Occasional thoughts of an Anglican Episcopal priest

God Damn! – A Poem – September 7, 2014

You've gotta say "I'M A HUMAN BEING, GOD DAMNIT! My life has value!"

God Damn!

I said it!
I said it from the pulpit!
Into the ears
of little-old-ladies-with-blue-hair;
into the ears
of young-fathers-with-first-grade-children;
into the ears
of strait-laced-conservative-young-business-women
into the ears
of unexpecting parishioners who never believed
they would hear
“God damn”
from the pulpit.
It was, I said,
in a poem
and I wanted to honor
the poet and the poet’s decision
to be true to the poet’s vision.
Treat it, I said,
as a teaching moment
about the use of rough language
as an artistic decision
as a literary device
as a method of emphasis.
“God damn right!” I thought
in the silence of my own mind.
I said it!
I said it from the pulpit!
And the little old ladies with blue hair
were shocked (I saw it in their eyes)
and the young fathers with first grade children
were angry (I saw it in their eyes)
and the strait-laced conservative young business women
were scandalized (I saw it in their eyes).
Why?
Moses commanded the people of God
not only to pronounce blessings
but also curses,
not only to celebrate good
but also to condemn evil.
Jesus healed and blessed,
but he also cursed;
he set a table for thousands,
and overturned tables in the Temple.
Perhaps we have not said it enough;
Perhaps we should have said it
from the pulpit
more often.
God damn cruelty
God damn oppression
God damn prejudice
God damn racial profiling
God damn homophobia
God damn apartheid
God damn security barriers
God damn war
God damn death and disease and evil and . . .
the list goes on.
Perhaps we have not said it enough.
So that
the little old ladies with blue hair
ought not be shocked
the young fathers with first grade children
ought not be angry
the strait-laced conservative young business women
ought not be scandalized.
Perhaps we should say it
from the pulpit
more often.
“God damn!”

– by C. Eric Funston, 7 September 2014

2 Comments

  1. Bob Chapman

    When asked what Jesus would do, overturning tables in the Temple is among the list of options.

  2. Ccw Sparks

    Wow. Wish I’d been there to hear this!

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