Monday 29 November 2010

The Bus stops here.

Suffer the little children.

Born into Genesis,
raised by the rod.
Threatened with Hellfire,
a cruel, jealous God.

A childhood of guilt
and mindless submission,
pleading with Jesus
for sweet intervention.

I argued my case.
I asked my god why?
He ne’er deigned to answer.
I wanted to die.

So, year after year,
after year of despair,
then realisation:
“There’s nobody there!”

Gods manufactured
by ancients to hold
their people in thrall
and under control,

The god of the cross,
the star and the crescent;
a god of extremists,
terrorists nascent.

So, believe what you want
and say what you must.
I’ve eyeballed your god
And left in disgust.

Poetry bus driven this week by Dana.
Pic borrowed from here.


  1. And joining the fray ...

    Bring out the Heathens.
    Bring out the Heathens.

    Those who know there IS a God, believe also on behalf of those who know there is NO God. So it seems we will, all of us, God botherers and heathens alike, live in eternal light regardless.

    If I didn't feel so indignant at this paternalistic arrogance, I might laugh and feel safe with a bob each way.

    Today I refer to the old fashioned Oxford English Dictionary rather than Wikipedia for a definition.

    Humanism: a belief or outlook emphasising common human needs and seeking solely rational ways of solving human problems, and concerned with mankind as responsible and progressive intellectual beings.

    Humanity: Humaneness, benevolence, compassion

    The presence or absence of God does not make one less or more GOOD. It does not make one less or more humane.

    But I measure my own worth or otherwise on how I behave with those I love - my child, my husband, my friend, my neighbour, my countryman, my humankind.

    Did I help or hurt.
    Did I act or ignore.
    God is not responsible.
    I am responsible.
    There is no God.

  2. Oh, the havoc we continue to wreak ~~~ all in the name of religion.

  3. On his deathbed a friend of ours finally gave in to his wifes wishes and became a Catholic - the next day when we visited a Rabbi stood by his bedside "I'm hedging my bets." our friend quipped.

    I have no idea what I believe anymore but there are a lot out there who are convinced they are right.

  4. I've had this very discussion with myself. But I tend to land on the other side of that fence. Strong Baptist upbringing :)

  5. reflective and smart tale..
    you hit reality hard..

  6. Reacting to Suz and Bug, but with respect and friendship. Freedom of speech and religion works up to a point and within narrow geographical borders. And as Dawkis points out, no children are born Muslim, Christian, Shintoist or whatever. They are made so by their societies and then are expected to protect that tradition against attack up to and including killing people. Most Atheists I know are escapees from Christianity, some ex-clergynmen. But most atheists are simply poeople who were never required to choose and just stay out of religions. They are not sucked into the guilt game, nor are they required to take sides in inter religious squabbles that draw our attention away from common causes.
    One day I might publish a letter I received from God last year. It surprised me. It reveals Him as much more inclusive than the god depicted in the OT, and is a 'person' I could like!

  7. An intriguing poem, mainly because you don't know if its the poet or the persona speaking. I'm not sure I'd want to write something like this because I know people for whom religion means a lot, even though I'm a complete heathen myself, and I wouldn't like to stamp on their beliefs quite so brutally.
    But as a poem, its well-rhymed and there's no hiding the message!

  8. No-one can ever know until they die (and if there is nothing thereafter - we still won't know as we will be nothing but molecules). Religion can be bad for the mental health (and physical health, depending on where you live) that's for sure. Good one Stafford.

  9. While I have been burned at times through institutionalized religion, I consider myself a spiritual person. I think we are all entitled to our own truths and I respect those opinions/beliefs that differ from my own. Though I take comfort in God, I have been frustrated with the hypocrisy of people. Your poem is well written. Unfortunately, there are usually extremists on each side of every issue...

  10. Yes, SuziCate, many do find comfort in the idea of a God who above all, offers the concept of life after death, much like the tooth fairy offers a reward to compensate for the loss of a tooth. Fact is not important to those in need of support in either case but as you say, some take it to extremes and unfortunately the extremists are always with us.
    I wanted to pay you the courtesy of a return visit but could not find your blog. If you come back, please leave a link.

  11. "Born into Genesis,
    raised by the rod."
    A couple of riveting opening lines!

  12. the world would be a much better place if we just all believed in being kind and caring. AND we should be the only animal that is endangered instead of being the animal that threatens all other living creatures. HUMPF.
    Great great post Stafford- I am so sorry you had such a childhood! I should send you my special cookies-make you forget stuff....and NOPE thaey aren't MJ cookies- just good ol Chocolate Chip cookiesd made with tender loving care.

  13. You actually came by my blog earlier...not sure why my gravatar didn't link back. I have two blogs, the one you came by was my poetry blog. My other blog is

  14. Hi Stafford, Thanks for dropping by and taking the trouble to explain, though there was no need. Far be it for me to judge - I have never experienced anything like that, thank God. I might say that actions are not always the fault of the people they are done in the name of. As a heathen, I believe in good people and bad people.

  15. As ever, I loved your take on the prompt, and applaud your honesty! :)

  16. Oh yes, I can certainly identify with this poem, and have had serious doubts about my own faith......somehow, the idea of something beyond this existence assures me. I like the poem because it nails what has been felt! And I can hear the words coming from his mouth! Who are we to know all things anyway!

  17. Thanks everyone, including my friends 'of faith' and Peter, I read recently: "Good people do good things, bad people do bad things. But for good people to do bad things, they need religion."

    Pat, after a lifetime of struggling with this, I now see it thus: "We are poisoned from birth with a fear of death. We are told there is ‘life’ after death and that 'life' can be unspeakably horrible if we are not 'saved'. Then we are presented with the 'antidote' of ritual and obedience, even being expected to die for God as terrorists do (see my post 'Lysistrata in Hijab' ) or 'Onward Christian Soldiers' have done in Christian history. Some still do.

    But, I am not trying to change anyone's mind here. This started out as a poem about my experiences, not a debate about anyone else's beliefs.

    However, what does really worry me, is that many religious leaders are negating the extremely urgent issue of climate change and the potential of an overpopulated and divided humanity fighting over the 'last oil well' and the 'last fertile field'.
    It should be obvious to anyone that God is not taking care of it and any fix must come from us.

  18. You can rest assured you've created god in your onw image when it turns out he hates all the same people you do. -Anne Lamott

    As for my God - she's very nice :o)

  19. Loved the poem - your 'journey' reads a lot like my own, only more poetic.
    Hm, just thought of a 6-word memoir for mine:
    hell? - found my own way out

  20. Starts off with a punch and has us on the ropes round after round till the knockout! Angry but clearly heartfelt and hurting. Powerful poem!

    I'm still hanging in there at the moment with God but I think religion and particularly the religious can do an awful lot of damage as probably has been done to you.

  21. appears that I never got around to commenting on the poem itself, which is quite good. Thanks for the visit, btw.

  22. Nice structure and argument. I'm with you all the way! Stand by to repel Godbotherers!

  23. It should be obvious to anyone that God is not taking care of it and any fix must come from us.

    How right you are! Let's hear it for Mankind, with emphasis on the KIND!


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