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Peace Peas




Peace, peace, wonderful peace

Flowing down from the Father above

Sweep over my spirit, forever I pray

In fathomless billows of love


This song was sung to me at such a young age, I had no understanding of its meaning. I imagined an angel with a broom sweeping green peas from a welcome mat, while a bearded white god rained down "pillows of blub", which to my young mind meant lard or cooking fat.


When children are steeped in theology and religious jargon before they have any real knowledge, experience, or even grasp of language, they are denied the opportunity to decide what they believe. Many things my mother and grandmother told me were true: the stove burner is hot, three is a larger number than two, and house cats are related to lions. From an evolutionary perspective, it is necessary to a young child's development and survival that he or she believes without question what his or her parents say. There is simply too much crucial information to absorb in the first years of life - colors, numbers, names and dangers - for the child to question and analyze everything; there simply isn't time. So when my parents told me, in the same tone of voice and without qualifying language such as "I believe" or "some people think" that there was a God in heaven who had created the whole universe, that a man called Jesus was his son who had died for my "sins", and that he loved me, I believed them. I believed this story in the same way that I believed that grass was green and that 4 was the number four. But I was too young to understand, and so my earliest conception of God was a bearded fellow pouring peas and lard from the clouds.



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