Salvation: Langston Hughes's Loss of Faith

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Children carry a young, pure faith in the specific religion they are raised into. They also tend to take metaphors in very literal senses because children do not fully develop the ability to rationalize until late teens to early adulthood. Weeks before the end of a great rival and the special meeting to "bring the young lambs into the fold", Hughes's aunt talked grandly of seeing lights and seeing Jesus while being saved. "She said you could see and hear and feel Jesus in your soul", states Hughes, who goes on to say he believed not only her but the other older members of the church. Forcing things upon children that they are not mentally ready for is why the entire church is responsible for Hughes's loss in faith. All the young people are gathered together and stuck in the "mourner's bench with the other young sinners". Being up in the very first couple of pews with an entire congregation staring is incredibly nerve racking, setting up the stress of the entire ordeal. As the preacher held his fiery sermons of Hell and sin, Hughes's anticipation grows palpable. Finally, the preacher begs for the "young lambs" to come to Jesus and be saved. Many of the children go, but Hughes waits to see Jesus. The social pressure of the church becomes too much and Hughes is forced up to the altar. There is the huge mistake that led to his loss in faith--force, confusion, and disappointment caused by the church. Children need to learn and feel certain things when they are ready. Hughes did not understand what it meant to be saved, only that he would see Jesus and all would be well. The church forced a false faith on not only Hughes, but on every child who proclaimed faith only because the adults wanted it from them. Even though Hughes writes that he lost faith in Jesus, it seems he uses this to express his real disappointment with his aunt and the adults of the church who, in a child's eyes, are higher beings. Brandon Lee said in The Crow, "Mother is the name for God on the lips...
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