Well, it really depends on the religious beliefs of the family members. Jehovah's Witness, Mormons, and other fundamentalist Christian sects are more prone to ostracizing. Shunning is actively taught for some of them. More moderate "mainline" and non-denominational groups typically don't practice shunning. I personally have no problems with it because my family is Catholic and non-denominational protestant.
The disconnection is the reason that ideologues are so dangerous, whether it is in religion or politics. An ideologue will cheerfully kill you in the name of his particular ideology.
Man is just plain 'f--ked up'. Sadly I have known a few 'friends' that thought nothing of doing this, even after knowing me for years without a clue as to my religious/nonreligious position. Sadly it just seems twisted.
The father is also an unbeliever in thousands of other gods except one, What a fucking idiot.
Hey if you can deny their god they can deny your atheism in return.
Yes I know it makes no damned sense but I suspect they think it does.
Thanks for the official notice of ostracization. Just to let you know, I have legally changed my last name and adopted this really cool recent acquaintance as my surrogate father. He loves me unconditionally and respects my right to free thought. Imagine that.
This seems only a little 'out there', but I can understand the kick-back!
My father thought I was not a proper male due to my nerdy sensibilities. He did not like my doubts about our catholic roots, while I was in high school. About the only time I was on his 'good side' was when we shared similar ideas about Vietnam, and when I computed board feet for the efficient cutting of an oak log!
I spent alot of time with him when he was on his death bed and suffering from his dementia. Sometimes I think that a few more classes from him about being a hyper-male might have been helpful, sadly I had to learn a few worldly survival concepts on my own. Watching him kill a rattle snake 'just because', turned me off to hunting and guns. Watching him abuse alcohol, and family members turned me permanently off violence, and on to personal responsibility and kindness. Sadly we share a world with people that do not always have values of civility, dad was a good example of what not to do, but the world was changing around him, not always for the better. Atleast dad was not a hyper-catholic. I was free to explore, as long as I kept quiet about!
Ahh, Christian love!
Your father was a wonderful example of what not to be.
Sometimes that's more valuable than a decent role model.
Sucks you had to survive it, though.