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Best Christmas Poems: the Darker Side of Xmas and Easter

The following poems reflect the darker side of Christmas, Easter and Christianity. While most Christians insist that their God is loving, compassionate, wise and just, the Bible in many verses explicitly contradicts them. How can such Christians honestly explain Bible verses in which Moses commanded the stoning of girls who had been raped (Deuteronomy 22), the stoning of boys for being stubborn (Deuteronomy 21), or the slaughter of captured mothers and their male babies, with only the virgin girls being kept alive as sex slaves (Numbers 31)? In one of the darkest, most horrendous chapters of the Bible (Exodus 21), Moses allowed fathers to sell their own daughters as sex slaves, with the option to buy them back if they didn't "please" their new masters! While many Christians maintain that the New Testament is "better" than the Old Testament, the grotesque book of Revelation says that Jesus will murder children if their mothers have extramarital sex, and that human beings will be tortured with fire and brimstone "in the presence of the Lamb and Holy Angels." So much for hell being the absence of God! According to John of Patmos, the writer of Revelation, Christian "saints" will cry for vengeance and blood, rather than mercy and compassion, and there will be a torture chamber in heaven, at the foot of the throne of God! The poems below examine the holy folly of God (or is it only the unholy folly of religion)? And for good measure, we've thrown in a few Easter poems and other odd heretical fare, to boot.

compiled by Michael R. Burch, a "recovering fundamentalist"



Forgive, O Lord
by Robert Frost

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And I'll forgive the great big one on me.



A Childís Christmas Prayer of Despair for a Hindu Saint
by Michael R. Burch

Santa Claus,
for Christmas, please,
donít bring me toys, or games, or candy . . .
just . . . Santa, please,
Iím on my knees! . . .
please donít let Jesus torture Gandhi!



What Would Santa Claus Say
by Michael R. Burch

What would Santa Claus say,
I wonder,
about Jesus returning
to kill and plunder?

For he'll likely return
on Christmas Day
to blow the bad
little boys away!

When He flashes like lightning
across the skies
and many a homosexual
dies,

when the harlots and heretics
are ripped asunder,
what will the Easter Bunny think,
I wonder?



A Little Bell
by Ann Drysdale

A little bell, a little golden bell
A little golden Christmas-looking bell
With Santa on his sleigh, waving goodwill
While six wild reindeer rear into the sky
Making a cunning little handle.

If you take it between finger and thumb
And give it the teeniest shake, it tinkles
Like babies' laughter. Such a pretty thing
And it is all for you. Nurse gave it to you
To keep for as long as you need it.

Nurse gave the bell to you because last night
You had a paroxysm of vomiting
That made green curtains run down all four walls
And rang the "help me" bell and no-one came
Because the bell was broken.

So you cried out at the top of your voice
Begging for someone, anyone, to come;
But cries of distress on the ward at night
Are constant and for the most part ignored.
You lay ill and afraid alone.

Today I asked if something could be done
And they brought you the little golden bell.
I went back home and fetched a sleeping bag.
I will be here tonight and every night.
Because I don't believe in Santa Claus.



I - Easter Hymn
by A. E. Housman

If in that Syrian garden, ages slain,
You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain,
Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright
Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night
The hate you died to quench and could but fan,
Sleep well and see no morning, son of man.

But if, the grave rent and the stone rolled by,
At the right hand of majesty on high
You sit, and sitting so remember yet
Your tears, your agony and bloody sweat,
Your cross and passion and the life you gave,
Bow hither out of heaven and see and save.



In God We Trust
by T. Merrill

Absolve yourselves, believe them saved,
Whom hungrily you brought to fare
As chance decrees, and leave to them
The fortune to which you rose heir.
Now theirs shall be the kingdom too,
This one and that, and all they hold,
All marvels present, and as well
Fresh wonders when the flesh turns cold.

All you who by blind pulse renew
The primal blessing cast in heat,
And to a season's course entrust
Frail issue weather can defeat,
Who from flung seed grew anxious too—
Deny earth feeds on them and you.



Nuns, Skating
by Ann Drysdale

Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room
Because their spirits can escape beyond
The place that holds them in respectful gloom
To seek the Lord beside the frozen pond.
There He will make their laughter into bells
And turn their breath to incense. He will show
Shadows of magi on the distant hills
And flights of angels shining in the snow.
He will make rushes sing and grasses dance
To the intrusive music of their chatter,
Whispering in their ears that, just this once,
They too can walk as He did, on the water.
Oh, may the year to come be full of these
Small serendipitous epiphanies.



Willy Nilly
by Michael R. Burch

for the Demiurge aka Yahweh/Jehovah

Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?
You made the stallion,
you made the filly,
and now they sleep
in the dark earth, stilly.
Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?

Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?
You forced them to run
all their days uphilly.
They ran till they dropped—
life's a pickle, dilly.
Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?

Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?
They say I should worship you!
Oh, really!
They say I should pray
so you'll not act illy.
Isn't it silly, Willy Nilly?



The Garden Of Love
by William Blake

I laid me down upon a bank,
Where Love lay sleeping;
I heard among the rushes dank
Weeping, weeping.

Then I went to the heath and the wild,
To the thistles and thorns of the waste;
And they told me how they were beguiled,
Driven out, and compelled to the chaste.

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut
And "Thou shalt not," writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.



An untitled poem from the novel The Four Men
by Hilaire Belloc

May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me.
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
May all my enemies go to hell!
Noel! Noel!



The Corporate Christmas Carol
by Joseph S. Salemi

God rest ye merry businessmen,
Start markups on your trash!
Remember that this holiday
Is when you rake in cash!
It saves you from those creditors
You owe from that last crash…

            Oh, tidings of bottom-lines grown fat, ever so fat!
            Oh, tidings of bottom-lines grown fat!

From commerce wonks in Washington
There comes this press release:
“Just keep the boobs in spending-mode
So cash flow doesn't cease!
A Christmas without splurging means
That profits won't increase…”

             Oh, tidings of credit lines gone wild, ever so wild!
             Oh, tidings of credit lines gone wild!

The euro's going down the tubes;
The E.U. too, en masse
We owe some fifteen trillion bucks
That we don't have, alas!
If China calls our paper debt,
We might as well take gas…

             Oh, tidings of bankruptcy and loss, ever such loss!
             Oh, tidings of bankruptcy and loss!

That's why we need this frenzied rush
Of buying gone berserk!
At Christmas you must drum into
The head of every jerk
That he should spend and spend and spend
To keep us all in work…

             Oh, tidings of avarice unrestrained, unrestrained!
             Oh, tidings of avarice unrestrained!



I've got Jesus's face on a wallet insert
by Michael R. Burch

for the Religious Right

I've got Jesus's face on a wallet insert
and "Hell is for Queers" on the back of my shirt.
     And I uphold the Law,
     for Grace has a Flaw:
the Church must have someone to drag through the dirt.

I've got ten thousand reasons why Hell must exist,
and you're at the top of my fast-swelling list!
     You're nothing like me,
     so God must agree
and slam down the Hammer with His Loving Fist!

For what are the chances that God has a plan
to save everyone: even Boy George and Wham!?
     Eternal fell torture
     in Hell's pressure scorcher
will separate homo from Man.

I'm glad I'm redeemed, ecstatic you're not.
Did Christ die for sinners? Perish the thought!
     The "good news" is this:
     soon my Vengeance is His!,
for you're not the lost sheep He sought.

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