Mother’s letter to atheist son shows the divisive power of religion

Mother’s letter to atheist son shows the divisive power of religion

Here’s a tragic example of what happens when your loved ones are ensnared in the clutches of religious dogma:

My Darling Son David,

You are so very special to me and have always been the love of my life. I used to think when you were little that I would die for you, and live because of you. You meant the world to me and I will always love you very much.

Because of this love I always wanted you to have the happiest, safest life I could provide and tried to bring you up with the strongly held beliefs I lived by, in the hope that this would affect your own life for the good and ultimately you would live forever in Paradise on earth. You know all this be the case.

I personally have always believed in the Truth as presented in the Bible and have always felt the strong presence of Jehovah God and Jesus in my life, even as a child. I have always believed the prophesies in the Bible, and that there will be paradise on earth in which everyone will live in peace and love with no war, sickness and death, and that the dead will be resurrected due to Jehovah’s justice and fairness. I have always lived my life with all this in view, and have never sought a worldly, secular career or pathway. Becoming one of Jehovah’s Witness was the obvious next step for me.

This letter is being written by me with no outside coercion or influence because there are things I want to say to you. Being in the Truth had never been easy but when all is said and done, I am in it because of my belief in Jehovah, and what he has done for us, and will yet do.

I’m always a little suspicious whenever someone says specifically in a letter that they are not being coerced.

People will always let you down, and somehow we have to look above and beyond, at the bigger picture. So to say that some people who profess to be Christians live in ways that show them to be hypocrites is no exaggeration. But I strongly feel that whilst they may fool themselves and others, they can’t fool Jehovah, and “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God”.

I have chosen my path and my way of life and so I must live by the commands and statutes laid down in the Bible by Jehovah himself. One of these commands has been the cause of great stress and grief to me, and I have put it off for too long now. I realize that I would have benefitted [sic] spiritually by doing things Jehovah’s way from the start, and I must emphasize that what I am about to say to you is not influenced by any other living person, but is purely directed by my conscience and a desire to regain my peaceful friendship with God. Nobody can make me do anything I don’t want to do.

I’m always really suspicious whenever someone claims not to have been coerced…multiple times in the same letter.

whilst this is the single most painful thing I have ever had to do in my entire life, I need to move forwards towards the goal of everlasting life, and to this end I deeply regret that I must terminate our relationship whilst you remain disfellowshipped.

I have cried myself dry over this situation, and it has broken my heart , but David you have known that it should have been handled this way from the start. You have chosen your path in life, and I wish you all the best. I want you to know that not only will my love always be there for you, but Jehovah too is waiting with open arms for your return.

Your loving mother, now and forever.

Her last line says it all; confused about her own delusion and her love for her son, she’s created an imaginary opening to have him back in her life: simply return to God and all is forgiven! Hey, it’s what Jesus would have wanted. He did say, after all, that you should abandon your families if they don’t believe in his ownership of all reality. How else are you suppose to manage a cult?

(via davetrash)

Comments (40)

  • avatar

    Mykelb

    Dear Mother,

    I have taken your letter to several professionals in the medical field. They have come to the conclusion that you are an irrational, illogical, brainwashed, fuckwit of a mother who doesn’t know what love really is about. Please shove your buybull so far up your cunt that you never have enough feeling left in your fingers to write to me again.

    Sincerely, Your ever Loving Son.

  • avatar

    Brenda

    There is no person, religion, god, deity, sickness, punishment,…that would make me renounce or abandon my son even if it meant giving up my very life…my very existence…
    This woman is an irrational, idiotic puppet of her religion and a poor excuse for a mother whose first atrocity is abandoning the single most important role she has in life!
    Unbelievable!

  • avatar

    Joe

    It demeans all Atheists when an organism like Mykelb expresses itself with abuse and foul language.

  • avatar

    Richard

    I don’t see the big deal, frankly. I don’t know how old this guy is, but if he’s like 20 or older then it’s not like he needs his mother the way a child or teenager does. I know this is damning with faint praise, but it’s not like she’s forcing him to do anything, or worse trying to kill him for dishonouring the family, the way a certain religion of peace does. She’s just saying that while he chooses to be reject the church, she doesn’t want to have a relationship with him. While this is cold and somewhat unusual, it’s honest and straightforward. Frankly, I’m not as appalled as it seems I should be.

