I consider myself agnostic; I’m not saying there is no God but I am saying I’m not convinced. That definitely is an interesting conversation with African-American friends, families, colleagues and even college associates. I loved that my great great aunt, who is super religious, would go, “I know you don’t believe in Jesus, my little chocolate girl, but __________” and then go off into a religious message. But she was understanding. For the most part, everyone is understanding. They know I’m not going for it. My father, who never went to church when I was a kid, became a deacon while I was in college. I think it’s dope that he’s found a positive place to discuss a variety of issues, especially considering their political and social causes are as vocal as their religious causes. Do you, is my motto. But I can’t help but roll my eyes to the sky every single time I’m asking to pray over meals or before any random event. I just stand there stone-faced until the prayer is over and go back to what I was doing. I have no desire to try to talk anyone out of my views just as I wouldn’t want them to talk me out of theirs. I find that people my age (20s and 30s) challenged me more than older groups, which is odd, because I just KNEW it’d be the other way around once I finally stopped dodging the subject. But when people poke the bear, they better be ready to hear my truth. Anyway, good read (and funny too).

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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