Religion teaches us not to hate –
And it teaches us not to discriminate –
But as with any given class –
Only upon occasion of test
Will one find out who will pass –
And who will fail
06.13.95 – 06.14.95
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.
Notes to this poem…
This little poem expresses my great skepticism in the teachings of religion, any religion, by comparing it to nothing more than school where students are tested and only upon being tested would we know who has learned their lessons well. The way I look at religion, especially the larger ones, there’s so much hypocrisy all around, from the leaders to the followers, I can’t see how one gets inspired to do or be anything close to what its teachings prescribe us to be. Interestingly enough, while it is arguable that to be religious is to be human, to be what religion wants us to be makes us less human with all its abstinence, emotional control, and such. I would even go so far as argue religion has been our greatest constant obstacle to progress.
That’s why I’m just spiritual and not religious. I can be human that way.
And for the record, I don’t believe the passing rate is very high, in general, when it comes test time in life of religious doctrine.
The O-series of poems are one stanza poems composed before I got onto writing haiku and tanka, and short poetry while in action or traveling by select means like plane or ferry. These poems are 3-9 lines long with at least one rhyming couplet, and not of the short forms just mentioned. For the sake of elegance, I just called the collection One.