Prisoners of War


indoctrinate. (verb)

teach (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

“broadcasting was a vehicle for indoctrinating the masses”

belief. (noun)

  1. an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.

“his belief in extraterrestrial life”

  1. trust, faith, or confidence in (someone or something).

“a belief in democratic politics”

faith. (noun)

  1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

“this restores one’s faith in politicians”

  1. strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

“bereaved people who have shown supreme faith

critical thinking (noun)

the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.

“professors often find it difficult to encourage critical thinking among their students”

God (noun)

  1. (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
  1. (in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshipped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.

Myth (noun)

  1. a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

“ancient Celtic myths

  1. a widely held but false belief or idea.

“the belief that evening primrose oil helps to cure eczema is a myth, according to dermatologists”

fiction (noun)

  1. literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people.
  1. something that is invented or untrue.prisoner. (noun)

a person captured and kept confined by an enemy, opponent, or criminal.

“the heroine was being held prisoner in a cave”

God did not make man

in His (a term I have objected to as long as I remember) image,

MAN made God in his and therein lay the largest AND

Most disconcerting question for our species,

As we attempt a great leap forward,

Through reason and thought –

Why do humans persist in believing in the Almighty,

Despite our collective evolution,

Of mind, body and spirit,

At the expense of an ever greater growth?

According to my Mother,

Whom I love dearly,

Who gave birth to me physically, and,

As importantly started my drive to read,

Analyze, understand and form my own thoughts,

Critically, with reason and evidence,

Hitler could be in her ‘Heaven,’

And I,

Though acknowledging I am flawed,

And a Good Person,

Imbued with personal ethics and morals,

Sets that you may call humanism,

Am going to ‘Hell,’

As I do not,

Can not,

Will not accept dogma as fact,

Supposition as evidence,

Or man made (key word MAN) words of an omnipotent tease,

Somewhere like a spirit in the sky.

I myself am, admittedly, delusional,

The chemical constructs of my mental defenses,

That since as early as five, have followed my daily advance,

At times with scorn, others with a tender heart,

But never, through personal or delusional interpretation,

Have they,

The Lost Generation, none more verbose,

Than Hemingway himself;

Instructed me,

To slaughter Harry Potter fans,

Or Dracula, or Hamlet,

Nor those that can not share in my delusions,

Due to their supposed normalcy.

By common agreement,

My delusions are my own,

And beyond my sharing them,

As a means of understanding with those that love me,

I accept that they are delusions,

I have been, though no longer am,

Medicated to treat the conditions,

By a doctor, who by study and analysis,

Concluded that my Hemingway and Company,

While real to me,

Very real indeed,

Are not to him, nor society at large

Thus society as a whole has deemed my delusions divergent,

Yet he who is without sin cast the first stone,

Pray tell (pun intended) the difference,

Between my deeply held, personally real hallucinations,

And the delusions which serve to feed them,

And your Gods?

To be fair,

To the billions strong myth chasers,

In reverse of critical thought,

Though I do not share your delusions,

I can not fault them,

Rather I can insist that the faculties of thought,

Allow we, sentient beings,

To entertain, without hesitation,

A thought we do not believe,

I have through measured effort,

Communed, imaginarily,

With God or Gods,

Man, woman and child,

Seeking to understand,

The benevolent charm of these unseen, all powerful,

Infinite wonders,

And time and again have come,

Through critical thought to the same conclusions.

I was raised in a culture of indoctrination,

Religious, political, economic and social,

Perhaps none so pervasive (and globally destructive),

As that of the monotheists,

In my case the first Abrahamic religions,

Exposed to, versed in and chapter aware,

Of Torah, Bible and Koran,

Unlike most victims of critical thought suppression,

I have read, page after page of each,

With an open mind and open heart,


Not by speaking to a snake or a burning bush,

That it is time to let MY people go,


Prisoners of war,

Since the moment GOD is forced upon them.

You see,

It may not be argued,

That the deeply held ‘personal’ beliefs,

In God, Christianity and the potential of an afterlife,

Are rammed down the throats of humans at ages,

That our minds are incapable of drawing necessary distinctions,


That these Foie Gras mythological force feedings,

Lead to a pervasive abstract object permanence,

Which, it seems to me,


Remains the only imaginary being to which we are subjected,

That the religious cling to,

Long after the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy,

Have passed into the realm of the imagined,

Not with scorn or spite,

But with the deep affection each deserve,

As children’s tales.


God persists,

In defiance of reason,

Whether Yahweh, God, Jesus or Allah,

Resultant from the constant barrage,

Impenetrable indoctrination that we are bequeathed,

By our parents,

Well intentioned to be sure,

Yet, in this passing down of mythological morals and ethics,

We are struck,

At an age irrelevant here,

Whereby we must individually decide,

What our personal truth is,

In spite of,

And indeed in the face of those we love,

Insane amounts of familial and peer pressure,

That shake many of us to our core.

I do not attack your belief,

Your faith, your religion, or your Gods,

Instead I cry out for your understanding,

Your critical thinking and your open mindedness,

I plead for you to apply the same faculties that cause you,

To go to a doctor when you are sick,

And call the police when there has been a crime,

Both events that would not even require a moments thought,

For you to engage in actions appropriate to your experience.

While I bemoan the insane selectivity of your following,

I do attack what has been done in the name of religion,

The name of your Gods,

Those that have enslaved the beautiful minds of your children,

With your tacit approval,

They have become without question,

Prisoners of war,

And I hope as we progress collectively,

That they, your children,

In the name of your Gods,

Do not become killed or missing in action.

I raise my eyes to the heavens,

Also known as outer space,

The universe,

From this spaceship Earth,

Our blue marble,

One of billions potential in that great yet unknown,

And pray to logic, reason, rationale and critical thought,

That God will,


Sender D. MacLean

Writers Note:

This piece was inspired by the following prompt from a friend, the prompt as follows below;

“a main sewage back-up: invading, infecting, shit (u thought u were rid of) returns along with everybody else’s in the area. It’s not your fault but floor covering, lower walls, and possessions have to be removed to avoid mold and disease. Life and home are in upheaval… replacements to come as you can afford them?”


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