An Atheist’s View On Theistic Unconditional Love
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.