tattoos were against the family’s religious beliefs, but instead of simply avoiding the topic, they caused a scene and dragged the sister into it.
A Harmless Lunch
One afternoon, the man and his wife joined her parents for lunch, a seemingly innocuous gathering. The man wasn’t driving, so he treated himself to a beer with his meal. However, this small decision was soon to ruin the atmosphere.
A Cold Shoulder
As the man enjoyed his cold beer, he suddenly sensed a shift in the atmosphere. “I knew something was up – both of her parents gave me the cold shoulder for the rest of the meal and left pretty quickly after they finished eating,” he recounted.
The Text Message
Later that evening, the man received a text from his father-in-law. “He said he was super disappointed I would disrespect his family and their faith like that at lunch,” he recounted. “I asked him what he was on about, and he eventually inferred I was intentionally trying to make them uncomfortable at lunch by ordering a beer.”
Not Meant Personally
The man was shocked by this accusation. He explained to his father-in-law that not every action that a non-religious person took was done to intentionally make a Mormon uncomfortable. Perhaps more notably, the man ended the conversation by telling him where to ‘shove his religion.’
Stirring the Pot
Instead of leaving the altercation at that, the man’s in-laws continued to attempt to reignite the drama. Wanting to leave it behind, the couple decided to maintain their distance from the Mormons for a while until things settled down.
Weighing His Conscience
To his relief, the man’s wife found his comments toward her father rather amusing and didn’t give him a hard time. However, he felt somewhat ashamed of himself; he recognized that his in-laws had invited him to lunch, so he probably should have made more of an effort to respect their religion.
An Online Perspective
The man logged on to an online forum, writing a post about his story and asking readers if he had been wrong to buy the beer. However, readers told him he was being ridiculous to even consider this perspective. “If they don’t want to drink they don’t have to, that’s absolutely fine,” pointed out one reader. “However, that’s no reason for you not to have a cold beer if you want.”
A Two-Way Street
One commenter wrote a particularly interesting comment that resonated with many other readers. “When they come to your house, do they drink to respect your beliefs in your house??”, they asked rhetorically. “It’s a two-way street.”
A Hypocritical Attitude
Many comments focused on the father-in-law’s hypocritical attitudes. “Do they eat meat around vegetarians?” asked one reader.
“Mormons aren’t supposed to be eating meat either, but they ignore that part of the ‘Word of Wisdom,’” laughed another reader in response.
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