A man had sat down for a family dinner at a relative’s house, an event that he had expected to be a casual opportunity for family catch-ups. However, he would soon realize that his religious beliefs, or lack thereof, would spark a dinner table drama which would cause family controversy.
Mixed Religious Views
The man did not hold any particular religious beliefs and thought of himself as agnostic or even an atheist, but some members of his family believed differently. Notably, his sister held Christian beliefs, and this had recently rubbed off on her daughter.
A Fear of Jesus
The man explained that he had recently felt troubled during a conversation he had with his sister about the man’s niece. “She told me that her daughter has ‘a great fear of and love for Jesus’, he recounted. “It still makes me cringe, she’s only six years old!”
The Young Believer
At the dinner table, the six-year-old girl voiced a concern relating to her recent religious exploration. “She said that we need to pray before we eat”, the man recounted.
Not Everyone is Religious
In response to his niece’s demand, the man voiced his opinion. He explained that not everyone prays, so if she wanted to say grace then she was welcome to, but she shouldn’t expect everyone else to.
He Was Going to Hell
To the man’s shock, the young girl responded with dark accusations. “She told me that her mom said that we would go to hell if we didn’t pray before we ate”, he remembered in horror.
Somewhat taken aback, the man explained his refusal: “I said I don’t believe in any of that and that other people have different beliefs”.
Teaching Her a Lesson
Hoping to teach his niece a valuable life lesson, the man elaborated: “It’s absolutely okay for you to believe in something like that, but it’s not okay to try and force it on other people.”
His Sister’s Response
However, the man’s comments caused outrage at the dinner table, particularly in his sister, the mother of his niece. She became furious that the man had ‘tried to force his beliefs on her daughter’.
However, the man remained steadfast in his belief and refused to admit he had said anything wrong. He expressed that he felt that teaching a kid that they would face an eternity in Hell for not holding a particular religious belief was terrible.
Reflecting on His Words
The man’s words had caused quite the dinner table disruption, leaving him to reflect. His sister was accusing him of forcing his beliefs on his impressionable young niece, but he defended his actions rigorously. “I did NOT force my views on her, I simply told her that there are other beliefs out there”, he explained. “If anyone was imposing their beliefs, it was her and her mother.”
Did He Sin?
The man signed in to an online forum to recount the dinnertime events, asking fellow community members what they thought on the matter. To his relief, everyone quickly came to his defense. “Good for you for exposing that brainwashed child to more diverse views”, one commenter praised. “The mom is in the wrong here, on all fronts.”
Many readers commented on how the man’s sister was outrageously resorting to threats in order to discipline her child. “Of course, someone who threatens someone with hell is going to be angry with you for saying it doesn’t exist”, someone pointed out. “This awful parent has no other way to control her child. And yes, the child deserves to know about reality.”
Interestingly, some defendants of the man suggested he back down somewhat. “It’s important that you tread lightly here so that you can keep being a good influence in this kid’s life”, one commenter suggested. “If you get kicked out of her life, you can’t help her anymore.”
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