What I am not


I’m not a Christian or a Jew,

not Islamic nor a Dru.

I’m not a Buddhist or Tendai,

Sikh or Hindu or Baha’i.

I’m not a person so naïve

that I would easily believe.

I am not inclined to follow

belief systems that ring hollow.

I’m not a one to join such things

with all the hassle that it brings.

I’m not about to sell my soul

so someone else can take control.

What I’m not about to do

is believe their point of view.

I am not likely to give way

to the things these people say.

I am not the type of guy

to ask of other’s questions why.

I don’t take answers off-the-shelf

when I can find them for myself.

What I’m not is gullible

even though I’m fallible.

I know full-well when things feel wrong

and then I will not string along.

I’m not blind to what I’ve seen

in the world’s religious scene.

Outrageously they’ve been used for

making and maintaining war.

So I am not at all inclined

to let religion rule my mind.

I won’t pretend I’ve got a lot

but I’ll defend what I am not.

B. Withers 2012

Past Member

Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, but I have to say that I pity this individual with such a jaded mind. No one tells me how to think, and no one ever will. And yes, I am religious and belong to organized religion, but guess what, I do not or would I allow anyone to tell me I have to think in a certain way on all things from a pulpit or the Bible. I have a brain, I use it, I love my church and faith, and I am thankful that I have such a support system in my life.

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I loved your poem! I guess one would call me spiritual, but not religious. I thoroughly understand where you are coming from, and how thoughtfully you expressed your feelings.


I am an atheist, therefore I question everything. I like your words, they are yours. It is refreshing to read.


Also, when you have cancer, the religious nuts come out, especially nurses and 'other' caregivers.

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Hello sweetdreams, Thank you for yur comments. I am pleased for you that you feel able to think for yourself and belong to an organisation that gives you a support system. The way I view religions is that if it works for you- then use it. In my younger days I studied many different religions and I concluded that there are a number that 'tell', 'preach' and expect people to 'follow'. There are others that encourage independent thinking, self-organised living and exploration of the universe by asking their own questions and finding their own answers.On a personal level I find the former somewhat patronising, so I prefer the latter.Best wishes Bill
Hello vanessavy, Here we also get politicians and royalty visiting people in hospitals. My only hope is that they ask the patients for their permission before they appear at the bedside. Best wishes Bill
Past Member

I have heard about people - nurses and other caregivers overstepping their boundaries - and my response to that is: make it abundantly clear who you want to enter your room (nurses unfortunately have to do their jobs, so try hard to be compassionate about what they are taught to do, but request that once you have heard it to pass on to the rest of the shifts, you have heard it once and it does not bear repeating!) and if someone you do not know comes in, you just politely tell them that you think there are other people better served with their message, but it is not you! Blunt and to the point, but unless you tell others your feelings, they aren't mind readers who know how you feel about certain things. I feel politicians or any other person has no right to just pop in, so again, make it known what you will and will not accept as a patient - you do have rights - use them.

Hello sweetdreams. I do so agree with your stance on this issue.One problem with the patient having to take the assertive role is that they are often ill and vulnerable at that time and they may not have the mental stamina to stand up to people in this way. Also, people in positions of power often have an arrogance that leads them to think that they don't need 'permission' from anyone to do whatever they like. We had a case at our local hospital where a surgeon eventually had to be dismissed because, despite several warnings, he would not desist from perpetrating his evangelical views on his patients. This was a great pity as he was recognised as a very good surgeon.Best wishes Bill

Religious beliefs are instilled in us from childhood and reinforced every Sunday. Some folks take enormous pride in the faith that was handed down to them by their fathers, and they will cherish it faithfully in spite of all the hardships that may ensue. Here's a clip that captures that dedication and illustrates that there can be enormous joy in what may appear to others as misery. I am sure you will like it. PB

Hello Primeboy.You are quit right I did enjoy the video enormously. I am not sure what else I was doing when the Monty Python sketches were first broadcast but I missed all of them and am only recently catching up.Thanks and best wishes Bill

I love that poem.....it proudly suggests the essence of a 'Free-Thinker' .... Poetic Thought and Inner Path Choice reflecting Individuality ....

Hello WOUNDED DOE. Thank you for your comment and I'm pleased that you liked the verse. You are of course absolutely correct in the sense that I wish to be a 'free-thinker'. This can sometimes be much harder in everyday life where we are bombarded by so many who wish to tell us what to do and think. However, it does become a bit easier in moments of contemplation when concentrating upon putting thoughts into rhyming verse. Best wishes Bill

Once again, Bill, you prove to be great at what you do best. Keep up the good work, Joyce Hometown.


Wonderful as usual, Bill. You really know how to get a point across. Keep up the good work.

Thanks hometown. sometimes it is difficult to keep up the motivation to work on this type of stuff. However, it is people such as yourself and others on this site that provide the stimulation to carry on. Best wishes Bill
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