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Country > Philippines
Date > 1970 > Jul
Section > Slice of Life

Slice of Life

Who Missed Sunday School? July 30, 1970

Who Missed Sunday School?

Location Google Map: Marist School, Marikina (city), Metro-Manila, Philippines

Monday Blues
I dreaded Mondays. As a 5th grader, the religion teacher, a woman-of-the-cloth, Sister Mojica, would ask the class who went to church last Sunday. Like every other Monday, I would be the odd guy out coz my parents were not church goers. Everybody would raise their hands except me. I knew what was coming and I would brace myself for the usual humiliating punishment. In hindsight, I wish I just lied. I should have just raised my hand together with everyone else (and spared myself the humiliation).

The Punishment
She would look at me in a sinister way, and say, "It's you again!". She would then tell me to go to the back of the room and stand there for the remainder of the class as she tells the entire class to take a long hard look at me, coz I am the face of someone who will suffer eternal damnation in hell. I would be looked upon as a guy suffering from leprosy. No one wanted to be associated with this guy who'll rot in hell. This went on every Monday for two fucking years! I was only 10 or 11 years old then. How the hell was I supposed to go to church by myself at that age? Have you seen an 11 year old ever go to church by himself?

Who Missed Sunday School?
ostracized, humiliated and told to stand at the back of the room - for not going to church on a Sunday

Telling my Folks?
Decades later, it dawned on me that I didn't even tell my folks about this recurring incident. In fact, there were many fucked-up things I endured during childhood that I never told my folks. Why? I don't know. Maybe when I was a kid, I thought those things were normal and therefore not "parent-material". Perhaps I just didn't want to bother them. Perhaps they never created an atmosphere of approachability about these matters.They were only present for me during an emergency. But when there's no problem, I was relegated to the maid. Maybe that's why.

Ending Thoughts
I'm writing this in April 2, 2021....51 years later. Why? I don't know but this scene keeps flashing into my head. Am I bitter about it? Maybe decades earlier, but now, I don't think so. Perhaps I just need to take a long hard look at this episode one final time, and come to terms. Maybe that's why.

Maybe this is also the reason why I was never impressed by "people of the cloth" - men and women who offer salvation through them (and only them!)...and not through a person's personal and intimate journey into godhead. I see it as a manipulative and lazy job to get free meals and be able to pontificate from a moral pulpit. But you scratch on their carapace and you see a train-wreck under the mantle of the cloth.

Maybe this is also the reason (one of the very many reasons) why I have a disdain for organized religion. I see no difference between religion, politics and big business. It's all about power, control and wealth. This ascertation is a matter of public record from all the blood spilt from heralding one's God as better than the others' Gods.

This traumatic episode taught me a few indelible lessons:

  1. Truth is over-rated - had I just raised my hand like everyone else, I would have been spared the humiliation. I was truthful for what? What purpose did truth serve? No one benefited and it was weaponized to abuse me. Truthful for its own sake? Rubbish!
  2. Authority is flawed - just because someone is a senator, priest or business leader doesn't mean they know better or act for the greater good. They're just as fucked-up as the next guy (the vatican's pressing concern now is pedophilia in its ranks).
  3. Religion is a weapon - slaughter thousands of innocent people in the name of God and you'll be a hero (eg Richard the Lion Hearted slaughtered innocent lives in the name of the Crusade)
  4. This bearded guy they call God is man-made - a true God cannot be that petty to send his people to rot for all eternity because he couldn't go to a building called a church.

You want slavery? Listen and follow them. You want salvation? Look within.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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Leave a comment?

Reader Comments:

AnonymousMr. Anonymous
(April 5, 2023) Seems like you wrote this when you were having a bad day. Not very generous with your assessments. I'm not standing up for the school teacher. Singling you out was clearly wrong and cruel. But to write that "priests are synonymous with pedophilia" is also too much. I'm not defending religion. I'm agnostic. In fairness, I think some blame has to be allotted to your parents that allowed this to happen for two years. That, of course, is deeply personal. I don't expect you or anyone to put their private life on display. I'm just telling you the thoughts of a random, non-invested visitor of your site.

Stumbled across this site after googling "yoga Udon Thani". Not much there, unfortunately.

Be well. Thank you for your site. It's thought provoking.

(April 7, 2023) "priests are synonymous with pedophilia"
Thank you for calling my attention to this. I don't have a reverential attitude towards any 'man of the cloth', but yes, it's too much. I since changed it to "the vatican's pressing concern now is pedophilia in its ranks", which is more accurate and perhaps less condemming of priests.

In fairness to my folks, I updated the story to present that side.

Next Slice of Life:

My Dad Cooked My Pet sliceoflife

My Dad Cooked My Pet

(Oct 31, 1973) I was still in early high school when Dad brought home 2 Muscovy male-female ducks as my pet. I named them Rosie and Scuttlebuck. I'm not sure if I asked him for duck pets but I loved them just the same. I cared for these 2 ducks, fed them, had a little concrete pond made for them, watched Rosie lay eggs (which the family ate), etc. Years later, when these 2 ducks were already extra members of my family, my father just told me he'll cook them - and he did.....more »»

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  1. Who Missed Sunday School? July 30, 1970

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