  • avatar

    Scott Jensen

    I can say from experience, being shunned and cut off from family members is devastating. It didn’t hit me at first, but once I turned 30, it hit hard.

  • avatar

    Laura Ross

    I lost my faith as a teenager and did everything I could to get it back. I personally never was able to believe in God again no matter how hard I tried, and I’m 52 now. So it’s useless and cruel for this mother to write a letter like this, as if her pressure could change his beliefs.

  • avatar

    Kain

    Richard… she’s disowning her son for not believing in her imaginary friend. If we didn’t give so much unworthy credence to religious belief, she’d be consigned to an asylum by now.

  • avatar

    karl

    This “mother” is writing this “letter” in an attempt to absolve herself of any blame for the probable distress it will cause to her son and possibly extended “family” who may read it. Anybody who follows a “religion or belief system” is inherently selfish as they only concerned about they must do to obtain “gods love/approval” without regard for anybody else (as the above letter proves). It is also a crystal clear example of why “religion” should be publicly banned.

  • avatar

    Kim Rippere

    My grandmother, a devout Catholic, had this to say on the subject to her atheist granddaughter: A parent that is willing to give up their child(ren) for a belief is worse than being an atheist!

  • avatar

    BlueIndependent

    This letter is the sort of thing you show to anyone who claims “Oh religion is great because it gives you solace.”

    When you look at how this letter is written, how she expresses herself, the emotional machinations she goes through, the beliefs she is – apparently – literally afraid for her own life to shed or even lose a moment of faith over, you cannot help but see how corrupt religious belief can truly be. When I read how she referred to her god, I immediately thought “she’s JW”, and once it was confirmed, I knew exactly how the letter would end.

    I don’t know whether to be angry at someone like this, or to pity them. That’s how stark the problem is; I don’t even know how to react to someone acting in this way. She’s so disconnected from reality because of the crap she’s been fed. I can’t imagine what she’d do if one day she found out it was all a lie. Obviously, actively removing her son from her life wasn’t enough to cause her to re-evaluate things even a little. So what would?

    But to get back to what I started with, so much for religion providing solace. We need only read this letter to see the anguish it causes someone who believes so hard, she can’t tell who she truly loves – her beliefs or her progeny. Solace isn’t the act of emotionally draining yourself over intentionally forcing your own child out of your life, and then trudging on without them but in the company of similarly lost people who are, ultimately, in this game only for themselves.

    See here how a comforting word’s definition is transformed into functional insanity because of religion.

  • avatar

    Rimon

    This is heartbreaking.

  • avatar

    mctaffity

    I used to be a JW myself, however, my leaving (after being a baptised member for a good ten years) caused barely a murmur – most probably because I had no close family members involved in the church who may have written a letter like this.

    Not fair really is it? Who knows, maybe if I’d had a letter of this sort I’d returned to the service of Jehovah, rather than the path of wanton debauchery and self destruction I’ve strayed onto (!)

    Obviously, I’d don’t really envy the poor chap who received this damnable communication, and I love suckling at satan’s teat, but one of the very first thoughts that put doubt in my mind about a loving god is that he does not treat us all the same…

  • avatar

    VinDepo

    Like BlueIndependent, I knew right away it was the letter of a JW mom, and where it would go. I’m very fortunate (being in the same case than the son here), that my mom has kept her balance, and will never shun me while I am now an atheist, and her still an active JW. Some people are just more controlled than others. It’s sad really — here’s a mom shunning the son and live she has NOW, for a fantasy fairy tale that will obviously never come. As Hitchens would say, “religion poisons everything” – indeed.
    I agree with JOe, that Mykelb is an embarrassment to us non-believers.

  • avatar

    Isaac J. Harris

    Sometimes people tend to downplay the impact something like this can have. Especially if they’re not all that close to their own families. But people need to understand that, in most cases, being cut off is devastating. It’s also a form of coercion, or emotional blackmail, employed by small isolationist religions for a very long time.

    I’ve seen cases where Jehovah’s Witnesses have handled it in ways that were even worse than this one. But this letter was not kind. In nearly it’s entirety, the letter was about her and how he disappointed her. It plainly says, “This is your fault and I absolve myself of any responsibility my shunning you might have.”

