B and I have read over your last message carefully, and given it full thought. While we both very much appreciate your effort to try and find a solution that would make both of us happy, this is not a step we are willing to take at this juncture.
I'm not an atheist because I am lazy or I think religion is too hard, or I don't think it's a big deal. I think organized religion is wrong, and harmful. I have long agonized over philosophical and religious arguments over god, and have come to the conclusion that god probably doesn't exist, and if s/he did, organized religion would still be wrong and harmful. For instance, one way in which it is harmful is this very situation; the orthodox jewish community is so insistent on conformity, that you have decided that your religious identity is more important than having an honest and good relationship with your daughter.
Having B convert would be a larger compromise than I am willing to make, and it would very much be a big deal. Not only to us as individuals, for we would be compromising a very important part of our identity. But also to B's family, who have always been very warm to us. Imagine if B's mom insisted that I undergo a sham conversion to catholicism in order to have a relationship with them; wouldn't you be very hurt by such a sham, even though you know I don't believe in it? B's mother has very strong religious convictions, and has already been hurt by the knowledge that B will never be religious, just have you have been hurt by the knowledge that I will never be religious. The difference is that she has still maintained a close relationship with B, and has welcomed me warmly into their family, because she cares more about B as a person then about B's religion. We would not want to damage our relationship with her after she has treated us so kindly.
Even if we were willing to go through with this, then what? Everything is hunky dory? We're just try to forget that your refused to even meet him for the past 2 years? That your love was conditional on him converting? That I wrote to you asking for a more honest and open relationship, and you replied by asking me to undertake an elaborate hoax so that you can not feel ashamed of me and us in front of your family and your community? You don't seem to realize how much you have hurt me over the past few years, by demonstrating to me that you place your community and your religion over your relationship with me, your daughter.
So we have discussed the matter in depth, and these are the compromises we are willing to make: We will be getting married on May 17th 2009. What we plan to do for our wedding ceremony is exchange vows that we have written ourselves, and then have our guests speak about us before we all sign the marriage license, with the guests as witnesses. We will not have an officiant, as we are getting a 'self uniting' marriage license.
I know that is important to you that I maintain some type of Jewish identity, which is why you came up with this conversion idea. So this is what I propose: While I am not willing to have a religious jewish wedding ceremony, since I disagree with so many things about it (as you might recall from all the fights we had when I was engaged to A), I would be willing to incorporate some jewish cultural traditions into the ceremony. For instance, if you would lend us a chuppah to use during the ceremony, we will be happy to exchange the vows we have written under one. We would also be willing to have B step on a glass at the end of the ceremony.
Furthermore, in the future, if you ever decide to welcome B and me into your life then I will try to forget the extremely hurtful way in which you have treated us over the past few years, and will be happy to have a relationship with you. We will also be happy to dress appropriately and keep the laws of kasharut, etc, for any time we are under your roof. You can have a relationship with our children (who after all will still be Jewish according to halacha), and we would visit for some of the more secular jewish holidays, such as channukah, so that our children have a sense of their jewish cultural heritage. We would be happy for them to learn the history of the Jewish people, and of their own family on my side. However we will not tolerate any attempts to 'do kiruv' on them and to persuade them to be religious.
If you feel that inviting us both to family events would be too much strain, and that you can't accept B into the family unless he converts, then that is your choice, and we will have to go our separate ways. I hope you understand that if you refuse to meet B I can not go behind his back and allow you to have a relationship with our future children. How the other members of our extended family decides to treat us is up to them, and we will deal with them individually. If anyone tries to call you up and argue about the decisions I have made, you can also give them my phone number and ask them to contact me directly. I will happy to talk with any family member and explain the situation.
I hope you will consider what I have said, as this is as far a I am willing to go. While I would like to have a relationship with you, this is much higher of a price than I am willing to pay for one.