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September 4, 2012
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dear miss bond,

you may or may not remember me. you taught me religion at my local church, we called it First Holy Communion but i always secretly thought it was brainwashing. you were so passionate about it, you seemed to make it palatable. it is only in later years, seeing what religion is, that i have recanted my faith. but you - when i think of you, i still feel my fingers twitching to bless the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. i think of the lace squares that you would give us, your children; your flock, when we learnt a prayer. parrot this, child, and you shall be given pretty, clean edged doilies. white lace, it was rough on our fingertips. religion bought us and we shall have the steady thudding of Our Father in our minds from the rest of our lives. you made it a blessing to believe. the reality is; it is a curse. i hope you can never see that.

i have been thinking about the concept of sin. we are all born with original sin. i hear that purgatory is outdated, now? that's a shame, i always thought of that state in between life and the afterlife as the safest place i could ever find. i used to sit in your classes, sometimes, and ask you what different levels of sins are. every sunday, after we let the eucharist dissolve under our tongue, you would tell me that all sin we do not mean to commit is forgivable. all sin we commit with the intent of hurting another is not. i am now not in a position to ask for forgiveness, teacher. i would not ask God anyway. purgatory may take me for i shall not repent - heaven is not the right place for me. eternal happiness would become tedious - that is a flaw in His plan.

i do not know if it is fair to blame Him for our flaws. to ask him to absolve them. i do not believe, let me make that clear - but a concept trusted and adored by so many demands a sort of respect even from non-believers. i refer to Him in the manner which you see him, not in the way i reject Him. i would never tell you God does not exist. i would tell you God does not exist for me - He will not shoulder my shortcomings. i will not hide behind the featureless face of the man sat in the sky, bearded, majestic, kind. you told me the Bible was not to be taken literally. i will take you at your word - the Bible is not true. do i misunderstand?

forgive me, teacher, for i have sinned. you were my teacher. you taught me respect; love; passion for knowledge (you called it faith,) but - you cannot teach faith. some think that faith comes upon you; that you hear the word of the Lord - that you are called. " ' "I believe",' she said, but she said it only inside her head." - Barbara Trapido, Temples of Delight, 1990. faith is not a realisation, faith is [please do not take this the wrong way, please do not] a delusion - a sanctuary. a place where you are safe. it is not a truth. a truth is the way a word sounds when it is brought to life on the tongue of a stranger; a truth is the pure G chord on a guitar; the happiest note i know. a truth is also the E minor chord - there is no happiness without sorrow. it rings of melancholy sadness. a truth is the sound of my fingers writing this, tap-tap-tap. a truth is something you feel for yourself - it is not something that another places within you for you to worship. religion is not truth. religion is a last resort - this is why so many people hit rock bottom and then find God. everything is better, everything is good - and they thank God for it, hallelujah! hallelujah! it is not God that has helped. it is the diversion into a fantasy - you can change your life when you forget who you were. when God takes over.

i'm sorry, miss bond. i do not mean to insult your faith. i mean only to write this letter, a letter to be unread; never sent; forgotten - thrown away. i believed when you spoke of God, but i believed in your faith. i believed in you. i did not believe in your God, and i am sorry for that. i hope He is worth losing yourself for - did i ever hear you speak of books? of music? of art? of anything but faith? sparingly, perhaps. no. i do not think i did. the Bible is not a book - it is a rulebook, a piece of judgemental fiction. it carries truth but it is human truth - not truth from God. do not hurt others. forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. i will not trespass into a land of fancy. i have spent too long in one, and i shall not blame God for it. nor thank Him for my freedom. hymns are not truly music, they are beautiful, yes - but they deal with propaganda. i do not call the national anthem a song, miss bond. art is forbidden in our church. i have never heard you speak of it. i did see you doodle - you are not lost. you choose to be so.

thank you, miss bond for my lessons. thank you, miss bond for teaching me my own way - i understand my lack of faith moreso now i have lived in belief - my original sin is cleansed, holy water. my other sins i shall atone for myself.

an agnostic.
I was raised Catholic, I no longer believe. This is not meant to be offensive. I apologise if it is.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-02-21
~chesscakes explores her relationship with religion in an open letter to my first holy communion teacher.

Thank you for respecting the author's choices in your comments. ( Suggested by tiganusi and Featured by neurotype )
:iconmariotwo:
MarioTwo Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Beautiful.
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:iconnine9nine9:
nine9nine9 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I too was raised Catholic and indoctrinated with the same kind of brainwashing. It took me many years to sift through it all, to separate the wheat from the shaft, so to speak. The only thing I know for sure is that praying to Jesus, making the right choice by imagining what he would do in my situation, even screaming at him in my greatest hours of despair -- "why oh why has this happened to me?" -- has made my life better. In times of intense mental anguish I have reached out to him, and, here's the key, just the act of reaching out has comforted me, made whatever I was going through better. You are young and perhaps life has been kind to you -- I don't know. What I do know is that there will be bumps in the road with many devastating sad things occurring along life's highway. I wish you luck in getting through these sad experiences without a higher power to seek comfort from. I wouldn't be surprised if you returned to some semblance of your faith in the future after life has kicked you around a bit. I did.
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:iconthemexicanofwisdom:
TheMexicanofWisdom Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I'm catholic too. But this really spoke to me I understand what ya mean, and that's how I feel most of the time about my religion as well.
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:iconleeleechanlee:
Leeleechanlee Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
This is beautiful in it's own way. Sort of how I feel. You truly touched my heart and mind with your words. Thank you for sharing this.
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:iconea2k13:
ea2k13 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013   General Artist
i admire the respect with which you have addressed this touchy subject & don't see how it could reasonably be called offensive. xxx000
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:iconavristed:
Avristed Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
Initially, I found the use of lowercases to be jarring. I kept reading despite that, though, and realised that it was a statement in itself — a sort of declaration of humility.

Fitting, really. You don't need to prim to be proper.
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:iconelliez:
EllieZ Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Student General Artist
I understand. This is why many return to the roots of the church, Orthoxy.
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:iconcoloringtherain:
ColoringTheRain Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I feel the need to be redundant.
I'm Catholic and I found this to be beautiful and well deserving of a DD. :)
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:iconedenalicepoe:
EdenAlicePoe Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
This was definitely a thought-provoking piece. My dad was raised catholic, mom makes us try a new church every so often, Baptist, Lutheran, "Bible" whatever that meant. My sis goes on religious kicks from time to time, she's at that age, I suppose. But no matter what, my parents always said I'd have to find my own faith, though they really push for me being a christian.
I've given thought to atheism, but I feel the need to believe in something, some higher power beyond this life & this physical world that I see in front of me (I simply can't help but believe that there's *something* out there. Be it God, aliens, or nothing but the vast recesses of space & our lonely thoughts that float & take shape too far away for them to matter any more... Yeah, I have too much time to think & may be a little crazy, so what?). I'm considering all the different parts of the "umbrella of christianity" as a geography teacher once put it. I'm considering all the religions outside of christianity. This piece puts a lot into perspective & I'll definitely be thinking about it for some time as I find my own faith, or lack thereof.

On another note, love your writing style, something about it, I don't know. It's just kinda nice. Very well done overall, & very nice to share your thoughts this way, thank you for providing some perspective.
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:iconkimukocat:
KimukoCat Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
As a nonbeliever still living with a Catholic family, this piece speaks volumes to me. Thank you very much for sharing. I mean it sincerely.
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