The theme this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is “HUMAN”. Another good one, I think Jon’s going soft on us.

Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20080713.mp3]

Ed Bates does the background guitar sounds this week.


God, omnipresent, was head of our school
The headmaster, beneath, merely a tool

And a tool he was — as were those he’d ordain
To uphold the rules with detentions and cane
Punish the wayward, the wilful, profane

To extract both sporting and scholarly deeds
To sort wheat from the chaff and eradicate weeds
To fashion and nurture our spiritual needs

Entrusted to sow the seeds of compunction
Not one but two teachers of religious instruction

United by faith on a singular mission
Two very different takes on the human condition

The first preached a God of retribution
That submission through fear equalled absolution

Pain was the cornerstone of his belief
Life was a sufferance, only death brought relief
When sin was rewarded with torment and grief
Eternal anguish, the gnashing of teeth

He conveniently skipped in his pontifications
All the books between Daniel and Revelations

To him the Beatitudes, were merely platitudes
Misguided reformists with humanist attitudes

To be human was to be in the image of God
You spoil the child if you spare the rod

The second viewed God in the modernist fashion
Loving, forgiving; a God of compassion

The greatest considered no more than the least
A prostitute no less than a priest

The merciful, the meek, strong and the weak
Those who mourn, those who seek
Those who turn the other cheek

To be human was a state of perfect imperfection
God empowered us to choose our own direction

One God, one book, one church, two versions
One story twice told, two opposing assertions

One a story of hope, one a story of loss
How many times must Jesus be nailed to the cross

Multiply creeds, religions, denominations
Each the true God with infinite interpretations
Ambiguity, incongruity, festering for perpetuity
Concealed between lines and seized in translation
Enlightenment or justification
Created by God — or is God the creation

Cathedrals and mosques, synagogues and shrines
Which are the follies, which the divine

While religious beliefs are fiercely protected
Secular values can be scorned and rejected
Spat on, derided no matter how mis-directed

Does God give us purpose or does God give us cause
For prejudice, bigotry, fuel for our wars

Intelligent design or natural selection
Are we in God’s image or is God our reflection

© Copyright 2008 Ian Bland

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