Friday, April 29, 2005


Ode to Intolerance

A crowd of people toward me came,
from whence, I cannot say.
They were dancing in bright colors,
none was dressed in gray.

One young man left the crowd,
came up to me and smiled,
though dressed quite foppishly,
his face was very mild.

"Come join our dance!" the young man cried,
light shining from his eyes.
"Join us as we purge the earth
from silly, old-fashioned lies!

"There are those who dare to say
there can only be one way!
That to reach salvation
one must believe their faith!"

He stopped and laughed, and shook his head,
the absurdity was too great.
As if any mortal could
presume to know his fate!

"We on the other hand," he went on,
"know none can know the truth.
To say any other thing
is arrogant and uncouth.

"We come from many backgrounds,
love and peace are our aim.
We serve one sovereign lord--
'Tolerance' is his name!

"We judge not another man
for the choices that he makes.
He must look inside himself
for the counsel that he takes.

"Some say man is wicked,
evil from within--
I say on the other hand,
there's no such thing as sin!"

He stopped and looked expectantly,
waiting for my reply.
All the others came around,
and I let out a sigh.

How was I to tell them that
they were quite wrong indeed.
What could possibly make them
to my voice give heed?

"I cannot join you," I replied,
"I am afraid to say.
I too, serve one sovereign Lord,
Jehovah is His name.

"All have sinned against Him,
and all deserve the pit.
I myself deserve to be
damned to the Abyss.

"But-Praise God!-I'm glad to say
His precious Son was sent!
All men can now be saved-
just trust Him and repent!"

Back from me they all recoiled,
some spat upon the ground.
Angry eyes looked back at me
as I gazed around.

"You're one of them," the young man hissed,
disgust written on his face.
"One who claims that every man
needs your own God's grace!"

From the crowd a voice piped up,
"Shouldn't we hear him out?
Since we worship tolerance,
mustn't he have the benefit of the doubt?"

"Stay with him, if you will,"
the angry young man scoffed back.
"You've proved again that in this world,
of fools there is no lack.

"Come on with me!" he told the crowd,
"Let us continue in our march.
We will leave these fools behind,
in their ignorance to parch."

The crowd began to move away,
and some began to prance.
Soon music started playing,
and all joined in the dance.

In a moment they were gone
we two were left alone.
I who had refused to join,
and she who from the throng was thrown.

"Are you sure in what you say?"
she questioned thoughtfully.
"That there only is one way,
one path, one door, one key?"

"I know that what I said is true,
though intolerant it may seem.
Your former group," I replied,
"Lives in a dreadful dream.

"There is much I do not know,
but one thing I can tell.
Though they dance quite merrily,
they dance the path toward hell."


Anonymous hv said...

Wow, you are getting quite creative in your "spare" time!

3:58 PM  
Blogger fher said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Chris Emlyn said...

hv: I actually had to write the last stanza first, and write the rest in front of it.

fher: Thank you for your comment, but I do not allow advertising webpages on my site.

5:01 PM  
Blogger The Serven Clan said...

Great poem. Were you inspired from an experience in your life, or more from philosophical and theological musings?

6:53 AM  
Blogger Chris Emlyn said...

A little of both. My tolerance for tolerance has been running rather short lately. The governor of Illinois just signed a law that basically forces pharmacists to dispense birth control pills regardless of their personal beliefs, and I have been quite disgusted with the arguments given by those supporting him, basically stating that pharmacists don't have a right to "impose their values" on others. The issue of abortion came up recently in one of my classes, and the vast majority of students adamantly believed that a doctor has to help a woman get an abortion, otherwise the doctor would be imposing his morals on her. I like the way that John Patrick (a fairly well-known Christian doctor) puts it (paraphrased): "Like it or not, someone's morals are going to be imposed on the patient--they can either be secular society's or mine--I'd rather they be mine."

5:31 PM  

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