One simple word, and one for which

a few hundred years ago, I would

have been burned.  What does it mean?

That I have turned my back on what

they so arrogantly deem

the One True Faith.


Like they could know, like anyone

could summon enough evidence to

prove their faith in a court of law,

with no shades of doubt marring

the sunlit perfection of their

self-involved delusions.


however, is not the issue.  It's no

trouble of mine if their hubris

drags them down in the end.  The

issue on my hands is that of my

grievous sin, the tremendous fault

of throwing off chains and being liberated.


the same that they enjoy within the

confines of their own faith, yet they would

so cheerfully deny it to others.  I am told

that they hope I will find the truth faith

someday.  I tell them I have already.  I know

what is true in my heart.


They angrily ask how my truth could

possibly be different from theirs.  Morals,

truths, faiths… all are relative.  There are

no Absolutes in this world.  And yet they

are so quick to cast stones, so quick to

condemn me for the fault of having an opinion.


Every once in a while, some intrepid soul

takes the trouble to ask me why I am

relapsa.  With a smile, I reply that I escaped

from a faith that was strangling my soul.

Pious vows, drinking blood and eating body,

mumbling creeds and singing hymns…


All of that did not so much as stir

my soul.  And isn't that what religion

ought to be?  A movement of the spirit?  And

yet these proselytizers would rather I cling

to a faith that does not move me, so long

as it is theirs and they can count another for their cause.


I was one of theirs, another child

mindlessly accepting what she was told, a

dainty angel who sang in their choir and carried

their candles.  But as I grew, as I matured,

I realized that this path was not the one for me,

that my destiny lay along a different line.


so many would deny me this most basic liberty,

to choose what I believe.  The girl then was

marked by confusion, as plenty would tell her what to do,

but none cared if their commands could be

reconciled with what song her heart

chose to play, what notes her soul knew.


again.  That was the girl in chains, but the woman

now is liberated, and no force on this earth

or beyond could force me back.  How could

anyone, knowing the sweetness of fresh air,

return to the putrescence and squalor

of a dark and stifling dungeon?


is for me the most delicious privilege

we humans are born to.  For some,

the faith I ran from is entrancing and

uplifting, and I wish them well of it.

I was not meant for those bonds, but

like my kindred phoenix to soar.


this basic right, claiming moral superiority

over another person's heart, standing

atop the hallowed heights and proclaiming

one faith greater than another… few acts

could be so inherently wrong, so

murderous against the human spirit.


I am, and relapsa I am proud to be.

I have stood up for myself and the

faith that rings clear in my own heart.

No one has the right to take that from me, to

shame and abhor me, simply because my

heart does not resonate in the same pitch as theirs.

[Authoress's Note:

[As always, I place my disclaimer that I am fully aware not all Christians are like the ones I chide.  And, as always, I know not only Christians are guilty of oppressing other faiths.  But I've never had a Hindu lecture me on the evil of my ways and say he'd pray for me, so until that happens, I have personal experience only with the Christians.]