I was born into it, but it’s not my skin

If you were born into a family that was Christian, Muslim, Xhosa, Indian, Zulu, Sotho, Hindu or any other religion or culture that would probably be the first set of rules that would mould your speech, your behaviour and your thinking. It would be the only way to live because every other way is not that way. That would be the right way to live because your parents live that way, and their parents and all the parents before them.

Let’s read the bible and say a prayer before sleep.
Genesis is good and for a child, not too deep.
God made the sun on day one, 5 days thereafter he did more work.
On the last day he rested – like Sundays when we go to church.
He made us in his image, so we can be just like him.
He gave us everything we need to live well and without sin.
He made Adam and Eve as the very first beings,
Free to live and populate but not eat from the tree in
The garden’s centre, for this was forbidden.
But they failed – they sinned and had to leave Eden.
Fortunately for them our God is good,
He let them live as only a forgiving God would.
Even though they were bad, and disobeyed
God loved his children who in his image were made.

But if god made the sun on day one and the moon the next day,
Then shouldn’t Sunday be first and the second day Monday?
I thought god was alone as he made our world,
But who was he talking to when he made the boy and girl?
I’m glad god made me to look like him,
But I’m a girl, Mom, was there a girl with them?
How did they come from heaven and make us here?
Why’s my skin brown and hair curly if god is blonde and fair?
Why did god throw them out of the garden just for eating a fruit?
I’m glad you’re not so strict with me, but god must surely think I’m no good.
My friend says their Allah and our god are one and the same.
So why do people say they are not saved and call them names?
This story is nice but it’s not real like today.
If I get it wrong I hope you won’t send me too far away.


I remember the first time I read a part of the Bible and asked questions that, for a young mind, were very reasonable to ask. And as a child, I asked these questions out of natural, guiltless curiosity before my family’s way become the only way for me to understand the world and I adopted the concept of faith and (cultural) roots. I had no idea what I was really struggling with then; I had not yet made high school. But it’s basically this: what makes this way better, more correct, than everything else?

Since we’re born into it, and it’s not a part of my anatomy, I don’t really need it do I?

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” James A. Baldwin


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