Reli(e)gion

knees scraped & bent
i cower
before “Thee” –
coins weigh my palms
for the sake of my soul;
submission equals holiness,
the Self is devil’s tool

& belief
gets trampled underfoot.

__________________________________________________________________
inspired by a piece i wrote earlier today – guess i’m not done with the subject yet.
(find it here if interested: Pay your religious fee… today!).

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22 thoughts on “Reli(e)gion

    • it is, isn’t it… such a disturbing thought.
      i witnessed a man talk about God today. i am not religious, but i do keep an open mind. at first, i thought it wonderful how much energy he put into his faith in God – then, i heard him deem himself ‘not worthy’… over and over again.
      i ended up being utterly shaken. if we cannot accept ourselves as we are in the face of religion, if we have to ‘lower’ ourselves, just to bear the title of being ‘religious’, there’s something terribly, terribly wrong.

      • Yeah, It’s sad. I recently heard a talk where the commandment “do not take the Lords name in vain” was about situations just like this where he claims to have faith in God but the fact that he deems himself unworthy after God has already deemed him worthy is the futility of the faith. We are ALL WORTHY – at least that’s my understanding of the faith that Christ actually taught. I wonder what that man’s response would be to that. 🙂

  1. I am in agreement with your response to Mobius (and his). Why must they deem themselves unworthy in ‘God’s eyes’. I like the way you are still ‘tinkering’ as if you must free all thoughts on this one before you can move on. xx

    • thank you Jen. i wrote a LOT about it already today and i still can’t get it out of my head. so much doesn’t make sense… doesn’t add up – and i just don’t understand how people can blindly follow, just because ‘someone’ says it’s the ‘right way to do this’.
      blah. ticks me off….

  2. quite thought provoking, Miriam. one of the things that is true for me, my beliefs have changed over my lifetime. as an adult I am not only a participant in my beliefs, I am the orchestrator of them. this poem really got me thinking, thank you.

  3. I have no idea if this is a poem you wrote from your heart or if it is a fiction piece…

    To me ritual is soothing, comforting, has meaning (IF you understand the meaning behind it). “NOt worthy” for some might mean we are never perfect, we can’t earn it – it is grace freely given. I don’t think the man you met represents all Christians, and I assume you don’t think so as well.

    There are different kinds of submission – I believe God gave us a brain to use, to question, to search. I also think, if we realize we don’t always know what is the correct answer, we make mistakes, then perhaps we should have some respect for the “wisdom” of those who have come before us and consider and heavily weigh what is said.

    …often our feelings are based upon experiences that really don’t reflect the true nature of the “thing” we are leery of.

    I am reading a book on Philosophy (my first) and it begins with the premise that we are our feelings. Actually, the first sentence is:

    “Our judgements concerning the worth of things, big or little, depend on the feelings the things arouse in us.”

    I am not one to evangelize (God knows I have my hangups 🙂 Just find this fascinating.

    And as for your poem (finally, right 🙂 I think it is tragically sad and has an AMAZING vibe to it! It reminds me of that song the Gypsy woman sings in “Hunchback of Notre Dame “God Help the Outcasts” – although the song has more hope to it.

    If kneeling on a pew brings on these negative feelings, I say go and find what you need to feel God, feel hope. If that is walking in nature, then that is amazing you can find peace at all. There are some that give up, never find it.

    I am off to read your linked poem (I promise I won’t go on and on…)

    • “I believe God gave us a brain to use, to question, to search.”
      Margaret, thank you for this.
      Yes, we do have brains – and we all should use them to think and question more often. Of course I do not believe this man represents all Christians – I was just so shocked by his behavior, that it wouldn’t leave me alone.
      There are indeed very soothing and meaningful rituals. I am just not sure how many of these ‘commonly used’ rituals are actually ‘necessary’ for our beliefs. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make up most of our own rituals which help us to ‘move forward’? I think so. I do it. 🙂
      When I was younger, I visited church every Sunday – because I ‘had to’. The hymns were meaningless to me – just words. They did in no way reflect what I felt inside. (I am using this just as an example) I often looked around… saw so many bored faces… so many ‘dutiful’ expressions… so I asked myself (I was very young), if they were forced to go to church like I was. They definitely looked like it.
      I said the words because others said them.
      I sang, because others did.
      I put money in the bag, because others did.
      Did it mean something to me? No.
      So I asked myself, why do we do it? Simply because we were taught that this was the right way to ‘behave’ in the face of God?
      It felt so very wrong to me.

      A few years later, I decided I wanted more from my so-called-belief… and found new ways, new approaches.

      I am rambling now… and before it gets too long and I jump more topics (there are sooo many questions in my head… and, when it comes to religious views, so many things that don’t add up for me) – thank you for your wonderful input, Margaret. It is truly appreciated.
      I do hope there are many, many more Catholics out there, who think like you. 🙂
      Thank you for taking the time to read, mull it over & share your thoughts!

      • “I often looked around… saw so many bored faces… so many ‘dutiful’ expressions… so I asked myself (I was very young), if they were forced to go to church like I was. ” I got a great chuckle out of that. Can you just see a child asking “Who makes you go to church?” to an elderly crabby person. Ha ha. And many wouldn’t admit it, but “guilt” would be at the top of the list.

        I think it is important to try and find out why certain rituals are used. One that is rarely used today is incense, which I like! But, getting back to that premise of “Our judgements are based on the feelings things arouse in us”… as a little girl I imagined I was breathing in holiness – and here I am,
        “X” amount of years later smiling when I breath it in on those rare occasions. And I now also understand the reason they use it. AND you are correct. Most rituals are NOT necessary for belief. They are there for us because we are human. For many, they help them connect with God.

        We in our daily lives use rituals tangible expressions that show we love our family. Framed photographs, maybe a piece of artwork they made for me, a special book they loved as a child (and teddy bear) on display in a private place. A necklace my husband gave me. A poem he wrote in a letter 20 years ago … We hug and kiss to show our affection. Do I need to do that? I smooth hair, rub necks, for my children every night. (when they get older and are sick, they often ask for that 🙂 as it brings comfort. We sit down at meals on certain days almost no matter what.

        Just some thoughts. But if being in church just brings up bad feelings, I say get out and find what you need – but keep searching – I think it is a never ending journey – a continuous learning process

  4. ouch, belief gets trampled underfoot….religeon for religeons sake is the tool of the devil for sure…and so is the denial of self….just my opinion…smiles….tackled religeon today mySelf

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