    Also, her saying that she was not coerced is only half true. There may not have been anyone pointing a literal gun at her head, but if anyone at her Kingdom Hall found out she was communicating with her disfellowshipped son in any way, the congregation would have disfellowshipped her as well. DFing means you are shunned–literally treated as if you do not exist–and you are excommunicated. She clearly believes in this stuff and that her religion will lead her to paradise on Earth (that’s what most JWs believe to be in store for them). Losing that would have been devastating for her. It’s entirely possible that someone did find out that she was talking to him and that the local elders warned her to cut him off or else. Disfellowshipping is the figurative gun that JWs hold at each others heads.

    For most people, this is not some minor thing. It’s huge. And we’re talking about a religion that is paranoid, controlling, manipulative, and dishonest to its own followers. It is more than willing to use this against its followers and actually prints “success stories” in its magazines about how shunning has forced ex-Witnesses to come back to their Kingdom Hall. Some Witnesses even maintain a list of known apostates who must be avoided online! http://apostateantivirus.blogspot.ca/

    Nothing about this should sound healthy to anybody.

  • avatar

    Ona

    Wow, this could have been written by my dad. Except there would have been more insults “like you must be a communist” and “you are going to burn in hell”. And the one that always makes me laugh,”Don’t you know the rapture is coming in my lifetime.” He used to tell my sweet elderly aunt with genetic mental issues that I’m going to burn in hell and she would call me in tears every couple weeks concerned about my soul. But since I was the one who cared for her, paid for what she needed and spent a year working to going thru her home filled by her hording habits so she could move to a retirement home and not die alone while he fought me every step of the way, I’m sure I’m safe from hell even if there is one. I”m not so sure about him.

  • avatar

    Isaac J. Harris

    Ona, the JW equivalent would be “you’re so worldly now” and “Armageddon is coming!”

    I’ve known ex-Witnesses who were told by their own parents or children that their pets stand a better chance at Armageddon than they do.

    The language is different, but the structure and attitude behind the insults are about the same.

  • avatar

    amanita

    This could have been written by my dad too at one time.Until he saw that I wasnt going to “cave’ and that no one else was going to help him and my mother in their old age,my ‘devout JW sister’ included.So,he softened his attitude.Good thing for him,cause he would have missed out on having a wonderful,fun life for the last few years of his life.He actually began to see the JW’s for what they really are.I hate them,and cant wait till they are exposed for the malicious dangerous cult that they are.I want tickets to the front row of the stoning!!!!

  • avatar

    Robster

    The JW sect seems little more than a totalitarion theologic cult. I’ve had them over a few times in recent weeks, nice and friendly but quick to lie. I bought up “shunning” and they said no no no, that no longer happens. I mentioned disfellowshipping and they made it sound little more than an inconvenience. They came with a pile of others in a small bus and fanned out around the ‘burb. I told them I’m an atheist and that seemed to inspire them that I may have been some sort of prospect? What? They’ve left lots of pretty magazines and nicely printed little books that all seem to be based on a belief in a magic jew and a magic sky fairy. I ask for proof every time they set foot here, never get an answer that could be considered reasonable. One little book said proudly that there’s now over three and a half million JW’s world wide. Their message is being ignored by 99.9009% of the worlds population. Seems jehova can’t do anything right, the deity’s a total failure.

  • avatar

    NH

    To be honest with that letter, their fight should have just remained their fight. Publicizing their issues online just involves others unnecessarily… it’s just with a neutral standpoint of this. I don’t think anyone has the right to comment on this without having a complete understand of what’s really going on from BOTH SIDES. I mean, it says something about his character to POST their disagreement online and clearly she could have written that letter differently as well. There are other ways to express what she wanted to say to him, for all you know she could have been hysteric or sobbing her eyes out when she wrote this rather than thinking carefully over her wording. You can’t judge a person’s beliefs without a full and clear understanding of what and why they believe it.

