Writing Challenge: “Unfaith,” and Then Faith

The WordPress Daily Prompt/Post: Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

Religious faith in my family was eclectic: My father, at the encouragement of his second wife, became a Pentecostal; my mother was Baptist/Methodist; my mother’s mother was Methodist; my mother’s father was Jehovah Witness who eventually remarried a Mennonite; my stepfather, as I remember, of no particular religion, occasionally read his big, blue Masonic Bible, which intrigued us kids. I had a chance to sample them all (with the exception of the Mennonite), though I was more or less raised with Baptist/Methodist teachings.

religionsOne evening during my thirteenth year on earth, I was sitting on the porch of our house watching the changing colors of the sky, changing in part because of the steel mills that were the source of jobs for our city. Suddenly, the sky, with its smears of purple and blue and gold, reminded me of the biblical pictures of the portal to Heaven. From there I went on to think about Christian dogma: the creation, the Garden of Eden, the Virgin Birth, Heaven and Hell. It was then that I lost, no, rejected faith in the Christianity that I’d been taught. It was then that the Bible stories took on a more mythical character, mythical as in Roman and Greek mythology. The Book of Revelations had symbolism that horrified me, though I found the teachings of Jesus and his disciples gentle. You could say that I “unfaithed” myself based on my own philosophical bent. And I became hostile to all organized, formalized religions and adopted the “religion is the opiate of the people” position. I felt that I had been misled, tricked. Continue reading

Advertisements

Appreciation Friday — #3

Setting: The sidewalk on my block.

Time: One evening this week.

Characters: Young Man #1 between sixteen and eighteen years of age / Young Man #1 between sixteen and eighteen years of age.

[We are approaching each other walking in opposite directions]

BOY #1

[to BOY #2]

I really want to become a better person.

BOY #2

[nodding]

Hmmm . . . me, too.

“Earnest prayer in the form of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo resonates with the Mystic Law that pervades the universe, envelops one’s own life and brings forth the power to break through one’s own inner darkness or ignorance. In other words, the act of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a drama of profound communication or interaction between ourselves and the universe.”

I Am NOT My Books…or My Nook

Cover of a Dick and Jane reader I have been a voracious reader since — well, I don’t have a memory of not being able to read. I don’t even have a memory of learning to read Dick and Jane. I was, as my mother might say, a “reading fool.”

I remember reading my mother’s books:

The Bobbsey Twins "The Secret At the Seashore" book coverLittle Women bookcover

(I used to have a Polaroid that my father had  taken of me: I’m about six month old. Someone has put me on a bench covered with newspaper.  I’m on my stomach and have managed to prop myself up on my forearms, but my face is downward. I look to be reading the paper. That photo used to make me laugh and think, Even then, even then. No wonder I’m so nearsighted!) Anyway, I read everything. I  cried for David Copperfield. I read my mother and stepfather’s sex textbook with the acetate overlays of the external and internal human body. Death Be Not Proud scared me. Continue reading