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Atheist Preacher's Poetry Page

Hi! It has often been erroneously asserted that atheists and other freethinkers have no fun in their life, no "soul," no sense of the "spiritual." They don't seem to be human. This is not true of course. Atheists aren't devoid of emotion, which is what is really meant by the very misleading words like "soul" and "spiritual." It's just that, for the most part, atheists are people whose reason controls their emotion and the majority of people are vice versa. Indeed that is one of the biggest problems with humanity, and if we can ever get over that, we will be on the way to genuine progress.

Star Tek has always been one of my favorite shows. As a child I watched the original series on TV and thought how illogical it was that Spock and the Vulcan race expended so much energy trying to utterly suppress all emotion, which was an innate part of their being just as with humans. While humans often went to extremes on one end and often appeared only savage animals, Vulcans went to the opposite extreme, and often appeared to be "only machines" with no sense of self or joy or happiness.

The situation in the world of Star Trek has not improved in that area (and in some others as well - you'd think the writers would have a bit better imagination, but....). The character of Data on The New Generation series was more "Vulcan" than Spock had been. Spock, being only half Vulcan would on rare occasions of enormous physical or emotional pain, slip and let some of it show. Data was not an "organic" being at all but apparently something between an "android" and a human. For all practical purposes he had all the abilities of a human - most of which were far greater than human or Vulcan counterparts - except the ability to experience emotion. This was touted throughout the show as his one major "weakness." Seemed obvious to me that Data was the vastly superior being because he was not subject to emotion but, in any case...

Humans, even atheists, have inherited many of the characteristics of their ancient ancestors, one of them being emotion. Humans are still a very young species, barely out of their infancy and are struggling to learn how to use the newfangled (in evolutionary terms) faculty of reason. Humans are the only creatures we know about to have evolved this ability, at least to the degree that we have. The majority of our species seems not to have yet figured out how to use it sufficiently to control the mindless drives and urges of the emotion that we have inherited. A relative few of us have learned to place the reason "module" of our brain to control the lower or older parts. We cannot (yet) completely be rid of emotion, and even if we could, I'm certain very few would. I personally would gladly dispense with such primitive drives in favor of more intellectual stimulation and challenge if I could, but I cannot. Therefore, emotion, still being an innate part of all of us, has to be acknowledged. Aside from possibly a handful of people who may have experienced some form of brain mutation which effectively makes them immune to almost all if not all emotion, all the rest of us do experience emotion. I don't say that emotion, per se, is "wrong," only to the extent that it runs unchecked and controlled by reason. Sometimes we all need to let go and experience emotion in the whole spectrum, from deep sorrow to amazing exhileration, from nearly unbearble rage to love that makes us weep.

One of the ways we humans have always expressed our emotion is through poetry. Note that I don't claim the following sections to be necessarily good poetry; that is relative and subjective. I present the following sections, especially for the benefit of the very religious folk who may wander by, to show them that atheists are also "human" in that they, too, experience the range of emotion. I hope this section is of some interest and benefit to some viewers.

Christian Love

On a cold and dark and lonely street a tired old man lays down to sleep.
Most people passing do not care, just as if he wasn't there.
On his feet are holey shoes. He can pay no union dues.
His clothes are just some torn old rags; all else he owns is in the bag

Used to prop his tired old head as he sleeps upon his cardboard bed.
He dreams of streets paved with gold and shudders slightly from the cold.
A crushing pain in his heart awakes old Henry with a start;
As his life and pain ebb away he won't see another day.

As a rat crawls into his sack his vision dims and fades to black.
With a heavy sigh he expires surrounded by the mighty spires
Of churches where, again today, Armani and Gucci come to pray
And pat themselves upon their backs adorned with duds from down at Saks.

They sing praises to their God above and exercise their Christian Love.
They fill the plate with tithes and alms which grease too many greedy palms.
Old Henry's bones are hauled away while rich folk come to church to pray
For good weather on their vacation. And thank the Lord for no church taxation!

Temy R. Beal

Precious Hours

Sometimes I wish I had never been born
Into this world of troubles and pain.
But then I wouldn't have known
The beauty of an early morn
Or the gentle caress of Summer rain.

I wouldn't have seen the grass so green
Or the azure blue of the sky.
I wouldn't have heard the songs of the birds
Or the children asking why.

Sometimes I feel so confused and lost
In a world of misery and fear.
But, given the choices, then,
Whatever the cost,
I'm really very glad that I'm here.

I'm glad I can know of the Winter's snow
And Spring's beautiful flowers.
Despite all the bad I'm glad to have had
These too few precious hours.

Temy R. Beal