Date: July 05, 2018 03:07PM
I attended a wedding last Saturday. The bride was the sister of my son's best friend for the past 16 years, and we've known the family all that time. I tutored the bride while she was in HS in chemistry and math (she was failing both), and got her through. She's now a college grad, and starting veterinary school in the fall (I'm so proud!).
Her mother is...interesting. Largely known as the town gossip, christian but not usually the pushy type. Been cordial with her (better friends with her husband). My wife won't tell her anything even semi-private, 'cause it'll be all over town the same day (and we live in a small town).
Anyway, that's the setup.
For the wedding, the bride's mother picked the pastor. The bride is nominally christian, not very active, and certainly not "fundamentalist" in any way. The pastor chosen is known as a fundamentalist, but bride's mom apparently assured bride & groom that this wouldn't be a "preachy" wedding ceremony, just the usual christian stuff.
During the rehearsal, the pastor apparently skipped a lot of what he would actually say ("I won't bore you with the full version now, let's just get on to practicing your parts..."). It went fine, everyone thought. On to wedding day...
Pastor starts out fine. Then out of nowhere, goes into a scolding fundamentalist "sermon," which took up a full 20 minutes of the "ceremony." Compared the bride & groom to Adam & Eve, which he made sure everyone knew were REAL, ACTUAL PEOPLE MADE DIRECTLY BY GOD, and who lived about 4,000 years ago -- and anyone who claimed otherwise was a misled tool of Satan. Insisted that our universe "didn't bang into existence," but was specially and directly created by god in one literal week about 4k years ago -- and then spent a good 10 minutes making sure everyone knew how evil and corrupt "science" was to say otherwise.
Then the real kicker: Praised the bride & groom for choosing the only "real" marriage, that of a man and woman intending to produce children to raise up for god. Any other marriage was a corruption of god's plan, and was inherently evil. Anything "the world" called marriage that was anything different must be purged from god's ordained country, the good old US of A. Even through in a "while we love gay people as children of god, we hate their actions, and hate them trying to take over our institutions like marriage."
I sat and bit my lip. My 17 year-old daughter, sitting next to me, rolled her eyes and giggled. The bride lowered her head, and appeared to be trying not to say something that would ruin her wedding day (which I confirmed after was indeed the case). But it was clear she was furious.
The last part was especially hurtful to the bride, who has several gay friends (one pair that is a legally married couple), and she felt horrible that they were being called "evil" at her wedding. About half the audience was nodding in agreement, the other half doing what my daughter and I were doing. You could have cut the tension with a butter knife.
As soon as the "I dos" were done (which for the bride only included an "obey" clause, something else that wasn't in the rehearsal), and the happy couple exited, the bride grabbed her mother and the pastor, and took off behind the reception room instead of going to do pictures. About 10 minutes later the bride came out, a few minutes later her mother did, the pastor never showed again. There was clear tension between bride and mother. Nobody was enjoying it -- especially the bride.
Talking to her after, she confirmed for me that her mom and the pastor had set all this up intentionally. The mother told the pastor to skip all the "controversial" stuff during the rehearsal, but to include it in the ceremony. The bride told the pastor to leave, that he wasn't welcome at her reception for lying to her, and shame on him for being both dishonest and a bigot. Mother of the bride was relegated to the side of most photos, and was told by her daughter that as they went around visiting tables, mother had to apologize to anyone who was offended by the pastor's remarks -- which did not represent the bride or groom. It wasn't until everyone got a decent amount of alcohol in them that the tension started to let up a bit.
So, basically, a pastor and mother conspired to ruin the daughter's wedding day because they felt it was imperative that their religious beliefs, not the daughter's or the groom's, were made loud and clear at somebody else's wedding. It was the most mormon-like wedding I've ever seen outside a temple in that respect :)