Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Sometimes, when I think back on all the wonderful times I spent with people I loved so much in the Bible Methodist and Weslyan Methodist churches, I wonder, with sadness, how it is so many of them were so hateful? Some of them are still alive today, in their 80s, and facing death soon.

They claimed to love Jesus, most of them even claimed to somehow live without sin. I know better now. I know they were lying, either to me or to themselves. They gathered in black suited huddles and told racist jokes, on sacred ground. They set me down and had earnest answers about the inferiority of Black folks, about how either Cain’s folks were marked black, or maybe it was the wicked son of Noah, but somehow Negroes were the cursed people of the Bible.

I lost respect for them, especially when they stood around church vestibules or the fountain at God’s Bible School and crowed about how Martin Luther King was turned around at the Edmund Pettus bridge, or how sorry colored folks were about this or that, or how great a president George Wallace would be because he stood up to the feds and fought desegregation.

It saddened me when the preacher fathers of my friends did these horrible things. It saddened me when classmates, who families were high up in the church came to school talking about how they had terrorized some black folks, using rocks when they had them surrounded in a public space, or how they drove through “N—-rtown” with basball bats and swung at the heads of innocent black folks. And later, when a cousin I was very fond of starting telling me about my uncle hitting a black worker in the head with a 2×4 because he wasn’t doing something exactly as my uncle thought he should. And how when I expressed dismay, he said, too bad we cant do that anymore. It occurs a lot of this may have just been talk, if not, maybe I was raised in the midst of the KKK and didn’t know it at the time.

As the years wore on, for other reasons, I reexamined my faith and found I could not only not believe in the God I had been raised with, but that I really couldn’t believe in any God. I have come to the point where I do believe that like Schoderingers cat, there is both a God and not a God, and they are in the same box, and we cannot know which is true, and we cant even open the box to check. What I am certain of is that if there is a God, he/she bears no resemblance to anything any person has ever written down or spoken about God. Men are fools. Even the wisest of men know nothing. In fact, the wisest know they not only know nothing, they know they cannot know anything, they cant even know if they cant know anything. I know, that is getting a bit stretchy, but you get my point.

So as I have grown, I have taken what I understand to make sense, not as a Christian, nor as an atheist, but as a human. I have found I appreciate a good bit of Buddha, even more from Jesus, a fair amount of Ghandi, FDR and MLK2, a bit of Twain and a bit of Shakespeare.

Along the way, I had decided I could not hold the old ignorant generation of haters accountable for their beliefs. Not only was it not my job, I felt they were just beyond hope. Old people, who had been poisoned by their elders, and could not help themselves. I politely ignored them.

In the past few days, my relationship with the children of these ignorant old folks has been roiled as they supported the creepy guy from the duck tv show. Finally I had enough of people my age, and younger standing for the hate their elders had stood for 40-50 years ago. I posted a note on my Facebook page calling them all out as non Christian spreaders of hate.

One of the old ones piped up to say maybe my parents had not done a very good job of raising me. Good thing it was on line. If it had been face to face, I am pretty sure I would be facing assault charges for hitting an 80 yr old man! My parents are people of faith. But they taught me to follow the teachings of Jesus. This old codger wanted to say I had been raised poorly by people who had a much better grasp than this old Wallace supporting creepy preacher.

All I can say, he, and the living and dead relatives and “church leaders” of my youth better hope I am right about god, because if they are right, pretty sure they will hear this phrase when they meet Jesus:

Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.



About anthonyuplandpoetwatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

  1. Doug says:

    We have a shared experience on this point. While I call myself Christian and you atheist, I think if we remove the labels, there isn’t much difference. Jesus also dealt with these religious impostors. He called them a “brood of vipers.” I ended up throwing away my parents’ “man-made” God, and discovered the God who was there apart from men’s ideas. You can’t see the ocean for the first time, then go to your garage and make an ocean and go tell the world, this is the ocean — or the sun, or the moon. No one has ever seen God. We get these little glimpses now and then, but then men go and build entire man-made religions and then go around claiming their human inventions are divine. I only want to recognize what is there and real on it’s own merit. I think you too recognize there are contrasting spirits/energies in the world. There is a source of all that is good and a source of all that is evil. I think you also recognize that there is a universal “ought” or obligation — that men should do and pursue the good and fight against evil. At that point, the fact that I call myself Christian and you don’t, matters little. I call the source of all goodness, God, and I try to emulate that in my life and establish that in the world around me. That is the very definition of what it means to be Christian, according to Jesus. Now, if you are living the same life but prefer to use different labels, I don’t have a problem with that. Now do I believe the death of Christ has special significance in my relationship to God. Yes! Do my Muslim friends feel differently? Yes! Do I have a problem with that? No! I’m just reacting to my own perceptions of reality and I fully expect them (and you) to do the same thing, and I expect that God is big enough to account for all the limitations of our human understanding. So carry on living right, oppose those who are evil, but don’t let bitterness consume you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s