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.
One 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