The Church Downtown

The Church Downtown

 (A slap at hypocrites, racists and snobs.)

By Elton Camp


Built all of brick and stone

In the most exclusive zone

Bells in its mighty steeple

Ring to the town’s people


By far the finest church of the town

Sure place to win a heavenly crown

There is naught one needs to fear

Little will be said about sin in here


From guilt take a vacation

If discreet with fornication

Do all just as you please

No church elders to appease


If business needs should cause a lie

Nobody will question the reason why.

Often have too much to drink?

We pass it off with just a wink.


The Sermon on the Mount

Is now of very little account

What was true in those days

Can’t apply to modern ways


Long as you give your tithe

Never in hell’s fires to writhe

Tenth of your gross income we say

Not just of your take-home, no way


If this godly gift you cannot afford

We had rather not have you aboard

Please find some storefront group

Maybe one that will serve you soup


And follow church dress code

Or we will show you the road

To be properly attired

Coat and tie are required


Our preacher’s DD

Posted for all to see

To assure him full respect

In long robes he’s decked


If white is the color of your skin

Perhaps we’ll agree to take you in

If black, you are not left in the lurch

Why you folks have your own church


Please go where you can sing and shout

You will be much happier there, no doubt

We do not wish to sit with knaves

Those whose ancestors were slaves


Members we want to be Americans, true

We shudder to think that Jesus was a Jew

If you are from some foreign shore

Please show your face here no more


Our wish is not to be found among

Those who speak some foreign tongue

We will extend to you no love

Such might come from above


But from us cannot be expected

We are a group chosen, selected

A church of God’s true elite

In every way, fully complete


Amen, amen

Elton4562   Elton4562 wrote
on 6/1/2010 1:28:39 AM
Hey folks, I deleted an incredible comment by a person who concluded that I was advocating mistreatment of poor, black and foreign persons. It is astonishing that anyone could so completely misunderstand what I wrote. The main purpose of this "poem" is to speak against such hypocrisy. It isn't meant to be "peaceful," but an indictment of such unchristian views. Certainly, all churches aren't like that, but some are. We have examples of such in the town where I live. And I very much doubt that it is limited to Alabama. But then, satire has historically sometimes been misunderstood. Most, however, would recognize that the last stanza is dripping with sarcasm even if they missed it in previous stanzas. Elton

Elton4562   Elton4562 wrote
on 5/31/2010 4:32:42 PM
Thank you, Draenoch. There surely is a lot of hypocrisy in religion. Elton

Elton4562   Elton4562 wrote
on 5/31/2010 12:34:58 AM
Many. This is something I wrote in just a few minutes. I am not very good at "poetry," but since many who come to this site seem to prefer that over prose, I am trying to learn. Thanks for reading and commenting. Elton

KLHpensil   KLHpensil wrote
on 5/31/2010 12:06:39 AM
Is this about one specific church or many? I actually quite like this one. This, I'd have to say is one f your better poems. I'm not so fond of the rhyming, especially rhyming without rhythm, in this particular piece, but I love the message and the way you work into it.

writing Elton4562

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