Idolatry in the September 11th Epic Poem

CHAPTER NINE  (The Power of False Gods)    
In ancient times when human minds           
            Were trapped in lies and fear,
It seemed to men who lived back then
            The gods were always near.
They’d send us jolts of thunderbolts            
            To break apart the rocks,
And when they breathed the valleys heaved
            In seismic aftershocks. 
 
The pagan dream produced a scheme
            We now would call absurd:              
The bloody price of sacrifice                                 
            By sense of guilt incurred.          
The human flesh was slaughtered fresh
            To idols on the crags.
The price was dear to reach their ears
            Without the threat of plagues.
 
Now most today will quickly say
            Those fools were deceived.
To claim a rock can think or talk
            Is obviously naïve.
We’ve learned by now it’s dumb to bow
            To logs once chopped by axe;
These “gods” were carved by people starved
            For scientific facts.
 
We shake our head and ask what led
            The ancients to devise,
Outlandish rites of imps and sprites
            Unseen by human eyes.
We understand that mortal man
            Needs hope when truth is sparse,
But why consult some hare-brained cult
            That’s obviously a farce?
 
The answer here is hate and fear
            Had bound their souls like chains.
The truth they chose had been imposed
            Upon imprisoned brains.
The siren song of gods more strong
             Than all the other brands,
Was just enough when times were tough
            To fill their grasping hands.
 
 
The ancient priests who prayed to beasts             
            Would make outrageous claims.
These out-right frauds would make up gods 
            And give them human names.
They’d find a king to which to cling,
            Who’d give them royal funds;             
To guarantee with certainty
            His army always won.
 
Most certainly by now we see
            The problem this creates,
When private creeds address the needs
            Of independent states.
The weak and poor are sent to war,
            While monarchs hang aloof;
And forced to trust some sacred bust
            Without a shred of proof.
 
If God exists he must be miffed                                                        
            When humans use his name,                     
To tell a lie and multiply                                      
            Their private wealth and fame.
Religious frauds who say the gods
             Will heed their ev’ry call,     
Had better pray both night and day
            There is no God at all.
 
If God resolved to get involved      
            From on His mighty throne,
He wouldn’t pick some selfish hick
            And talk to him alone;
He’d choose to send all kinds of men
            From many lands and times[8],
And punish them more harshly when 
            They dare commit a crime.      
 
A godly priest—I’d think at least—
            Is one who can suppress:
Myopic thrills and selfish frills
            Desired by the flesh.
He lives his life avoiding strife,
            Yet shares in others’ plights;
And puts the stress on righteousness,
            but not his private rights.
 
But all the rest pursue a quest
            Of power and control.
The god they serve in pious verve
            Is just their selfish soul.
They way they vent their true intent
            Is really not complex:
They show their cards by grasping hard
            For money, fame, or sex.
 
They grab the youth who search for truth
            And promise them the world,
And plant a rage at such an age
            That gets their pupils killed.
They tell their crew they have to do 
            The will of God who reigns,
But once they’re cowed they’re not allowed
            To even use their brains.
 
But God is love who will not shove
            The weak and poor away.
These ones so dear can surely hear
            The things He has to say.
When faith is true the light comes through
            And floods the needy mind,
But those who play to make them stray         
            Have something else to find
 
(Excerpt from Chapter 9)
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