Waiting for church to begin Sunday morning she overhears her mother and grandmother gossiping about some of the other parishioners entering the sanctuary. She can’t believe they are talking that way in God’s house.
“Can you believe she’s wearing that-to church?”
“No, did you hear about her…”
“Hey, we’re in church. I don’t think you’re supposed to be saying things like that, especially in church.”
“Shouldn’t you be heading off to Sunday school?” her mother chides, banishing to the children’s annex so she could continue her saintly gossip. “Make sure you stop at the restroom to fix your hair.”
Reluctantly, she trots over to the Teen Room for Sunday school, not stopping to fix her hair. She doesn’t care about the whole image thing at church like her mother and grandmother. It’s a sham. Disenchanted with the whole hell fire and damnation thing, week in and week out, this is bound to be another spectacular Sunday-funday.
The preaching here just does not match up with the Word. People talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk; case in point the early incident with her mother and grandmother. In the Bible, Jesus not only preached of love, charity, kindness, and forgiveness he lived it. Here the preacher and leaders of the church say- don’t do ABC and go to Hell; or do XYZ and go to Hell. Yes, they throw in a bit about forgiveness, but they don’t spend a lot on it. It’s all about the rules. What’s right, what’s wrong, whose best, what looks the best. They want to project a good image. They all follow one another, like lemmings, maybe they will follow each other off a cliff, she thought, maybe off a cliff right into the pit of hell. That would be ironic.
Lost in her thoughts of what would really lead someone to hell, she failed to notice that this week’s Sunday school lesson is “Christian Entertainment” before the leader had starts and it is too late to ditch. Yes, she would be in trouble if her mother caught her ditching again, but for this topic it would be worth it.
The title is deceptive. One would think that the Sunday teen leader would be talking about Christian rock bands and faith-based movies. No, nothing of the sort! The leader starts with “Devil’s” music. He doesn’t single out rock or metal. Pop music with it sensationalized sexuality is sending all in the room straight to Hell for listening to it. Their music videos are just a gateway into the movie segment, the violence and the gore. Just when she thinks it can’t get any worse, the leader starts in on the traditional topic of literature and banning books. The hot Twilight Series is the leader’s favorite to rail against. He knows so much about the movies and books; she begins to suspect him for a closet Twi-hard. He spends the last twenty minutes on how the honeymoon scene is different than the book, and of course how premarital sex is wrong and any kind of “kinky stuff” is also going to land you in a pit of fire. If he knew what was downloaded onto her Kindle, he would surely start an exorcism. Not that he could get rid of 50 shades of anything.
After being culturally assaulted for an hour, she booked it the hell out of there and vowed that she would find her own spiritual path. A path of love and kindness. Not following anyone. Not being led off some cliff by misinformation, by the word of man, into the pit of Hell.
Inner Thoughts-Write a story in the present tense, from a limited third person perspective.
Though this tale is not about what Buddhist texts traditionally refer to as spiritual illumination, I hope that everyone at some point in their life has their own version of spiritual illumination. A point in which they decide to stop being a follower and discover what spirituality and religion mean to them, personally.
Yesterday’s Daily Post Prompt was discussing politic and religion among acquaintances which inspired today’s tale. The distinction comes in “discussing” and “talking” rather than what we normally find, the force feeding of one’s own agenda and views down another’s throat.
When religion or government starts force feeding an agenda or ideology, its time for you to stop following and shine the light back on them.