A Rant about Faith, and a Poem

I get very annoyed when someone asks me if I believe in god – as if god was a given, and you either believed in “him” or not. For me, there is no god or goddess or godhead to be believed in or otherwise and when I give this answer I get two different reactions:

People become defensive and begin to harangue you with arguments to prove the fact of a god; they tell you that one day you will know the truth and that they feel sorry for you. Or, they pretend to be amused; they wag a finger at you and laugh and say that god has not forgotten you; worst of all – they promise to pray for you. Their arrogance and complaisance and condescension, their bigotry and utter stupidity is incredible and it never occurs to these people that they might give offence. Once, I really upset someone in a discussion about religion and I promised myself I would never do it again so when challenged I give my straightforward answer and say nothing else. As my father used to say – they’re as well raving there as in bed. And here is my nostalgic poem: –

THERE WAS A TIME 

In the dim, silent church

A glow of votive lamps

Fluttering blue and gold and red

Whispered prayers in corner shrines

Beneath the outstretched hands

Of painted saints

Beads clicking, slowly told

 

Sundays burst in glory

Sweet choir lifting voice

The Truth sang in my mouth

I filled my eyes with bright

And lustrous threads

The golden flame of candles

Veiling mysteries at the altar

 

The heavy scent of flowers

Inhaled security

And a weightless peace

In certain knowledge of hereafter

Our hearts were warm, absolved

Beloved of our maker

And safe in the house of God.

 

 

 

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