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My Story: I Come from a Religious Family—And I’m Not Religious

By , Columbus, OH
Sunday mornings are a struggle. Not merely the process of “gussying up” for an assembly that I don’t support, but the effort it takes to remain mentally sound for a whole two and a half hours. My mother, blonde with green eyes, tilts her head skyward, tears flowing in rapid succession while I remain still, arms crossed, chewing my lip. I’ve never understood the Holy Ghost, but I admire the enthusiasm and strength that people get from it. When she receives the spirit, my mom looks like her old self, before she converted, when we’d headbang on the freeway. That time when she enjoyed Metallica and The Beastie Boys and nail polish and pantaloons.

Call it rebellion, but I have been agnostic for most of my life. I might have gotten “saved” during a visit to my Dad’s, but that only had a life expectancy of about one season. The only time I remember being truly religious was in fifth grade when I converted to Islam and started learning Arabic. It’s funny, though. How religion has shaped my values and beliefs. Aside from heated debates and a few eye-rolling contests, my mother and I respect each other’s views. She still threatens to put me out if I get a tattoo saying “Hakuna Matata” on my forearm, and I sometimes threaten to wear a sweatshirt to church if she goes overboard with the religious preaching. I miss how she used to be, but I try to accept her for who she is even though we aren’t allowed to listen to anything but Gospel in the car. But hey, who says you aren’t allowed to headbang to Gospel, right?





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RarelyJadedThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm
You should see how my church worships:) We headbang all we want! Whoever said God doesn't like enthusiasm??
 
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