Saturday, August 3, 2013

Nothing says love like disownment

As atheists we've all heard stories of religious family members turning their back on the unbelieving simply because they don't believe. But we don't always get to see a letter where a mother tells her son she has to choose her religion over him. But that's exactly what we have here...

My darling son David
You are so very special to me and have always been the love of my life. I used to think when you were little
that I would die for you, and live because of you. You meant the world to me and I will always love you very much.
Because of this love I always wanted you to have the happiest, safest life I could provide and tried to bring you up with the strongly held beliefs I lived by, in the hope that this would affect your own life for the good, and ultimately you would live forever in Paradise on earth. You know all this to be the case.
I personally have always believed in The Truth as presented in the Bible, and have always felt the strong presence of Jehovah God and Jesus in my life, even as a child. I have always believed in the prophecies in the Bible, and that there is a Paradise on earth in which everyone will live in peace and love with no war, sickness and death, and that the dead will be resurrected due to Jehovah’s justice and fairness. I have always lived my life with
all this in view, and have never sought a worldly secular career or pathway. Becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was the obvious next step for me.
This letter is being written by me with no outside coercion or influence because there are things I want to say to you.
Being in the Truth has never been easy, but when all is said and done, I am in it because of my belief in Jehovah and what he has done for us, and will yet do.
People will always let you down, and somehow we have to look above and beyond, at the bigger picture. So to say that some people who profess to Christians live in ways that show them to be hypocrites is no exaggeration. But I strongly feel that whilst they may fool themselves, and others, they can’t fool Jehovah, and “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.”
I have chosen my path and my way of life and so I must live by the Commands and Statutes laid down in the
Bible by Jehovah himself. One of these commands has been the cause of great stress and grief to me, and I have put it off for too long now. I realize that I would have benefited spiritually by doing things Jehovah’s way from the start, and I must emphasise that what I am about to say to you is not influenced by any other living person, but is purely directed by my conscience and a desire to regain my peaceful friendship with God. Nobody can make me do anything I don’t want to do.
Whilst this is singularly the most painful thing I have ever had to do in my life, I need to move forwards towards the goal of everlasting life, and to think and I deeply regret that I must terminate our relationship whilst you remain disfellowshipped. I have cried myself dry over this situation, and it has broken my heart, but David, you have known that should have been handled this way from the start. You have chosen you path in life, and I wish you all the best. I want you to know that not only will my love always be there for you, but Jehovah too is waiting with open arms for your return.
Your loving mother, now and forever.

Wow... Looks like we've received  an entry for the most terrible parent of year award. First off, it's no secret that the Jehovah's Witnesses (JW) have a history of disowning family members that leave the JW's. Sometimes they (somehow) do this of their own will. Other times they succumb to the pressure and disapproving looks of other JW's that do not agree with the parent not casting an unbelieving child away. So given this history, and the mothers odd mentioning that 'no one is coercing me' I can't help but believe that the mother probably is being forced to do this. But does this make what she is doing any better?

No! She is being given a choice. 1) Cut all ties with your son and live from that moment on as if he never existed. or 2) We'll kick your ass out of the club as well. Given those choices, a rational person that actually loves their child as my as she claims to would give the JW's a finger move on to a more liberal version of Christianity. But that's not what she does, so I can only conclude that she's quite deluded (she did join the JW cult after all), is over-stating her love for her son, or both.

 I really must doubt the esteem she claims to hold her son in. You can not love someone 'now and forever', be your 'darling son', and then just turn around and void that relationship as if it was just some sort of legal contract. No, if your love was that true you would do such a disgusting thing as turn your back on your son just because you don't agree on something. My parents and I don't agree on things, but we still love one another and see each other regularly. Should a difference of opinion cause a permanent severing of relationships?

Around here there many NFL fans are either Washington Redskins or Baltimore Ravens fans. But you will also find plenty of fans of their rivals, the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. Shockingly, you will find friends and family members that are fans of rivaling teams, yet you don't see a father denouncing their son because they follow' the wrong team'. And before you say that the NFL is different than religion, you obviously haven't seen hardcore NFL fans. To them it is almost like a religion in and of itself and can be a serious and heated issue. As with religion, I do not care for NFL 'football' either, but what of the sadness this mother claims to be facing?

I feel she feels sad and is crying herself dry because this may not be something she wants to do. Or it may be because she is being forced to choose between her child and her religion. She wants the best of both worlds, and she can no longer have that. And if she it being forced to cut off ties with her son, I can understand her dismay. But what I can not condone was her final choice.

What her severing ties shows is that she does not posses unconditional love for her son. She has selected her religion over her child, and thus loves being a JW more than she loves him. But she says that her love (and God's) are there for him if he were to become a JW again. This is conditional love, and quite frankly, I find it difficult to consider that to actually be love at all. It is saddening and sickening to know that someone would place such a trivial condition on such a valuable relationship.

But such is the terrible power of religion. More often than not religion divides peoples rather than bringing them together. And considering that Jesus even said that he had come to divide families, so she can claim Biblical justification for this terrible choice. But again, that doesn't make that choice right. Religion can be powerfully divisive over things that really shouldn't matter. And it does this by hooking you with reward, then threatening to take it away.

You are promised eternal reward if you a believer. But if you are not, they say you have eternal torment coming your way. If they stopped there, this mother and son could of different minds, yet still be together. But the trick doesn't stop there. You are warned that those that don't believe are being used by agents of darkness. These people will test your faith and put your eternal bliss in very real jeopardy. So it is best that you avoid or cut ties with these people before you find yourself facing the same damnation as them. An imagined threat, to keep you grasping for an imaginary reward. But an successful tactic for those that are fully immersed in their religion. And when you look at the control displayed by the JW cult, it's not hard to understand why they seem to be right up there with Mormons as the most likely to server ties over the trivial. A very sad truth of religion, indeed.

-Brain Hulk

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