This is my tentative opening. Please give me any suggestions you might have!
Tone, Hook, Narrative style, etc.. :D
Thanks in advance!
I am an atheist, yet strangely enough, I study in a catholic school. I'm not just talking about a school founded by Catholics (though my school was founded by Opus Dei) but a school in where we begin and end classes with prayers, where religion and moral theology are required subjects, where half the population either wear crosses or scapulars.
It was only natural that a "freak" like me would be subject to the snide remarks of my fellow classmates. I don't blame them; we were after all just entering high school, hardly adolescents, boys in fact. But I was afraid. Afraid of being prosecuted, afraid of being isolated. Towering seniors cornering me during lunch, their queries founded on incredulity and distrust. Them, and their jeering laugh. Me, a small bug caught between the intersecting webs of scorn, malice, and disdain.
I kept asking myself, is it worth it? It would have been easy to lie; "Oh yes, I believe in god the father almighty." But how much is pride worth? How much does it cost to lie to myself? It was a choice between a fragile peace and the destruction of my beliefs.
Minor question: are you sure you are unique in being an atheist in a catholic school? Most of the best schools in non-Catholic countries were established by Jesuits and the student body is non-exclusive (made up of multiple religions.) I am very surprised that you get this sort of reaction
Towering seniors cornering me during lunch, their queries founded on incredulity and distrust. Them, and their jeering laugh. Me, a small bug caught between the intersecting webs of scorn, malice, and disdain.
It is unfortunate, but my school is established in a country where the dominant religion is Catholicism, *think its the second most catholic country after spain and the vatican* more importantly, the student body is exclusively christian (catholic dominant). Thats the reason why we have moral theology class *grimace*. But enough about my school, I am sure that I am the only atheist in my school (openly atheist at least, not sure about closet), what do you think of my essay?
Is it too political a topic?
Capitalize Catholic in that first use of it.
Hey, isn't Opus Dey that group mentioned in the Dan Brown book? Interesting!
Saying one is an atheist = saying "I do not believe in God" but the word God is used in more than one way, so I always feel that it is incomplete to say simply that one is an atheist. It is best to sat precisely what you mean.
I think you do not give yourself enough credit here: "But how much is pride worth?" I think there is something more than just pride that motivates you. You can add depth to this; for example, write about the difference between being a nonbeliever that shuts out ideas and being a nonbeliever who is trying to be receptive to the actual truth about the nature of things, which perhaps may come to us intuitively during life.