Well, I used to feel lucky that I had no major complications with my friends and family when I came out Atheist. But, 15 minutes after Obama was re-elected I was defriended on Facebook by my cousin and her husband. I honestly could have cared less about my cousin's husband since he is quite stand offish and the only time I ever see him is at the dinner table on Xmas night (he spends the rest of the day alone in the basement watching tv). However, when my cousin did it, I'll admit, it hurt. I guess her excuse is that she doesn't want to be friends with people who don't share her values. It's pretty sad since there are ways of blocking certain posts, etc... The worst part about all this is she used to be a Protestant Xtian but converted to Mormonism when she got married. My entire protestant family was so mad and scared for her. They thought she was buying a one way ticket to Hell (and they probably still do). The only two people in my entire family who supported her decision was my Atheist brother and I, also an Atheist. When my mom tried to use this defense with my Aunt my Aunt just said, "Well, at least they both (my cousin and her husband) still believe in a god." Quite and ignorant response for such a loving act. I think all of their beliefs are crazy but you'll never hear me put down their beliefs to their faces. They're family and that kind of attitude shouldn't infiltrate the family dynamic and it's just so absolutely sad that this kind of attitude can come from me voting for the wrong person or not believing in the same gods that someone else does. They're both such non issues when it come to family and it is just so hard for me to believe that people can be like this. My anger has since subsided and now I just feel sorry for them that they could be so narrow minded and ignorant. I especially feel sorry for their 3 young kids, one of which has a rather serious brain disorder. When I voted I feel like I voted for this family where Obamacare and stem cell research can help their sick child, Lily Ledbetter for my cousin who is also a teacher and will now have more opportunities to work, her husband who works in the auto industry which has been resurrected by Obama, and expanded Pell Grants for all three kids (and likely more) to be able to afford a college education.
I apologize if this just sounds like puke but I didn't have anything planned out, I just needed to put it out there. It's hard to talk to anyone about this since it seems that the majority of my family thinks I'm just the scum of the Earth for voting for Obama. Thanks for reading!
RE: "But you might not be as Machiavellian as I...."
Oh yes I AM --!
Well, I've never been a faker. I hid my ideas while my deconversion was in process but I'm sure not going to be censoring myself to make them happy, they certainly don't do the same. And actually, they probably would rather I never said a word about my liberalism and Atheism...sad.
Yeah, facebook and put this huge rift in my family, whether it's one cousin defriending me or another making assumptions about my drug use and sexuality. It been loads of assumptions without any talking straight to my face....I already have my settings where no one who's not my friend can see anything I do, that's more of an overall security thing though. But, hey, come xmas I'm just going to be as kind and friendly as ever. No reason to make what has always been a fun time into some religious/political discussion. I'm just going to let them all be a bigoted and ignorant as they want while I continue to be kind and loving no matter what.
I’m just lucky, I guess. The only family members with whom I am in regular contact are my brother and his wife. My brother is typical of most Americans, in that he doesn’t give religion any thought at all, one way or the other. My sister-in-law is a devout Catholic; and true Catholics rarely discuss religion philosophically at all. If she ever did decide to try to influence me or convert me, I would be very sad, because, although she is a very nice person whom I don’t want to hurt or antagonize, I would vigorously defend my atheist point of view. Fortunately, I think she knows that and so we both assiduously avoid the subject. Neither of us have any interest in pushing our beliefs onto others. That’s why I love it when J.W.’s and Mormons come to my door. No holds barred, then.
I read this post with a distant viewpoint, then thought about the fact that I hadn't heard from my mother since the election. I called to confirm we didn't have a problem, and thankfully, we didn't.
And so, I feel lucky for me and your post reminds me that although I also have a polarized family, our politics have not intimated themselves between elections.
I have not developed this on purpose, but perhaps speaking to your family about a separation between church and state inside your own relationships could help. Romney was obviously not God's chosen candidate because if he was he would have won by 100%, right? Or at least won. Does God choose a candidate for every election in the world, in the universe? These should be uncomfortable questions for the self-righteous.
@Strega and @archaeopteryx also make good points. Family is hardly ever about having the logical high ground. It is about supporting the people you care about when they are in trouble and in need, not when they are on a high horse.
Yeah, my brother had to go to the hospital recently while I was at work. He's diabetic and what he was going through didn't give him the capability to call 911 on his own. My aunt and uncle (this cousin's parents) were actually much closer to our apartment than I was but they came up with some bullshit excuse as to why they couldn't come over and just be with him until the ambulance arrived. So, no one's getting the logical high ground and no one's going to care for us when we're in need. Good things to know.
My mother is the exception and the only reason she couldn't be here was because she lives 7 hours away.
Petty, childish actions. Not by you, by them. All I can do is take solace knowing that I would never do the same thing, no matter what nonsense they decide to spout on facebook....