“Good morning, good morning, it’s time to wake up! It’s time for every good little boy and girl to wake up!”
My father would come clanging into my room, a tall German Irish man with dark features, broad shoulders, strong arms and a heavy footfall. Singing like a rooster, my fathers voice would carry throughout the house.
“Good morning! Good morning! It’s time to wake up, Emily,” he sang, “you have to get ready for Sunday school.”
He would brush my hair and arms with his big hands, gently trying to wake me while I squinted my eyes tightly closed, feigning a deep sleep.
“I know you’re awake, Emily, it’s time to get up.”
My poor father would become exasperated and the “bull’s eye” would be revealed. First, the eyebrow over his right eye would arch into a highly pronounced upside down V, then the veins in his eye would glow a murderous red and the pupils narrowed into swords, ready to lance any heart.
Church wasn’t that bad, I just wasn’t, and may never be, a morning person.
“I too was once like you, Emily,” he said prophetically, “but you’ll find out later in life that it’s nice to get up and go to church in the morning.”
My father, like many others, finds comfort in his faith. Although I don’t agree with him, I admire my father’s dedication and I feel blessed to have grown up in the Lutheran church.
In times of great emotional need, I have sought refuge in the confines of Sunday morning worship. The familiar hymns, warm pews and refreshing lemonade served afterwards remind me of my family, whom I left in the Village of East Aurora, New York, some 3 thousand miles away.
I question the validity of any organization run strictly by faith, as I feel they have little basis in reality and more to do with the goals of a minority wishing to create a monopoly on human emotion. Abusing the “collective consciousness”, a unifying force of shared beliefs and morals, is seen globally throughout time in continuous examples of human sacrifice.
From tribes to Roman times, from the colonization of the Americas to the Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials, the “War on Terror”, the power of the “collective consciousness” has been abused.
Breeding hate by discouraging diversity, those in positions of privilege have profited from conflict. In this respect, the various religions of the world have been used to create control while persecuting those who stand against their aims.
The major religions of the world command their followers to believe without question. To follow the faith blindly exemplifies their dedication and provides privilege within the religious community.
This stands as a stark contrast to our physical and biological being. Humans are designed physically and biologically to question, when we deny the same human nature that has allowed us to survive, to evolve; we are denying humanity itself.
I can still remember a morning car ride with my father when I vented my frustrations about the hypocrisy of faith.
“Someday Emily, you’ll be old like me,” he said, “and it’s nice to go to church.”
Someday I will be old, but I pray my old age will instead be spent practicing tolerance and love without limitation.
(Emily Pfaff is City Times’ opinion editor)