Among The Faithless Poem by Linda Marie Van Tassell

Among The Faithless

I went to church on Sunday to give praise unto the Lord,
and I found myself worshipping among the faithless hoard.
O! They dressed the part, gave their tithes, and even shook my hand.
The preacher spoke of love and life, of God's great Promise Land.

He spoke of Christian duty and of helping those in need.
He spoke of humility and of corporate crime and greed.
He preached about salvation, of war, and retribution,
said we should confess our sins and pray for absolution.

The collection plate circled round, was passed from pew to pew,
as the preacher spoke of church events, some old and some new.
He spoke of matrimony and the Blessed, Holy bond,
talked of family values in this world and the beyond.

The sermon seemed to center around the power of love,
of the grace and mercy that God bestows from up above.
Thus, he wanted to recognize the longest married pair,
giving them dinner for two, a blessing, and a prayer.

Next, he queried the newlyweds, married three years or less;
and couples stood together, two-by-two, in Sunday dress.
The window of time was dropped 'til only two were standing.
There were no accolades, just the hush of silent branding.

Stares shot across the room as the contest moderators
conferred among themselves about the two desecrators.
For, there among the holy, stood two women in their prime,
married in San Francisco two days before in warmer clime.

I think I held my breath; I could feel my poor heart beating.
This was not my notion of a joyous Sunday meeting.
The parishioners snickered; I heard the words 'queer' and 'gay.'
I was beyond shock, and I didn't quite know what to say.

It was a most awkward moment; the couple stood in tears.
One of them had attended there for over fifteen years.
They went from sharing their joy to sharing their grief and shame.
It had quickly turned out to be the crying sort of game.

They were awarded dinner without congratulation.
In the eyes of the church, they were an abomination.
The preacher felt duty-bound to condemn them on the spot
lest all his Sunday lessons be overlooked and forgot.

And I couldn't help but think of the faithless in their fear,
of how they live contrary to the things that they revere.
'Judge not, lest ye be judged; ' but they do at every turn.
Why not embrace the sinner if they share God's discern?

I walked out of service, followed the women to their car.
I felt compelled to tell them that I love them as they are.
I asked for forgiveness for the church and congregation.
None of us are perfect nor above God's condemnation.

Wiping tears away, one of them smeared makeup on her sleeve.
She thanked me for my compassion and then they turned to leave.
I no longer attend Loving Grace, a Christian castaway.
I know where we both stand, and there is nothing left to say.

James B. Earley 22 March 2008 of the greatest evils of the human experience! Thanks for sharing.

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Shaun William Hayes 16 March 2008

Amen to that sister. Whited Sepulchres I think the bible says. Can they not see the souls join, twin souls, merging light. Such primitives. Oh - good poem btw. Shaun.

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