I finally get why people like to shun.
Well that psychologically didn't work for me. I didn't like shunning people. It always felt weird to me. If and when I ever did shun anybody who was DF'd it was because the person DF'd wanted to be shunned as they were working on getting reinstated and they were true believers as far as I knew. As for my relatives who were DF'd I never shunned them.
It has been about 20 years since I lived in my hometown I don't know who is still in and who is out and if they are still in are they weak or strong or do they still believe. It's difficult to gauge on what level some aunts, uncles and cousins are on the JW scene when you been away from them for a while.
Well for one thing, if you don't know that they aren't planning to come back, then the DF'd person themself might turn you in to the elders.
In the case you mentioned though, perhaps they really do fear angering God.
For some, the df/da announcement gives them the freedom to really show their true colours and act out, vent their venom.
Without shunning how many of us would still be in the cult, I'am thankful for that practice....A hell of a paradox....
In fairness :-
A) I am also a shunner of many of my former friends.
B) I have made my son a shunner by "preventing" his association with kids that I feel are a bad influence on him.
What is the difference?
Well being realistic, I think we should shun people who are not a healthy influence. ( A recent headline in the papers, was of a lady who tried to help an ex junkie, he repaid her by knifing her and her son to death)
However a closer examination of your O.P should " Note" this comment " Why do religious people like shunning?"
A) Many in the organisation are incapable of shunning a friend.
B) I recently experienced shunning from a member of my former congregation. What a message that sent out. It was a very sad statement on the individual, because they know me and I know them, and the shunning was not balanced on rational thinking.
As someone mentioned shunning is a power tool...that's what the org. holds over our heads...Many of you know I'm in....in front of folks they shun their family members/friends, behind closed doors....NOT.
Again, there are some that take shunning to another level, the ones that talk about having family members that they haven't spoken to in years because they were DF'd... how faithful they were to Jehovah, nonsense....they are miserable....but won't admit it..but they just like the attention of saying that they remained loyal to Jehovah and didn't speak to their DF families....I wonder if they ever took the time to fantasize about Judgment day..if it's true, how will one answer about DF'ing....I know some who have grandchildren they haven't even seen ....when you look at these folks..they look sad...oh they put on that they are spiritual, going out in service, letter writing, pioneering...etc....but when I look in their eyes they are sad...because in the recesses of their minds, they know it's wrong...
Poor witnesses, they don't seem to get who God is....he never said to shun...but he did say be selective in who you hang with...that's in or out the truth...
So why do people like to shun...people love to ostrisize, (sorry for spelling), when we were kids, if you stepped in dog poo, the kids would tease you and say don't play with you, you got dooky on you.....you are the dooky boy or girl...it's human to ostrisize, not such a good trait to be proud of but that's what we humans do....when Aids first came out, folks were afraid to be around Aid victims, as if you could catch Aids from a touch or from breathing their air...same as so many other diseases....
Shunning makes one feel better about themselves...because no one has spilled the beans about them....this is a way for some to get rid of their guilt... just like the ones who tell on folks to get them DF'd, my question to them what do you get out of it...what's it to you what another person does, matter of fact, what have you done that no one has seen so that you are DF'd.
You don't have to know TTATT, to know it's not right to shun folks...that's something you should learn from home..
So take it from me, there are a few fanaticals that see nothing wrong with shunning...then there are those who it hasn't happened to as of yet or anyone close to them...those are the ones who think it's a good thing and it makes the person stronger....blah blah blah....until it happens to them....not wishing it on them, but then it will be a different story, they will not see shunning the same way....
Many of us are still in and some have left...but no amount of kool-aide can make a normal person believe shunning is right....so we can't blame the org. but only ourselves....even if we agreed on the outside, in our hearts we know it's wrong and knew it was wrong when you first heard it from the stage.
At out last C.O visit he said (about ignoring DF people) ' don't you go thinking there's a way round this, a loop hole, you think it's okay to text or email. It's not. You shouldn't do any of those things.'
Today someone told me, we're not ignoring the person to bring them back, we're ignoring them so they don't corrupt us.
One of my best friends is DF. She lives near me. It breaks my heart not to talk to her. Today she rang me and for the first time in years we had a chat. I told her I'm not ignoring her anymore. It's wrong. But she said if they catch you, they'll DF you. So let's talk in secret.'
It's become like Orwell's 1984.
I do not think JWs or those in other cults enjoy shunning.
It is an obligation that their leaders indoctrinate them to do...and the teaching is enforced. If you do not shunning, you could end up being shunned.
Shunning is not a strength but a weakness. Only the dumbest religions, structurally and doctrinally shun. The Amish, some forlorn Mennonites, Scientologists, Mormons, a small very conservative Orthodox Jewish religion that actually hold's a mock funeral for the shunned one. And of course the JW's.
While it is normal to keep your distance from people you find distasteful or unsavory it is not normal to shun a beloved family member or friend because they can't live by all of the JW rules and regs and of course to shun someone who is simply looking to be free from a religion.
The use of coercion.......... being shunned if you don't shun..........is a criminal offense. Its a 'crime of duress'. One of a number that high control religions commit.
A religion like the JW's, in particular, is reckless with the health, education and general welfare of it's followers.
It finally hit me today. Why do religions enjoy shunning. Because many people feel like being close to God makes them special however just being special is not enough for many religious people that shun they must feel extra special How? By not speaking to someone they feel has been abandoned by God himself so if my religous leaders tell me that John has been abandoned by God and you want to feel close to God you must also abandon John or you will not be close to God . That's the reasoning wow and it works psychologicaly.
Great! It's about progress, not perfection.