Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: Did they have an atheist wedding?

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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Cannes film festival in 2007.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Cannes film festival in 2007. Photo by Georges Biard, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are among the most famous atheists in the world. But to many people, the idea of a nontheistic wedding is still entirely alien.

  • gilhcan

    Who cares?

  • Mkbell

    Many, many people, theists and nontheists alike, get married every day in secular weddings. They get married at courthouses and by justices of the peace without music or ritual. Non-religious weddings are not a big deal — even for theists.

  • janetspillows

    To be honest, I could care less if they got married, but I do admit that it bothered me that Pitt left Jennifer for Angelina while he was still married. I know things happen,but it was wrong. And Angelina is no better because she knew he was married too. So they are both guilty and they are adulterers. I think it’s sad that they are both Atheists because I do believe in God. And no I am not a hater or unhappy. I have been married for 24 yrs and I am very happy. I bet their marriage won’t last. Why? Because they don’t have God in their life. I promise you it won’t last.

  • Bruce

    Janetspillows you are sadly ignorant. Please look up some statistics on religion and marriage. Brad and Angelina have ALREADY been together longer most Christian marriages. In the USA, most weddings take place in a “House of God” where a priest or pastor warns the bride and groom that, “What God joins together…let no man… blah, blah, blah” . So the Christian marriage should last forever. Right? Wrong! Many, if not most, Godly marriages end in divorce within a few years. Oh, by the way, I don’t believe in any gods and I’ve been married longer than you.

  • Michael

    The ONLY way to be legally married in France is to be married in the city hall. If it is a small town or you are as famous as these two are, the mayor will witness the signing of the marriage contract. Those who chose to have a church wedding typically do so the day after the civil wedding. The government recognizes the civil marriage contract and the church recognizes its own ceremony and contract. True separation of Church and state.

  • A marriage can be automatically assumed to fail because it doesn’t involve god or religion? What an incredibly awful statement. What an incredibly prejudicial statement.

    And, it doesn’t hold up to actual demographic evidence:

    Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found:

    -11% of the adult population is currently divorced.

    -25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.

    -Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience. (www. religioustolerance. org/ chr_dira. htm)

    A more recent study discovered that divorce rates tended to be higher in “red states” than in “blue states”:

    It was previously thought that socioeconomic hardships in the South were largely to blame for high divorce rates, however Glass and her fellow researchers concluded that the conservative religious culture is in fact a major contributing factor thanks to “the social institutions they create” that “decrease marital stability.”

    Specifically, putting pressure on young people to marry sooner, frowning upon cohabitation before marriage, teaching abstinence-only sex education and making access to resources like emergency contraception more difficult all result in earlier childbearing ages and less-solid marriages from the get-go, Glass writes in the paper.

    “It’s surprising,” W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, told The Los Angeles Times. “In some contexts in America today, religion is a buffer against divorce. But in the conservative Protestant context, this paper is showing us that it’s not.”

    Glass and her colleagues also concluded that the religious culture of the area permeated into the divorce rates of even the non-religious people who lived there. In other words, simply by living in counties that were dominated by conservative Protestantism, people were at a higher risk for getting divorced.

    (www. huffingtonpost. com/ 2014/01/21/ divorce-study_n_4639430. html)

    (Remember to remove all spaces from the URLs I provided. This blog tends to filter out comments with working URLs.)

    So, don’t be so quick to condemn the love others share with each other just because they don’t share your religious beliefs. There are no guarantees in life, and quite often, a smug air of superiority is only a ruse that serves to hide shaky ground.

  • Curious

    “I bet their marriage won’t last. Why? Because they don’t have God in their life.”

    I am curious as to whether this is a good example of the “respectful dialogue” Chris says he so often has with religious people. Is this what “bridge building” usually looks like? I feel like I’m not missing out on much…

  • anthony carrion

    HTYour ignorant and hateful I can tell just by what you said its sad your too blinded by that book written by ignorant men who thought the world was flat, that you can’t see…..there is over 200,000 registered religons on this planet and you seem to think that your right. And that’s yuo on an ego trip…you are a sad pathetic individual just like every christianic religon out there….and you also ignore the fact that there are multiple marriages that fail even when god is in their lives…your ignorant and that’s that

  • no

    worthless le sac douche

  • Sly

    I’m an atheist, married to an atheist, with two atheist kids in their late twenties.
    Been married for 27 years, and I don’t have any “gods” on my life at all.

  • Larry

    Like every marriage. 🙂

  • Larry

    “And no I am not a hater or unhappy.”

