So recently there was an email sent out (by my father, to the rest of the family) and it was basically saying that all Democrats hate god and blah blah blah, nation dying blah blah blah, here are some bible verses. After some intense discussion where most of my family shat on my beliefs and called me stupid, I started a discussion with my father asking him to not include me on these types of emails in the future. He then said that I need to change my ways and I emailed him back instances where religion has failed and should not be involved in government. This was his response:
Hey Amanda - this is what bothers me about the whole religion concept ... it is almost impossible for a devout adherent *not* to abuse their children. I used to discount the mantra about religion using fear tactics, but the more I hear the more I think its true. Thankfully I was never told I was going to hell, especially as a child. That's horrible.
RE: "neither are guaranteed" - that may be true, Greg, but I think that you will agree with me that the love of a parent for a child should never be conditional upon that child's belief system - if it is, it isn't love.
RE: "conditional love is better then no love at all" - I can only reiterate, conditional love IS no love at all.
It's love of an image that you hold in your mind, and if your child can step into that image, and fit it perfectly then you will love it, but your love isn't for the child, it's for the image, the child is an incidental. And you DO realize, I'm sure, that I mean only the metaphorical, "you."
WOW...there must be a tragic story behind all that pain, you must have really been hurt to end up seeing love as an all or nothing proposition. I wish I could help, but I can't, I'm a very flawed individual, I've taken my lessons in life by riding the ebb and the flow of it, experiencing the pleasure and pain of my own journey.
It's left me battered and scarred and maybe a little wiser. I wish you much luck in finding perfect unconditional love, for myself I'll take what I can get, I've seen the other side of the coin and it's not so pretty.
Gregg, I think that everyone has a different capacity for love. I loved my father unconditionally. We disagreed on some points and agreed on others, but that did not impact my love for him. I also love my mother, and we have had an extremely tempestuous relationship - it doesn't affect the fact that I love her completely.
I love my brother and my sister unconditionally. They happen to both be truly remarkable people, but I will love them whatever they might say, do or be going forward. In case of an organ requirement, I will gladly give them one of any of my body parts they might ever need.
I would really like you to understand that for some people, this is not a difficult concept. I also am taking from your post, that it is not applicable to everyone. That is fine by me, I hope its fine by you also.
I happen to agree that there are some people I love conditionally. I love my wife, but should she go careening off in search of multiple partners outside our marriage, that might impact my love. I am pretty sure she won't, mind you :)
Trust this clarifies.
"Trust this clarifies."
Of course it does. For myself I 'feel' love it's emotional. Conditions on the other hand are concepts that are part and parcel to our own individual paradigms.
Many of us have and do love deeply and that is to be treasured and protected as best we can.
But for a human to claim to be capable of "unconditional love" toward another human for an entire lifetime is a level of hubris that I cannot not bring myself to rise to. I guess I've live too long and seen too much to entertain the idea that any human is capable of such a feat, so I remain skeptical of the phenomenon.
RE: "I guess I've live too long and seen too much to entertain the idea that any human is capable of such a feat, so I remain skeptical of the phenomenon."
And that makes me wonder on which side of these posts the pain really lies --
It's not a question of finding it Greg, I already have it, for my own children. I feel it and show it regularly. I guess I'm not adequately expressing what I'm trying to say, as my point seems to be missing it's mark.
I'll try one last time. If Amanda's father tells her he won't love her unless she behaves and acts as a Christian, I'm saying he loves the image of Amanda as a Christian, not the REAL Amanda, who is a multitude of things, not just a cardboard Christian cutout. If he truly loved the REAL Amanda, he'd love her, even if she were Republican!
For Amanda to accept this, believing, as you say, that "conditional love is better than no love at all," she would only be deluding herself into believing her father's psuedo-love was real. and spend her - or at least his - life, knowing that if she steps a foot too far to the right or the left of this path her father envisions for her, the love ends - what kind of neurotic life would that be?
I'm sorry we're miscommunicating, I wish I could express myself better. I love unconditionally, on a daily basis, no pain here.
In fact, I believe one of the reasons I became an atheist as a teenager, was that, upon reading the Bible, it became obvious that if I can love love unconditionally, and god clearly can't or he wouldn't have need of the concept of sin or to send his son to die an agonizing death, then I'm the superior being, because I can do something that god can't. In such a case, why should I worship him? (You understand, that I speak of god as though he were real, as I'm trying to demonstrate the process my teen-age mind went through, "back in the day")
I'm glad that you love your family so deeply, that's a good thing.
I don't accept the "unconditional love" concept, I can't picture an absolute ideology like that, it's a bit too nonsensical for me.
I don't personally know Amanda nor her Dad so I can't speak for them. I hope Amanda and her Dad can find enough common ground to love each as best as they can, conditional or not.
On that, we both agree.