  • avatar

    D

    NH… You’re kidding, right? I can’t think of many excuses for a parent to turn their back on a child. Certainly not because their beliefs are not the same. I am very tolerant of religious folks (although that tolerance is waning), and can even kind of sympathize with her struggle. But, as a parent I can not imagine how poisoned her mind has to be to even consider writing such a letter. The fact that the son posted only points to his potential need for support during such a horrible experience. I can’t imagine how devastating it would be to receive a letter like this from my mother. My parents and sister are VERY active in the church (not JW). They are very aware of my non-belief and still love me. We still have calm conversations about it. And, if they get heated, we stop the convo before feathers get ruffled. We remain family, we remain close. I know that my family is there for me when I need them whether or not I believe in their magic sky wizard (I would never use that term with them, but I’m a little creased here). That’s what families do. That this woman could even consider turning her back on her son, is disgusting and speaks only to her mental illness at being affiliated with such a toxic cult,

  • avatar

    mlove

    My family is “fortunately” in thrall to a less scary cult, although still a Christian cult. My mother’s major mistake when trying to “bring me back to the fold” was telling me that my chronic miscarriages (caused by an autoimmune disorder) would stop and God would give me a baby if I would “just repent, beg forgiveness, and return to the church.”

    I too knew as soon as I read that “Paradise on earth” crap that it was a JW letter and would end in disowning. I have had many friends who were raised JW. One family in particular experienced such severe child abuse that one of them was made deaf in one ear by a blow to the head and the others had injuries of varying seriousness; they all have severe emotional problems as adults, some of them major substance abuse issues. But OF COURSE these parents used the teachings of the church to justify their actions. When an organization is oriented toward power and control, it attracts and emboldens power and control abusers and provides them with justification for their abuse.

  • avatar

    Carla Teegarden

    I am so glad that I was raised by an atheist. He saw how much damage religion caused. It caused wars, violence, and pain. This letter just goes to show that it can even turn a mother against her own son. But the Bible promotes this. Remember Abraham? Willing to kill his only son?
    I feel so sorry for this man. It would be easy to dismiss her and say “forget her” but this is not the reality. This must be devastating to this person. I can only feel the greatest of sympathy for him. All I can say is there is something WRONG with your mother. Her thinking is impaired. It is sad that a religion or belief system can get this strong that it eclipses a mothers natural love for a child.
    I look at religious people like this as brainwashed or mentally ill. There is something lacking in THEM to make this so important that they will turn their back on their loved ones. Its sad for all those involved.

  • avatar

    Janus Thumbtzen

    No Christian calls Jesus or god Jehovah this lady is a Jehovah’s Witness. Which is way different from normal Christian people they don’t do Christmas, Easter or Birthdays. An they have there own version of the bible and yes they will abandon there own family if they don’t live the way they do. But then again there are many versions of Christianity you have to find what ever works for you at the end of the day. A wise man once said if you control the religion you can control the people.

  • avatar

    Grok

    Hey I know this game – anyone who isn’t familiar with the JW’s, they practice “disfellowshipping” but for parent to actually observe this when directed towards there children is fairly rare! But some of them, like all religion nuts – are nuts!
    (p.s. xian commenters – You can take the whole ‘God’ delusion and shove it where the sun don’t shine – if God existed in a way I could deal with – he’d be killed for all his heinous reprehensible crimes)

  • avatar

    Grok

    [edit]
    Hey I know this game – anyone who isn’t familiar with the JW’s, they practice “disfellowshipping” (all members totally ignoring someone) but for a parent to actually observe this when directed towards their children is fairly rare! But some of them, like all religion nuts – are nuts!
    (p.s. xian commenters – You can take the whole ‘God’ delusion and shove it where the sun don’t shine – if God existed in a way I could deal with – he’d be killed for all his heinous reprehensible crimes) – See more at: http://www.thegoodatheist.net/2012/06/21/mothers-letter-to-atheist-son-shows-the-divisive-power-of-religion/comment-page-1/#comment-64330

  • avatar

    Ian Hall

    I’m afraid I come from the other side of the equation – I could no long stand my mother’s religious outbursts and finally cut her off. I haven’t spoken to her in 20 years. I know she would like a relationship but the thought of making contact again leaves me cold. In my defense, my childhood was marked by almost daily beatings for my sinful attitudes and she would regularly call out to the Lord to preserve me/forgive me, “speak in tongues”, pray over my bed at night and summon various religious figures to discuss my hell-bound soul. She also burned me on several occasions to demonstrate what lay in store if I didn’t change my ways. As an adult, she would condemn all my girlfriends to hell and pull stunts like turning up at my front door with her prayer group at 3am to plead with me to “come back to Jesus”. I wouldn’t say that religion made her crazy but it certainly provided a rich context through which her craziness could be expressed. The reality is that the recipient of this letter has been spared a painful choice of their own. His mother has released him from a life spent painfully in the balance, trying to protect himself from her emotional overtures while fending off constant guilt at his neglect and distance. It may seem cruel but it’s a win for him and opens the possibility that his mother may finally questioning her beliefs and choices when she starts to feel the emotional cost of separation from her child.

