Religion is a touchy subject for many people. Everyone has their own opinions, and discussions can easily turn into arguments.
Redditor chillvibe72 has multiple roommates, one of whom is religious. On a recent weekend trip, the group started fighting over whether or not to go into a church.
The original poster (OP) believed it was her fault and asked the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about it.
“AITA for refusing to attend church with my roommates?”
There is a lot more that happened than just the title would suggest.
“I(23F) live with Grace(23F) Tom(25M) and Harry(24M)”
“The 4 of us decided to go on a 4-day trip over the Easter period, to a town 1hr away that we had wanted to visit for a while. None of us had travelled for the last year and we wanted a change of scenery and all complied with our local COVID rules.”
“We booked an Airbnb and planned some activities; museums, cool parks, local hotspots. We also made it clear that we were each going to be going off on our own to explore if we wanted, and everyone seemed to agree.”
“The issue was on Easter Sunday. We decided to all go for a walk, ended up at a church, and then Grace told us to go inside. I asked to speak to her alone so we sat on a bench nearby.”
OP has her own issues with religion.
“I was in a catholic school when I was younger and had a lot of trauma from it, there were some really horrible barbaric punishments that I cant list here.”
“Grace is religious and I absolutely respect that for her and I see how it enriches her life. When we moved in I explained my experiences to her, and told her that she could have religious items around, host religious events, but that I didnt want to actively participate in any activity or prayer.”
“She agreed and weve never had a problem with it.”
This brought us back to the two discussing the church.
“While we were on the bench, I reminded her of this conversation, as there were signs that there was an Easter mass happening inside, that I felt uncomfortable going in. I told her that she & the guys were absolutely free to attend, and that I was more than happy to go and get an ice cream and that we could meet up afterwards for lunch.”
“She reacted badly, started yelling that I was a hypocrite because 2 years ago I visited La Sagrada Familia and went inside and that I should just suck it up and do the same today because Im ruining our trip.”
“I tried to explain that I can still admire the architecture of a church without wanting to participate, and that when I visited Sagrada I chose a tour slot that wasnt during any service and it was just 300 tourists inside, and that it felt more like visiting a landmark.”
“She kept shouting and the guys came over and sided with me which made her more upset.”
“Grace went into the church and Harry told me that while he agreed with me, religion is a touchy thing to argue about and I probably shouldve backed down.”
“He followed Grace, while Tom came with me to get ice cream.”
“The trip was awkward, and when we got home we avoided each other for a while. I though things would go back to normal after a week or 2 but it didnt.”
“I burned myself and she told me I should get used to the pain because Ill be getting burnt a lot in hell. We invited her to sit and watch a movie with us , it was my turn to pick the movie, but she said that if I don’t want to participate in her interests she wont participate in mine and stormed off.”
“I feel really conflicted because Grace (and Harry but not as bad) still think Im the AH here, and Im beginning to think Im a hypocrite because I did go to a church for tourist reasons.”
The dynamic in the group has been thrown into chaos with this incident. But who caused the problem is what’s up for debate here.
To determine that, the AITA subReddit votes using one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
There was an agreement in the comments that OP was NTA in this situation.
“Absolutely NTA. Grace is out of her mind to think that she has any right to impose her religious beliefs on you at any time for any reason.” – xfourteendiamondsx
“Just to hop on the top comment-“
“I am a religious person… Harry is right – religion is personal and a touchy subject… Harry is also a major AH… Grace should have backed off as it is a personal and touchy subject not meant to be force fed to people.”
“Grace is a bigger AH than Harry. Religion is a relationship with God or higher power (whatever one may view that power). It isn’t an interest to be shared like a movie or a hobby.”
“You can’t force it on someone and expect them to accept it. Like any relationship it shouldn’t be imposed on people (why do you think so many ppl on this sub come here with blended family issues?).”
“Op you are NTA! You are right! A tour of a building is different from a service!”
“A tour offers you knowledge of the building or history. You need a relationship with the higher power of the religion in order to attend a mass or service to effectively worship and feel comfortable.” – nonchalantenigma
“I cant believe I even have to tell you that you’re NTA in this situation…”
“You handle things differently to what your room mate would. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
“You also seem to have managed expectations early on into you living together and were just reitterating that fact. You’ve done nothing wrong and handled it very maturely.” – ExcaliburCaliburn
Some of the comments continued to agree that Grace was the one wrong here, but say that OP should try to work things out. Living with someone you’re fighting with can make things too awkward to continue.
But should OP back down and work things out or is it better to shut Grace out?
“NTA, a thousand times over.”
“There is nothing hypocritical about checking out a church strictly for admiring its aesthetic aspects, and if this is a sticking point with her now but not leading up to now, she may well be the hypocrite.”
“If this is what it will be like between the two of you going forward, it may be time to examine when you can remove yourself from the lease because you have not done anything wrong and she is being grotesquely unreasonable by making this the focal point of every interaction the two of you have.” – QuietGrudge
“I didn’t want to hear this but I think if we can’t resolve things it might be the right move. I’m scared of becoming someone who can’t have religious people in my life due to my past though.” – chillvibes72 (OP)
“NTA. I’m genuinely sad that you’re even contemplating you might be an AH because all of this is not on you at all. Religion is a touchy subject, but we’re all entitled to our opinions on it.”
“It sounds like you were completely civil when you said you didn’t want to go in and weren’t just sh**ting on her religion. Her reaction was ridiculous and you’re friend is a bit of an AH for telling you to back down.”
“You should never back down from something just to please somebody else.”
“You’re not a hypocrite for going into a pretty church when a service wasn’t going on. It sound s like your experiences growing up were quite traumatic and you have the right to be scarred from them.”
“It was wrong for your friend to try and shame you into going there.” – thelesserdaughter
“Thank you for your empathy. I’m feeling a little better about my actions now, but someone mentioned that it was melodramatic of me to pull her aside and put a spotlight on it instead of just saying ‘I’ll hang back’. I’ll approach it differently in the future I guess” – chillvibes72 (OP)
OP has a lot to think about, and to determine how to approach her relationship with Grace going forward. If she wants to cut her out of her life, that’s going to be difficult if OP can’t get out of the lease.
But the self-blame isn’t helping, and OP shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting to go into a church while a service was going on if it made her uncomfortable.