Michael Philips


Julie’s Excommunication - Poem by Michael Philips

The time my neighbor Jeff Pettit came
outside when I was ten and – I can’t
remember why – shot staples at me from
his stapler, my esteem for him plummeted
with the impotent trajectory of the staples.

I already held him in declining regard for
recruiting me to experience the stepford
smiles of his mormon congregation.
His parents kept glancing over to see how
my face was responding to all the singing
and PR.

Years later, appalled by the church’s
excommunication of dissenting women,
my colleague Julie wrote and asked to be
excommunicated herself.

They sent back a letter expressing concern
about her soul and setting a trial date.

No, you don’t understand, she wrote back,
I don’t want a trial, I just want to be
excommunicated.

In a response noteworthy as much for its
anticlimactic brevity as for its utter resignation,
they wrote back and said ok done.

Julie knew that hidden behind the terse
wording, they were busy blacking out her
name, de-listing her, purporting to speak
for God, firing blanks.


Comments about Julie’s Excommunication by Michael Philips

  • (3/10/2005 11:41:00 AM)

    Ya know, I've seen this side of the LDS religion, just as I've seen the better side as well.

    What I think is interesting is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions..
    Not saying that Mormons are doomed to hell fire, but saying that I think the original purpose of the church has been somehow distorted..just as Christianity has been over the years.

    You demonstrate an intelligence of the situation as though you've been through the ropes yourself? and a bias that makes me think I'm right...

    Good write, compelling and honest.
    Always,
    Amberlee
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  • (3/5/2005 8:27:00 AM)

    I find this intriguing, informative and very well written.
    Chrissie
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  • (3/1/2005 5:58:00 PM)

    Extremely well done. You've painted an accurate picture of the Mormon mentality (Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: culture, women, remember, god, time, fire, woman, smile



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2005


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