ontological q&a with a teenage atheist

Mon, 08/12/2013 - 19:43 -- rsloan

is my provenance really act of providence? and,
if it’s all part of A Big Plan, why
have i been found guilty of the sin of caina
in the eyes of my ancestors?
does refusing confirmation mean
that i have traded my heritage and
not even gotten my thirty pieces?

when i was small, i
interrupted a sermon and
scaled the bishop’s chair. the stained glass
filtered the light of god, made it
a kaleidoscope, turned my blonde head
into a halo. and they all said:
“it’s a sign. she’ll go into
the clergy. no doubt about it.”

can human stubbornness really make
fortuna collapse? all it takes is
an epiphany at sears to make
A Big Plan crumble like the walls of Jericho?
how can the hubris of a preteen girl
upset plans laid by the proverbial Big Guy?

at thirteen, i was sullen and
my hair was dyed black, a symbol
of my newly discovered teen angst.
i had a book on paganism and it
was discovered by a ccd teacher
in class. like eve, i tried to hide from
the shame i couldn’t fully comprehend.
my penance was ten hail marys
and damnation in the sixth circle.

does my physical appearance hide
an allegedly ruined spiritual reality?
can one really have nearly 40
hours dedicated to community service
and a life sentence of damnation?
is it so wrong that my pillars of faith
are ethos, pathos, and logos?

i love churches unapologetically
much to the confusion of my fellow
non-believers, who have rejected
religion so thoroughly that they are blind
to the secular appeal of faith. i stare up
at gothic arches of a cathedral, and
think of a song, there are angels
in your angles. and when i step past
the threshold of the narthex, my red hair
catches the light and burns like hellfire.

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