The power of religion

In Baldwin’s opening story ‘Go Tell It on the Mountian’, religion is a constant topic of conversation. I find it an exciting appeal to many different issues. Religion throughout this story is prominent in the family dynamic. I especially found it interesting when the mother talked about how the boy’s father was a good man. When the boys truly think about it, they decide he must be a good man because he prays so often, and the mother does nothing to disagree with this perspective.

As someone who was raised Catholic, but has a father who is Seventh Day Adventist, church was a huge part of my life while growing up. I had the black church experience on Saturdays and then Catholic mass on Sundays. I will say the black church and Catholic mass are two completely different experiences. Catholic mass is about reading the Gospel and having a lesson taught to you for about an hour. (in my opinion). When I would go to my father’s church, I would experience the passion and the ability to truly feel what the pastors were saying because of their delivery. So, in a sense, I understand why religion was portrayed as a way of being considered ‘good’.

The ties to religion and violence also build into this same scene. The fact Roy talks about how they are lucky to have a father who makes them go to church and read the Bible, though this line does sound sarcastic in my eyes, it talks about having the ability to associate church with love and violence, such as hitting the boys when they do something wrong. This does in fact associate the ways of violence and religion having mixed lines, especially for John who has such strong ties to his faith.