My 6 year old son is “graduating” from kindergarten. Can you get a diploma for learning the alphabet and using dull scissors?……Anyway, this brings me back to the last time this occurred, 2 years ago with my daughter. Back then in another life, my mom and in-laws and even a couple of close friends from my old congregation were there to see my daughter Nadia cry on stage while her class sang for their graduation ceremony. (Don’t tell her I wrote that, she HATES when we talk about it.)
But now things are different. Now that I decided to voluntarily change my religious affiliation to ‘non-cult status’ it seems that it also changes who loves my children. My mother will not be at my son’s, her grandson’s, graduation. Neither will anyone from the local JW congregation. My in-laws will be there, though unlike last time when we all went out to a celebratory dinner afterwards, that is ”bad idea” this time. I mean they couldn’t possibly be seen with someone who choose to leave their church, right? My goodness no! What would the congregation police force (I mean elders) think? I bet they won’t even sit with us in the auditorium. Because if you leave their group not only are you shunned, but your kids get semi-shunned too, just like God wants. But you know, your completely free to leave whenever you want…remember?
But this is not a rant on the evils of the JW shunning policy. Hopefully. This is just about me thinking of how to handle it. Today I found out that my in-laws are maybe considering the possibility of perhaps maybe going to dinner with us in a nearby town, which lessons the danger of them being seen. So the way I see it I have two options. Number 1: Be a dick about it. This is my natural way I handle things anyway so it won’t be difficult. I could insist that we have dinner in town and tell them that if they want to see their grandson on this important occasion then they have to have his father at the table too. No making their shunning easier on them. Option 2: The kind and compassionate choice. Understand that this is not easy for them either and that at least they are budging a little (with the dinner in another town option). Maybe kindness by me now will eventually soften their hearts and see the absurdity of the shunning policy.
I don’t know. Why am I faced with such a choice anyway? Is this really all over the fact that I choose to go a different path away from an organization that claims that people are free to leave whenever they choose?
Update: In-laws have decided that, no, even an out of town dinner would be a sin. Damn, and I was going to pick option 2. Oh well. Good luck getting a picture of my son at the graduation without me in it. 😂