Two important details for context:
Religion is an interesting concept BUT no logical, thinking person should put stock, beyond interest, in any philosophy that is so fundamentally flawed and provably amalgamated from so many other, MUCH older philosophies.
As a sub detail specific to christianity, one cannot have any kind of "personal" relationship with a dead person. In the christian tradition, when people die, they go to 'heaven' and have no further contact with living humans. To say otherwise is to dabble in the occult and that freaks the christians out totally. Don't think so? Refer to any number of religious fanatics trying to ban the Harry Potter series because of it's so-called occult overtones.
Additionally, the probability that the person with whom christians are having the 'personal' relationship ever existed is questionable AT BEST! To believe otherwise is to simply be deluded in order to be part of a larger group of delusionals. Other than the christian bible, which is a strung-together collection of bad poetry, social control and politicial PR, there is no other historical, archival or archaeological evidence that the person in question ever existed. NONE. One cannot attempt to prove the truth of any philosophy by using the philosophy as the research document. That's called circular reasoning.
In the christian religion, the main character is certainly made up, as nearly identical characters appear in any number of other philosophies, many predating christianity by thousands of years. Same goes for Islam, which has as a central character, a person who may or may not have existed but who, if he did, was certainly afflicted with some disease, likely epilepsy.
In the case of 'virgin' birth, this is, first of all, a biological impossibility. Secondly, and this is where christians try to have it both ways, if one's 'father' is 'god', then one cannot have human ancestors on their male line. Therefore, "descended of the House of David," indicates that either this is a made up story (probably) or that 'virgin' in this case refers to 'first.' If Mary and Joseph trucked off to Bethlehem to pay taxes in the city of their ancestors (his ancestors, actually) then who's the ancestor? Pretty much sure 'god' isn't on the hook for taxes....
Second important point for context: as much as religion is mass idiocy and voluntary delusion, I defend absolutely the rights of people to have, or to have not, said delusion . You are welcome to your beliefs, views, philosophies, as am I to mine. I am not interested in bringing you over to my views and am staunchly opposed to anyone attempting to force their philosophy on me.
To the point of this post, entering into conditional relationships - unless I believe what you believe, we cannot be friends - proves two things:
- the 'believer' is essentially insecure about their beliefs;
- the 'believer' disrespects totally the rights of others.
To make matters worse, there is also a new spouse in the picture. Said spouse is also fanatically tied to a religion in addition to being, from all accounts, insecure and untrusting in the relationship. All this makes for a soon-to-explode keg of super volatile dependence on made up crap and fabricated 'togetherness' and 'sharing' in place of real, intimate and connected relationships.
The key element here - that somehow religion is supposed to make life nice and lovely - turns out to be far from the case; why are religious people still struggling, sad, 'sinning' (whatever that means) and incapable of acknowledging their pasts, let alone dealing with those pasts in a healthy and permanent way if religion is not their cure-all?
Seriously folks, if your deity is such a great and powerful 'guy,' what the heck is he/she/waiting for? Hmmm? It strikes me as really masochistic that this 'deity' needs such constant, world-wide adulation and that the penalty for failing (and the rules about what makes for failure being so unclear) is an eternity burning in some pit? That's just weird.
Religion was a great form of social control that worked really well way back in the day when science was in its infancy and almost nobody was able to read and when the 'religiopoliticals' were developing ways of controlling populations - necessary for economic development and profit - and we're back to the religiopoliticals and their gold-lined pockets. Modern equivalent is the modern 'church.'
In our time, however, belief in such fantasies is anachronistic.
On the micro level specific to this post, I truly cannot fathom how a parent's faith in falsehoods can so overwhelmingly blind them to reality that their flesh and blood relationships are in danger of ending.
The bottom line is this: a person has a right to believe whatever they wish; but with that right comes the responsibility to respect other's rights to believe or not; and the responsibility to UNCONDITIONALLY CHERISH real, flesh and blood human relationships above all else.