I am privileged enough to be a mother to three wonderful young men. I’ll never forget the first time I held my first child and the intense wave of protectiveness and fierce love that swept over me. Like most mothers I knew right then that I would die for this tiny human before I would let anything harm it. There is something very primal, very acute, and very ancient about that motherly love. It enables us to survive sleepless nights, keep watch like a hawk, and always always want the best for our offspring – despite our own hopes and desires for them. There is no other selfless love than that of a mother.
This devotion is the reason we experience such raw complete pain when we are on the outs with our children. So far, cross my fingers, I’ve yet to encounter any difficulties with my own boys but I have a couple of sisters whose children have distanced themselves and I see the exorbitant amount of pain and anguish they endure – I hurt for them as only another mother can. It makes me thankful for the relationships I have with my boys, and keeps me mindful to tend them as diligently as I tend my yard and flowers.
And yet, despite this innate adoration that we experience as mothers, and the pain that accompanies a broken relationship with a child, there are some who would willingly, consciously, unswervingly choose a religion over their child. I know this because one of my dearest and best friends is currently walking a very fine line with her mother in the hopes that she and her infant son are not shunned completely from her parents life – all because, like any normal human, she questions the faith she was indoctrinated with as a child. I ache for her and worry for her. I wonder at the ‘omnipotence’ of a god who would direct his followers to act as if their children didn’t exist. But mostly, I wonder at the ability of a single denomination of a single religion in a series of man made religions to have such a hold over its followers that even a mother would forsake her own flesh and blood.
I simply cannot fathom it.
In fact, it is unnatural. It is wholly unnatural for a mother to forsake her love for her child and abandon it as if it never were. It goes completely against our motherly instincts. I can only conclude then, that the religion which teaches the anachronistic practice of shunning must have an unhealthy hold on its adherents if it would override a mothers love and devotion.
This surmise bears out over several academic disciplines, psychology and sociology for instance. History has given us plenty of examples of cults and sects whose practices require them to completely shut off the outside world and anything to do with it – even family members. In a more intimate relationship, say between a man and a woman, if he isolates his partner, keeps her from friends and family and feeds her consistent lies about the way the world works, we do not hesitate call it abuse. Yet, religion – and the omnipotent god it supports – does that very thing, to the point of triumphing a mother’s innate love .
There is something horribly amiss about the idea.
Here’s to a mother’s love…let no thing….including religion….drive it asunder.