Tina, an atheist, recently tried to friend her cousin on Facebook. This sounds like an automatic “accept” to me, but it got complicated for her. Her cousin said she would only accept the request on one condition: Tina must promise never to discuss religion or politics.
This stems partly from the fact that when another relative was in the hospital and got better, her extended family praised God for his recovery (and for putting his care in the hands of good doctors and hospital staffers). Tina suggested they give thanks solely to the medical folks who actually had something to do with his getting better.
They weren’t very happy about that.
Now her cousin won’t friend her on Facebook. It’s not the first time her relatives have distanced themselves from her because she questions religion. And this bothers Tina because she does want to maintain ties to her extended family.
So she’s trying a little experiment:
… After much thought I decided to make another FB page and label myself a Republican and a Christian and use my maiden name instead of the name most of my friends know me by. This is really just an experiment to see what kind of reaction I get from the family and also to stay in touch with the people who normally wouldn’t give me the time of day.
I thought that I would feel creepy about this but I’ve managed to rationalize it in this way: I don’t have much to do with this people but still want to maintain some contact with them…
It’s sad she would have to resort to this and it’s sad that it may be the only way her relatives will communicate with her. It’s mighty Christian of them, don’t you think?
There are a bunch of you who have relatives who want little to do with you because of your atheism.
Have you done anything to strengthen your relationships with them? How far have you gone to make that happen?
(via The Summer Squirrel)