Monday, May 28, 2012

Barriers to leaving religion: Part 2

As touched on briefly in Part 1, one's involvement with their parents' religion often begins right off the bat, before the child is even able to sit up, babble or do anything much at all.  From the first moments of conscious awareness, one already has a religious social identity and social network within the religion.  To the person wrestling with a decision to stay in the church, these would have to be sacrificed if one were to leave.

Many questioners also have parents, grandparents and other family members who would feel personally harmed by their family member leaving the church.  It would be like being on Let's Make a Deal, where you can choose one of three doors, but if you don't choose Door #1, it's going to make your grandmother cry.

From the believer's point of view, their loved one is giving up an eternity in Heaven, and it's understandable that they would become upset.  But the fact remains that, because of the structure of major religious belief systems and the social pressure that results, lots of people stay in the religion when they should otherwise leave, damaging both themselves and the religion.

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