1)Do you view your religious upbringing as being analagous to brainwashing or indoctrination? Or do you feel that it did you harm in some way?
Brainwashing wouldn't be my choice of words. Brain polluting--yes.
But it is most certainly forced indoctrination. And it is so by the fact that a baseless and incomprehensible idea is being forced upon a child's mind before they reach the age of properly being able to use reasoning, and it is done so with the tactic of using the child's naivety, intellectual weakness, and fear to permanently have the child's mind dominated by the idea. This is a wicked and unfair tactic that a child cannot defend itself from.
Yes I do feel that now, as it without question harms us in our most basic integrity--but not at the time as a child. As a child it was impossible for me to comprehend the hideousness and irrationality of believing in a being that watches you continually and that will convict you of thought crime at the end of your life, and then torture you eternally for exhibiting the flaws that it created you with.
For some it's a deeply psychological an emotional struggle to walk away from faith and it leaves scars after the healing process is done. I was born into and raised in a pentecostal environment with special emphasis on end times and the doctrine of hell. Nasty stuff. Very intellectually harmful. Hard to get rid of.
2)Do you (or did you) harbour any resentment towards your parents/priest/church/etc. for being raised in this way?
No I did not....and do not--as my parents couldn't seem to help themselves--like most theists.
It's hard however, not to resent the self-proclaimed spokespersons of the god idea though.
I do kinda feel a bit bad for one group of clergy though--The clergy project
is clearly showing that more and more pastors believe that what they teach is false and they simply teach it because they have no other means to live by or are to afraid to lose their social standing. That's gotta be tough.
I do resent one thing though and that is the fact that much of the clergy are drunk with power and feelings of superiority and importance, and fortify those feelings by adamantly claiming that religion is the only source of morality and therefore for humans to be moral they must adhere to and practice the religious doctrines that they teach. That claim is an outrageous lie of course and yet the sheep have been conditioned to believe it to be true and blinded to the real truth. Pitiful.
I had a pastor who was an incredibly funny, warm, and loving guy away from the pulpit, but come Sunday, he was arrogantly all god's nasty business and sometimes I would think "Is this the same guy !?".
If, and that's a big if, in fact, the observations of the mother above are correct and she's not just wanting everybody to cry her a river, then her son needs to be reminded that, in spite of his current feelings, his mother's acceptance of his atheist position is monumentally good, and especially in light of the fact that most Americans view atheists as at the bottom of the scrap heap--the worst of the worst. So cooling it with the hostile behaviour towards his mother would be a good idea, and as an atheist, a good idea in general.
My guess is that he feels he's been lied to by religion. And he is wrongly taking out his frustrations on his mother about that and perhaps doing so because he feels that she propagated the lie in him as a child.