[ by Charles Cameron — a little matter of rising (i trust) between the two stools of belief and unbelief ]
I have seen Christianity described as —
The popular belief that a celestial Jewish baby, who is also his own father, born from a virgin mother, died for three days so that he could ascend to heaven on a cloud and make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh, drink his blood, and telepathically tell him you accept him as your Lord and master, so he can remove an evil force from your spiritual being that is present in all humanity because an immoral woman made from a man’s rib was hoodwinked by a talking reptile possessed by a malicious angel to secretly eat forbidden fruit from a magical tree.
Don’t these atheists understand anything about poetry?
Don’t the Christians understand anything about poetry?
Try this as an exercise for the imagination — picture this —
To suppose the Eucharist
Suppose the hypothetical all of everything
in unspooling itself chose to exhibit itself in
one human, suppose further all the sun’s
light were caught in wheat and baked into
bread, all the world’s pains and passions
crushed like grapes into wine, suppose the
one person took loaf and cup and with
word and gesture raised them blood, body
of his own self to be supped and sipped,
thus woven into his one flesh, blood, mind —
just when his flesh is torn, blood spills —
suppose then that his mind to love were to
entrain this new body of many bodies to
heal with all radiance each instance of pain..
I offer this poem as a bridge in two directions — to allow the sensible atheist a means of glimpsing what might be admirable in his Christian friend’s faith.. — and to allow the Christian on the brink of leaving the faith for “sensible atheism” a means of retaining much of the deep beauty of that faith while leaving behind both the bribes of heaven and the threats of hell.