  • avatar

    happyhuman13

    As a former JW Elder of 20 years and now a secular humanist, I make a connection others may have missed. The April 15, 2012 issue of the Watchtower addressed this very point. Many Witnesses have covert contact with disfellowshipped family members or friends. The organization has struggled with this and has always tried to squash it. I am citing the following article for purely critical purposes….Note what it says and be sickened. This magazine was likely received by the mom who wrote the above letter in February 2012. She wrote her letter at the end of March 2012. Obviously a coincidence.

    “w12 4/15 p. 12 Betrayal—An Ominous Sign of the Times! *** (2012 Watchtower, April 15th Study Edition)

    REMAIN LOYAL TO JEHOVAH
    16 There are members of the congregation who committed serious sins and who were reproved “with severity, that they may be healthy in the faith.” (Titus 1:13) For some, their conduct has required that they be disfellowshipped. For “those who have been trained by it,” the discipline has helped them to become spiritually restored. (Heb. 12:11) What if we have a relative or a close friend who is disfellowshipped? Now our loyalty is on the line, not to that person, but to God. Jehovah is watching us to see whether we will abide by his command not to have contact with anyone who is disfellowshipped.—Read 1 Corinthians 5:11-13.

    17 Consider just one example of the good that can come when a family loyally upholds Jehovah’s decree not to associate with disfellowshipped relatives. A young man had been disfellowshipped for over ten years, during which time his father, mother, and four brothers “quit mixing in company” with him. At times, he tried to involve himself in their activities, but to their credit, each member of the family was steadfast in not having any contact with him. After he was reinstated, he said that he always missed the association with his family, especially at night when he was alone. But, he admitted, had the family associated with him even a little, that small dose would have satisfied him. However, because he did not receive even the slightest communication from any of his family, the burning desire to be with them became one motivating factor in his restoring his relationship with Jehovah. Think of that if you are ever tempted to violate God’s command not to associate with your disfellowshipped relatives.”

  • avatar

    happyhuman13

    Quick follow up. People who leave the church because it is flat wrong and want out are treated as “disfellowshipped”. So when the congregation learns that you have been “disfellowshipped”, they think you sunk to moral debauchery, not that you made an informed, intelligent choice and escaped the madness.

    When I left, I made sure everyone knew I quit.

  • avatar

    Barbara

    My Catholic father disowned me after I told him I no longer believed in God. He said we had nothing in common, and from now on, he was going to refer to me “simply as the sister to my children.” A poetic man, my father.

    I told him that I would expect no less from him, since that’s what his God has taught him: If your child pisses you off, damn them to hell. I told him that I believed in unconditional love, so when he was ready to come around, I’d be waiting for him.

    Took him 8 years, but he called on my birthday last year. And he sent me an invitation to his 4th wedding (his wives keep dying).

  • avatar

    John

    After reading this, and reading all the comments, my main thought is of wondering if atheist people realize that a lot of you are just as bad as religious people.

  • avatar

    FredZeplin

    Skepticism is a healthy part of rational thought : has this letter been verified to be what it is claimed to be? Are we dealing with a hoax? 2) How can we rationally base our entire judgement on her response to events we are unaware of? Did the son commit some heinous crime or is a manipulative drug-addict damaging the family? 3) There is nothing in the letter to confirm that his “path in life” is merely professing atheism.
    There is a well-known behavior syndrome, the “enabler”, a person who in co-dependent relationships with an addict will aid destructive behaviours. This letter also reads like an enabler who has escaped the cycle and has done so with the help of her faith.
    Unless someone with hard data can verify the context, anything is possible here. And even if the letter is what the OP claims it to be, the evidence is overwhelming that religious people hold their families in as high a regard as anyone else. The OP makes fatuous and infantile observations using a letter which at best features a fragment of what is obviously a complex situation.

