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Flight of the Navigator

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I apologize for the delayed post, this being Mothers Day week in the U.S. I’ve been really busy baking cheesecakes, which is a good thing, but it’s meant things have had to be neglected for a time, but I’m almost done with the baking and have felt bad about not posting this week, so here is the first atheist themed poem I ever wrote.

"I believe children should be taught to think critically about what they hear, what they see, and what they believe..." (Thanks mom.)

It was inspired by a real conversation I had with someone I was interested in, until we had this conversation that is, and by Richard Dawkins assertion that the way to change the perception of atheists is to come out to the people that know you, so I penned this and came out to the poetry community in which I was involved. I’m sure you’ll recognize the conversation topic, you’ve probably had it with some theist friends in your own life. Credit to Penn Jillette where it’s due, if you haven’t read or listened to his entry on NPR in their “This I believe…” series, you should do yourself a favor and check it out.

Flight of the Navigator

 

She asked of me how I could be
G double-O D if I didn’t believe in he
that is supposed to be
my lord and savior,
what motivating force kept me from doing
my darkest desires if I did not believe
in the retribution of an omniscient being,
but I ask of you how many Atheist’s
have been rocked by scandal
where they were the vandal
upon the body of an under aged boy,
only to have their organization,
deny, hide and defend these men
from the retribution due them
by the laws of the land?
How many secularists practice hypocrisy,
preaching the nobility of poverty from the pulpit
while living richly off the donated dollars
of their impoverished flock?
How many skeptics have
abused others verbally and physically
simply because they believe?
How many wars have
been waged in the name of humanism?
How can religion hold morality under lock and key,
if its leaders can’t agree on what is moral?
You want to discuss religion and morality?
Lets talk about the crusades, the inquisition,
the implicit agreement to the slave trade,
let’s discuss how missionaries
are the footpads of colonialism,
let’s discuss Pope Pious the XII’s
silent consent to the Nazi movement,
let’s discuss religious men
making martyrs of innocents,
using planes as manned missiles
against a land of infidels.
Let’s discuss Pope Benedict the XVIth’s
proclamation that condoms
promote the spread of AIDS
in infected Africa,
let’s discuss the papacy okaying
the excommunication of Brazilian Mother and Doctor’s
for performing an abortion on raped nine year old,
impregnated with twins by her stepfather,
while religiously, step-daddy walks away scot-free.
Let’s discuss Michigan mother watching
sixteen month old son waste away
because he did not say Amen after meal time prayer,
believing that he will be resurrected.
Let’s discuss Irish Catholic priests
performing deviant practices
on the children placed in their care.
Let’s discuss religious anti-abortion advocates
advocating the assassination of doctors
who are willing to perform legal abortions.
Let’s discuss the way religion keeps the masses
on their asses happy with the here and now,
believing that their kingdom will come in the hereafter.
Let’s discuss how religion convinces people to support
political parties who do not work in their own best interest,
let’s discuss how religion makes second class citizens of women,
everything that goes wrong in bible
can be traced back to a woman
from the Garden of Eden on down.
So question my morality because I don’t believe,
but I think you should defend yours based on the history
of those who follow he
that you most wish to be like,
but you’ll demand of me to take
the followers of faith on a case by case basis
while practicing your prejudice towards atheists
based on some preconceived notions
of those who don’t believe.
Get to know us personally,
ask of me how I could be G double-O D
if I don’t believe in he that is supposed to be
my lord and savior,
ask what motivating force keeps me
from doing my darkest desires
if I do not believe in the retribution
of an omniscient being,
and I will tell you what I do believe;
I believe that all of humanity is connected,
that what happens half a world away
may one day affect me or my seed,
I believe children should be taught
to think critically about what they hear,
what they see, and what they believe,
I believe that deeds done behind closed doors,
between two consenting adults,
is nobody’s business but their own,
I believe that religion is just a division
perpetuated by the powers that be
to keep you and me from focusing
on what really matters,
just like race, gender, and sexuality.
I believe that morality has nothing
to do with God, or Allah, or Yahweh, or Mohammed, or Jesus,
or the Bible, or the Qur’an, or the Torah, or religion, or spirituality
but is instead a basic human element
that allows us to further
the existence of our species,
I believe the suffering I’ve seen in my family,
indeed all the suffering in the world,
isn’t caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent
force that can’t be bothered to help or is just testing us,
but rather something we all may be able to help
others with in the future.
I believe no God means the possibility
of less suffering in the future.
I believe that if all of humanity were like me
we would see that every species is connected
and be better stewards of this earth,
so if you dare question my morality
because I don’t believe
be prepared to defend yours because you do.

© Victor R Harris Jr. 2008

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