On a couple of occasions I have found myself on the topic of religion in pretttty religious countries. Speaking to those in very religious families on what would happen if they were to leave the faith.
It shocks me to hear that some family members, in particular the older (supposedly mature) generations threaten to disown those who choose not to believe in God.
How can anyone love God more than their own child? Sibling? Grandchild? It’s pretty disgusting, showing that strong religious belief can manipulate rational thinking in such a way.
Threatening to never speak to a family member again, a one that you have loved and has loved back throughout life, all for an improbable God that you have never seen. This is simply madness.
This- I hope- is just a scare technique, to ensure that the family belief that one clings to remains an unbroken chain. I remember growing up with people leaving religion. At the time it left me a little uneasy and down. I wanted to cling to religion, I wanted it to be real as the alternative scared me. So seeing people head down a more scientific path made me feel more and more lonely, although the majority still were religious. (Well, didn’t go out the way to claim to be atheist anyway.)
I do not think I could let a family member get away with threatening to disown me, how sad that our own flesh and blood can do that. How sad that a family member believes God would find this justice acceptable, courageous or necessary.
I am blessed to have a great family past and present, although some are pretty religious I know they would never do this, because I’m loved all the same since coming out atheist.
If I was God? Meeting a family member at the gates who disowned someone for this reason would not get a warm greeting.
‘What are you thinking you idiot?!’ Would probably be my opener.