  • avatar

    Gabe

    It’s sad to see a mother abounding her child, that is where I have always had my differences woth the Jehovah’s witness’s. although I love Jehovah very much, some of the witness’s give him a bad name, but you must have patient and forgiveness. If I recall correctly Jesus never turned his back on anyone, weather they be sick, gay, demonic, atheist, what ever the case may be. So yes I do think the mother is in the wrong here for giving up on her child, and stopping contact with him because the elders (priest) told her to, Jehovah will have mercy though. One last thing, I am personally agnostic for some of the reason following: religions are, greedy, false teaching, pro-war, pro-homosexual, ect… But when it comes down to the bottom line the witness’s are the closes thing to salvation we’ve got, yet if they stumble they will be punished for their actions. As the old saying goes, “it’s better to cast yourself in to the ocean, than to stumble a young lamb.”

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    “…And even if the letter is what the OP claims it to be, the evidence is overwhelming that religious people hold their families in as high a regard as anyone else.”

    Sounds like someone is trying to interpret this letter in a way that doesn’t obviously smack of religious division. Look, it’s no different than Jesus telling his followers to abandon their friends and families if they didn’t believe he was the Messiah. In any case, while this mother may “love” her son, it’s obvious that her love for an idea in her mind, that of Jesus and his hoard of angelic buddies, are more important than a relationship with her child. Dress it up any way you want, and pretend that perhaps there’s a part of the story we don’t understand, but there are a thousand other letters just like this, written for the same reasons and with the same conclusions: mainly that their love of God and the continued relationship with their family member is impossible.

    A complex situation? I’ll tell you, when it comes to choosing between my family and some imaginary friend, there isn’t much of a contest in my opinion.

  • avatar

    FredZeplin

    “I’ll tell you, when it comes to choosing between my family and some imaginary friend, there isn’t much of a contest in my opinion.:”

    Sounds like someone, like some of the responses, thinks parental love is supposed to be unconditional and that you are responsible for nothing: use the rent-free basement apartment at your mom’s place as a crack-house, despite the legal risks to her; steal money from her purse because you are too lazy to get a job; link her ip address and credit card with illegal and immoral websites jacking off to porn all night. Gee, and she is the irrational one for kicking your sorry a$$ out on the street by drawing strength from an imaginary friend, all of which is “evidence” of hate-dogma? What a bunch of losers.

    Parents have every right to expect that the children they sacrifice for preach the values they hold. You want to be prodigal son? See ya later!

    I am confident that religion will outlast this atheist fad given the level of irrationality prompted by this woman’s heartfelt letter. Using atheism to cover a fear that parents may actually start acting like parents reveals a key insight into the pathology of atheism.

  • avatar

    Jonnan

    Yes Fred, that’s absolutely the correct analogy – allowing your Church to divide up your family over their adherence to church dogma is *definitely* more like enforcing rules about not using the basement as a crackhouse than a cultlike desire to restrict your interactions to people within the cult, limiting any access to outside influences or information.

    Silly people – thinking that’s cultlike, just because that’s one of the standard definitions of a cult.

    Good Call Fred. So anyway, see you at the goat sacrifice to Wotan Sunday?

  • avatar

    Suzanne

    My sister always ended her notes or letters with “I love my family, but I love Jesus more”. I asked her, if Jesus told you to kill your grandchildren, would you do it?
    She got angry, and didn’t answer. She also no longer adds that line to her notes and letters.

  • avatar

    Bula Stee

    What are you all yapping about a devoted woman`s actions towards her son? The boy chooses to be an atheist and so be it. The mother is only trying to do her best to persuade her son back to follow their teachings of the faith,as it has always been a tradition in the family. I don`t think any of you haters out there understand what this woman is going through everyday of her life having to put up with this. She has given her son the option to choose the religious path in his life and the doors will always be open for him to reunite with the family. The ball is now in her son`s court. For Christ sake, every mother will always love their child and will never desert them like this. If you haven`t read the Holy bible I suggest you look up the parable of the prodigal son. I really love this parable and I would like to share it with you. You can go out and do whatever you like with your life, But when you decided you `ve had enough of your foolish ways then you will return back home and say, In this case Mum, `I`m so sorry for I should have listened to you in the first place’. My son, I thought you were lost , but now you are found. I thought you were dead but no you`re alive.’ welcome back home. I hope you all enjoy this parable. Instead of making a situation worse by your criticisms’. Please give them some hope and comfort. Surely the son will come to his senses and return home to the family once again.

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