Saturday, April 07, 2007

NaPoWriMo 7: Kneel

A few years ago a colleague and I were invited to another colleague's wedding. We knew this young woman was a devout Christian. She made no secret of her faith and had once prayed for me at work (something I found very disconcerting). However we did not realise the true extent of her Evangelical faith. We found ourselves in a huge auditorium, with all the latest AV gear. The guests all sang and waved their arms in the air. The ceremony itself did not seem to be about wedding a young couple, but about committing them to God. Even worse, there was an overwhelming consumerist edge to the faith. If you pledge yourself to God then God will give you money. That was about the extent of it. And hundreds of young, white, wealthy suburban people found the message irresistable.

I find this particular vein of religion repugnant. My colleague and I didn't, as in this poem, leave the ceremony early, but we sure as heck got out of there as quickly as we could. Our relationship with our workmate was never quite the same!

In the House of the Lord
The bride is swaying on
stage next to her groom
but the good Lord
is standing between them.
In the audience the guests
are wailing and singing and
raising their hands in
ecstatic salutation.
Amen, for God is good
and they close their eyes
and offer opened chests
so that the Lord might
reach over and turn their
sinners’ hearts to
gold (or possibly salt,
for who can predict
salvation at a time
like this)?

The other blonde and I
exchange glances.
We heathens stand
as if to be cut down,
stricken by the rude devotion
of a woman whom
we have known only
as a colleague with a
pastel demeanour.
Now her fervour
drips before us artery
red as she marries herself
to man and religion.

They kneel before
the man and wife.
and God watches two
disbelievers shuffling
hurriedly for the exit.
Turn left for eternity
right for normality.
The devil is in
the choice.

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