    You just think badly of people who believe differently from you and wish them harm.

  • Chaplain Martin

    It would be nice if Chris Stedman actually had given an example of wedding vows he uses in atheist weddings.

    How about it Chris will you do that for your readers?

  • Larry

    If you want non-religious wedding vows you can go online.

    You can ask any number of Secular Humanist officiates.

    Go to any Justice of the Peace in any given community

    Go to any wedding chapel not associated with a religious institution.

    Go to Las Vegas.

  • Chaplain Martin

    I’m a Christian and I agree that civil ceremonies, like and France and Germany, would actually free me, as an ordained minister, from having to act as a agent of the state. This is a hold over from the Church State of Britain. Only Anglican minister could perform marriages legally.
    My mother and father were married forty-three years when my father died. They were married by a judge. My mother was a Christian and my father became one years later.

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  • Chaplain Martin

    I wanted an example of the vows Chris uses, but thanks.

  • Larry

    This will help. The Secular Humanist Officiate Handbook with sample vows

    this too, in HTML form:

  • Austen

    Who cares about what? What celebrities are doing, or what kind of celebration it was? I’m thinking religious people who are paranoid about atheists are curious about what such a ceremony is like, so they probably care. I care because they give a public face to atheism and what they do gets noticed, therefore it’s good for the world to see that their family is happy, kind, generous, and as normal as possible given their fame.

  • Austen

    Which god? Ganesh? Ra? Gitchigumi? Yours? How silly. You don’t need a belief in the supernatural to be happy.

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  • Michael Glass

    In Australia in 2012, 71.9% of marriages were conducted by civil celebrants. In England the figure is about 70%. It appears that in these two countries marriage is now a largely secular celebration.

  • I’m an Atheist married to another Atheist
    for 30 years.
    We raised two children who became Atheist
    as soon as they could think for themselves.

    We all dumped religion years ago – it has really freed up our weekends.

    Leaving religion dramatically improved our family communication
    and the quality of our time together.
    Nobody is ‘lording’ over the household
    with holy books anymore.

    We celebrate the seasons for our own fun – not to continue the unsupportable myths behind them. We hope every Priest, Rabbi and Imam ‘in the know’ finally comes to their senses and abandons this dangerous stuff.

    I wish Atheism on anyone who feels fed up, confined or twisted in knots
    by the double-talk and self-deception of religion.

    If God is real and a ‘merciful’ afterlife awaits it would be a scientific fact.
    Like gravity, it would be there for everyone; whether you believe or not.


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  • jesusistheway1

    You are sadly misguided. God is there for everyone….Not like gravity. Salvation,

  • vương Kim

    Bạn cho rằng chỉ có Chúa mới quyết định hôn nhân sao ? vậy thì những người không theo Chúa , những người theo đạo Phật ở Châu á sống với nhau suốt đời thì bạn nghĩ sao ?

  • diablo135

    I’m a converted Catholic married to another Catholic
    for 15 years.
    We are raising two children who wanted to become Catholics
    as soon as they could think for themselves.

    We all go to church for an hour on the weekends but we miss if we go on vacation or somethjng.
    Having religion dramatically improved our family communication
    and the quality of our time together.
    Nobody is ‘lording’ over the household.

    We celebrate the seasons for our own fun and because my kids like getting presents. 🙂 We hope every Priest, Rabbi and Imam keeps working with what they believe in and live their lives without listening to atheists who believe they are right and very one else is wrong.

    I wish religion on anyone who feels fed up, confined or twisted in knots
    by the double-talk and self-deception of atheists who keep trying to push their ideals into everyone who doesn’t even ask.
    God is real and a ‘merciful’ afterlife awaits
    Like gravity, it’s there for everyone; whether you believe or not.


  • diablo135

    Whom to believe?

