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An Atheist’s View On Theistic Unconditional Love

September 4, 2009

It amazes me how often I see fellow atheists write about being shunned and ostracized by their family over their deconversion. People who claimed to love them so much seem so ready to throw them in the trash the second their opinions deviate from one another. I see this as being similar to libertarian parents throwing out their child for deciding they are  a socialist.

I’ve really lucked out as an atheist. I haven’t lost any family and only a few friends over my lack of belief. It’s hard for me to imagine a loving parent being able to do such a thing over religious beliefs. My family is pretty much entirely Christian and more than anything they’ve just been curious about what I do believe. We’ve had hours of talks on things like the god of the gaps and the atrocities in the Bible. The most strained relationship I have with any family member is with my Evangelical sister-in-law, and her approach is more of a “let’s just not discuss this subject” than anything else.

I’ve always been told that Christianity preaches unconditional love, but I rarely see that in practice when it’s needed the most. Deconverting is a painful process for atheists even without the pressures added by an intolerant and bigoted family. The outside world is already going to treat this person like less of a human and the only place they seek solace is amongst family and friends.

If there is a Christian out there reading this who would do that to their child/family member: Please think about what you’re doing, this sort of thing can rarely be undone. Do you really think your god would approve of abandoning a child over a philosophical disagreement? Unconditional love does not mean “as long as you’re a Christian/Muslim/Hindu/Etc.” it means “no matter what, without condition”.

If you’re willing to disown your family over religious deconversion alone then you don’t deserve them.

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10 Comments
  1. September 4, 2009 3:29 pm

    That’s a good reminder for all parents. On the other hand, unconditonal love is only pure at it’s source. Your Creator will never stop loving you. In fact He paid for your sins knowing in advance that this is how you would be treating Him at this time in your life. The problem is, everything humans touch pretty much turns to crap. That’s why it’s always a danger to judge the teachings of Jesus by the way His “followers” behave. Good luck on your journey.

    • September 4, 2009 4:38 pm

      The only thing you’re doing by saying what you did is attempting to excuse your religion from any fault. Which is, quite frankly, bullshit. A religion is judged by its religious texts and more importantly by the actions of its followers. The style of your religion creates an “in group” mentality, which leads to this kind of barbaric behavior. These people are responsible for their actions, but their religion is the motivating factor behind this abandonment.

  2. Simon Gardner permalink
    September 5, 2009 2:31 pm

    Yeah. But if any of my relatives got religion, I wouldn’t actually talk to them again.

    • September 5, 2009 2:45 pm

      Then you’re no better than the other side.

      I’m sensing a troll.

  3. September 10, 2009 12:30 am

    it’s often struck me as somewhat amusing that the so-called “loving christians” are some of the most un-loving of people, particularly if those people aren’t in the in-group.

  4. propagandist101 permalink
    October 18, 2009 11:32 pm

    Yes, some Christians are full of hate over almost everything against their beliefs. I think love is equal to understanding, understanding one’s views and religion. That’s why it makes me wonder what kind of love some Christians have inside their hearts?

    I agree with you makarios, Jesus is different from His followers. But why are some priests telling every Christian that we are one with God, that we are united with God yet we are different, cruel and unloving?

    Teya- http://propagandist101.wordpress.com/

  5. October 19, 2009 9:39 am

    I don’t know what “One with God” means. All I know is that I became a Christian because I’m cruel and mean and need forgiveness. I often say that if you saw the today me, and based Christianity on that, you’d probably say, “Eh, who needs it?” But if you compared the today me with who I was in my pre Christian days, I think you might say, “I want some of that.”

    At any rate, Jesus doesn’t tell you to be like Makarios. He says that we are to be like Him. That is why you need to judge Christianity based on Jesus, and not the worst examples that you can find.

  6. GeorgeRic permalink
    October 22, 2009 7:34 pm

    That on-going search for truth is the greatest thing about true atheism. That search is now wildly expanded. Contiguous dimensional worlds permits an expanded view, instead of the simple ‘Material-is-all-there-is’.
    With the existence of ‘Techie Worlds’ (available at amazon.com) believers in Christianity can hold their views utilizing sound logic, clear thinking and a mechanistic view of worlds. Applying Flatland’s concept of contiguous dimensional worlds, Trinity, Resurrection, Judgment and soul are sensible and mechanically viable beliefs. ‘Techie Worlds’ follows that rule of science by which individual details are tested for their conformity to the overarching hypothesis. Admittedly, agnostics may choose not to follow such obvious and sensible logic, but no longer can they denigrate believers for fuzzy thinking. Moslems and pagans who read and understand the sound logic of the Flatland concept must adopt the reasonable Trinitarian view. ‘Techie Worlds’ will make them abandon the ways of terror an adopt the way of love. Techie Worlds is not standard preacher-prattle. Only by reading it can you open your mind to its valid way of understanding Christianity.
    GeorgeRic

  7. Melissa permalink
    August 10, 2010 3:46 pm

    I found your webpage by a search.
    I guess I was just feeling down because I too have found myself being shunned by my family.
    I’ve had CPS called on me because of my religious views. The person who called CPS was my very own sister. She calls herself a “christian” but is far from being christ like.
    I’m glad I’m not alone in the world.
    I sent my teen daughter to a secular camp this summer and I’m glad she had a wonderful experience with other non-religious teens. It helps ward off pressures from her religious friends.
    Thank you for the webpage.

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