“My fathers God stopped being my God. His church stopped being my church. And yet, today, because I’m coward, I let myself be initiated into that church.”

God is a complicated subject for each individual, but when you’re family is part of the clergy it is a burden on your family when you start to question your faith. Through this quote I see my young self in Lauren. My mother is a catholic school principal and part of the women’s club at our local church, and my father is part of the knights of columbus; a male oriented organization. As a child you are completely forced to listen to the same God but eventually you learn that , as Lauren said, “My God has another name”. At this point you’re life is becoming more than what you’re parents expected and shaping itself. Lauren’s parents didn’t grow up in a walled city where everyone outside of it was trying to murder them; they  grew up freely and faced other demons. Her parents God is different than her God because they’re going through different things. Lauren says that she is a “coward” by letting herself be initiated into a church of a God that isn’t hers; and I see my 13 year old self being confirmed into a Church that I didn’t believe in. Lauren Olamina is questioning family’s God, something that I believe we all go through at some point in our lives; even if you don’t have a God. This quote shows Lauren’s individual growth, it validates her change in character and in faith.


2 thoughts on ““My fathers God stopped being my God. His church stopped being my church. And yet, today, because I’m coward, I let myself be initiated into that church.”

  1. When I started reading the Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, one of the first themes that I noticed was Religion and the sentiment that Lauren held towards her father’s values.

    I chose to respond to this post because the quote that was used in the title is a passage that I highlighted while reading the book, because I saw conviction in it. My mother is Christian and my father Muslim, but I was only ever encouraged to be in touch with a spiritual ideology without the expectation of affiliating myself with any religious institutions.

    A belief that I held for a long time was similar to something that a character in the book, Keith believed as well: that God is a mechanism used by adults to scare children into behaving according to what the adults think of as acceptable. It’s also ironic that Keith refrained form mentioning his true thoughts about God around adults, because that further proves his point.

    The overarching theme of religion in the book and the way that Laura speaks about it (in some passages) was something that I was able to relate to. The way that she questions God’s “true” form and purpose is something that I have done a lot. The quote that resonated the most with me is “God exists to shape/And to be shaped” because it is (in my opinion) such an interesting and healthy way to think about God, whether or not you are religious.


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