Family Ties

One thing religious people cannot stress enough is that they’re all about family.  Their organizations even have names like Focus on the Family and the American Family Association (branded a hate group out of MS).  For the most part I find this to be true so long as everyone’s keeping the faith and maintaining the status quo.  I can say from my upbringing (aside from corporal punishment and having no say in church attendance) that our Christian family was very tight-knit and we spent a lot of quality time together.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was far better than a lot of other families I’ve seen.  Now, to clarify, some of these not-so-happy families I’ve seen are religious as well so it’s not as though they have a corner on the market.  I’m just speaking to the Christian view that family is important.

As I said, religious families are close-knit and happy so long as everyone’s keeping the faith.  They don’t say, “The family that prays together stays together” for no reason.  It’s literally true.  I found this out myself when I started to upset the status quo of my family and I was made to feel like an outcast.  My family’s treatment of me was mild compared to what some people endure at the hands of their religious parents, grandparents, and siblings.

Take, for example, the recent post on Tumblr that caught my eye.  While I cannot verify the veracity of this particular conversation I’ve seen and heard enough to know that when a homosexual comes out of the closet to his/her religious parents it often results in the end of that relationship.  You can read the post below (be warned, there is a ton of foul language).  If you’d rather have the synopsis, the mother calls her son a faggot and tells him he’s dead to her.  I can feel the love of Jesus, can’t you?

Intolerance is still an issue.
Click to Read/Enlarge

It’s not just homosexuals that get the ire of the religious parents.  It’s irreligious people as well.  Coming out as an atheist is often just as difficult as coming out homosexual and there have been many parallels drawn between the two experiences.  It’s been said that Christian parents would rather have their children convert to Islam than become atheists.  More often than not (as in my case) the religious parents’ first reaction is, “Where did we go wrong?”  It’s ironic that they would ask this question because the answer is most likely, “In not letting me think for myself and come to my own beliefs logically.”  Anyway, to get a feeling for a more extreme reaction to coming out atheist, see the video below.  This kid’s mother is a lovely woman.

[youtube_sc url=”P8Aq00yJSxo” title=”Catholic%20Mom%20Gets%20Pissed%20at%20Atheist%20Son” width=”420″ height=”315″]

Can you feel the Christian love in the room?  Me too.

I know someone whose father wrote a letter that contained the words, “I hope your dick rots off” when his father found out he’d been having premarital sex.  It’s troubling, to understate the situation.  It also goes against the very core of what everyone expects Christianity to be.  You would think a person abiding by the words of Jesus Christ would be a little more tolerant, slower to anger, quick to forgive, and unconditionally loving.  Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

If you’re losing your faith and you want to let your family know how you feel, you should expect a hard time.  If you’re one of the more fortunate people whose family accepts you no matter what, then having kept your expectations low will have paid big dividends.  I’ve been able to maintain a happy relationship with my family as long as we don’t discuss religion, politics, sexuality, or circumcision.  It’s not perfect, but it’s better than being disowned.

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