For about 13 years, my dad has made my family perform a ritual in the morning of most days. It’s changed slightly over the years, mostly just by adding more half-quoted Bible verses for us to repeat after him in meaningless succession, but for the most part it’s been consistent. He has us stand in a circle and repeat things he says for a while and do stupid poses (the latter part was added a few years ago because he watched a TED talk or something), and then he brings up Ephesians 6:10-18, or Paul’s “Armor of God” metaphor. I say metaphor, though my parents would call that heresy, as they see the “armor” as a literal set of armor that we must physically place on our bodies every day. It’s a stupid, stupid ritual based on bizarre, ungrounded theology, but any time I’ve questioned it or even just not spoken in a tone that sounded convincingly enthusiastic or reverent, he gets pissed at me for “disrespecting God.”
TL;DR, being raised under entirely literalist theology is fucking exhausting.
So, I’m a little late to the party here, but every now and then I hear someone railing against organized religion and I find myself nodding along because as an atheist that seems to fit my biases pretty well. But then every now and then I hear a story like this and I think, you know, maybe religion could use a little bit of organization after all.
My condolences on, uh, whatever the hell that was. The most important lesson is from Luke 23:37 “Save yourself!” Okay that was selective editing and just for snark, but really I hope you find a way that works for you, and a way to work with your family, that can work in the long term.