    Ed Stetzer:
    Research found in “Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites… and Other Lies You’ve Been Told”, shows that couples who are active in their faith are much less likely to divorce. Catholic couples were 31% less likely to divorce; Protestant couples 35% less likely; and Jewish couples 97% less likely, which in itself is quite impressive, I must say.
    But, many news outlets breathlessly reported that being a conservative Protestant increases your chances of divorce– even being near those conservative Protestants does so.
    In a recent article on Canon and Culture that I featured in my Morning Roundup yesterday, Andrew Walker interviews Dr. Bradford Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project, and asks him the question, “Are religious conservatives really divorcing more than religious liberals, or more than people who have no religious affiliation at all?” Dr. Wilcox answers,
    Up to a point, yes. The article finds that conservative Protestants, and counties with higher shares of conservative Protestants, are indeed more likely to divorce—compared to Americans in other mainstream traditions, from mainline Protestantism to Mormonism to Catholicism. But I’ll mention two caveats that have gone unrecognized by popular media treatments, such as Michelle Goldberg’s article in The Nation:
    1. This study also finds that religiously unaffiliated Americans, and counties with higher shares of unaffiliated Americans, are the most likely to divorce. So, religion per se is not the problem and, indeed, secularism seems to be more conducive towards divorce than conservative Protestantism.
    2. A new article by sociologist Charles Stokes in suggests that the problem here is mainly with nominal conservative Protestants—those who attend rarely or never. It’s these nominal conservative Protestants—e.g., the Southern Baptist couple in Texas who rarely darken the door of a church—who are much more likely to divorce.
    And, while we are addressing stats, let me add that no reputable study has found that 50% of marriages end in divorce—ever—though that does not stop it from spreading because people love bad stats. (The New York Times explains a bit on that stat here.)
    Keep in mind that when you hear a stat that does not make sense—like going to church makes you more likely to divorce, contrary to many other studies—don’t rush to assume it’s true. It is often more complicated that the initial news reports.

    Then there is Shaunti Feldhahn, a Harvard-trained social researcher:
    In her newest book, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, Shanti compiles some stats and conducts some research of her own on marriage, and specifically, what makes for a happy marriage.
    Her statistical findings, and the implications of these findings, are fascinating.
    Here are a couple of stats that I found to be particularly interesting as it relates to faith and marriage:
    53% of Very Happy Couples agree with the statement, “God is at the center of our marriage” (compared to 7% of Struggling Couples).
    30% of Struggling Couples disagree with the statement, “God is at the center of our marriage.”
    She writes, “Highly happy couples tend to put God at the center of their marriage and focus on Him, rather than on their marriage or spouse, for fulfillment and happiness” (pg. 178, Highly Happy Marriages).

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  • debbie akers

    God created marriage, and everything else that exists, the ultimate eternal marriage, will be between God and all of mankind, just as God is the eternal Father of all of us, and the eternal King and LORD of us all. The creation is not wiser than the Creator, read His Word, the Bible. And by the way, He loves you so much that He created you, just to prove it to you, provides for you every day to prove it to you, and died for you to prove it to you. He more than deserves our gratitude. He does all this, even while we don’t believe.

  • I was contacted by God the master scientist with proof. The results
    was an adopted baby, a book, and a working film script.
    I was writing the chapter of the evil one Lucifer the keeper of light,
    the falling angle Isaiah 14:12. He said stop or I will destroy you. I kept on writing. I began to bleed. I went to the E R. My PSA was 78. only
    one other person did not have the cancer all through them. I also did
    not have the cancer. I am sure God chased him away. The exciting
    chapter of the compromise shows how God has some power over the
    evil one. Free will still allows corruption.
    The Earth is three billion years old. The compromise is the brilliant
    tool, God used to keep the evil one in line. Fee will allows evil
    God said ” I have come to teach you, and you will get the baby”. I
    said rove it , and He did, as told in the miracle chapter, below. There are many other convincing events of God’s contact. The adoption agency said we would never get the baby, but God was right. Strange our sons name is Adam., named after Gods first creation. We did not
    name him.
    I had to tell you all of this because so much evidence of God’s
    contact, makes a case of His story must be told. There is much
    more, with writings & backup.
    The best way to get God’s unknown story is through
    a film. I have a working film script. My book was a
    guide for the film story. The film is a gift to humankind
    world wide. Gift implies special favor of God and
    Disney, W. B. has the means to make His story the best it

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  • Tom

    “It is in fact, irrelevant to religion if god exist or not.”

    This is absolutely not true of the three great religious traditions of the West, though it may be true of the theistic traditions of the east, or to polytheism in general, since there traditions are based more on integration or transcendence with/of the cosmic cycles and powers than on philosophy (broadly understood) and the events of history. The question is: what evidence is there for the existence or nonexistence of God? What do you count as evidence, and what weight do you give that evidence?

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  • B Lucky

    Actually you can’t promise that their marriage won’t last. It may fail for any number of reasons, by not having God in their lives is not a guarantee. In a week my husband and I will be celebrating our 34th anniversary, we do not have God in our life’s masters is nothing wrong with our marriage or relationship. With your thinking, our marriage won’t last either,but you have no clue.

  • Michael Connell Jr.

    I could not have said it better.

  • Andreea

    You have my respect, sir! ?