Chris Tse presenting his poem at the Poetry Slam Vancouver. He was the 1st place winner on the 21st of December 2009 with a score of 57.3 with his poem.
I am a Christian. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for the way that I come across
So fair and faith friendly and full of myself
Judging your spiritual health by
the words that you say
And the way that you dress, and the things that you do
Or maybe just judging you.
I’m sorry for the way that I live my life
So confident of my own beliefs that
I would never even think to think about thinking about yours
I’m sorry for the wars.
Ivory clad Crusaders mounting steeds and drawing swords
With such a spirit that if The Spirit spoke they wouldn’t hear
But you see the sword of the spirit was not a sword but the Word
And the Word was with God and the Word was God
And they preached this as they marched on the Holy Land
Singing and Praying and Killing and Slaying
And purging and healing and raping and stealing
It’s ironic that they lined their pockets in the name of God
Just like the priests who line their pockets in the name of God
Just like the people that you can’t stand, because they always raise their hand
And spread their faith and hate and judgment in the name of God
I’m sorry that I take God’s name in vain
Or rather I’m sorry that I stain the name of God
Defending my selfish actions as selfless actions pertaining to the will of God
I’m sorry for being intolerant
For trying to talk down to you
For trying to talk over you
For not letting you talk
I’m sorry for not walking the walk
For being a hypocritical critical Christian
Criticizing your pagan lifestyle while my lifestyle styles itself
Just like the televangelist’s hair
All slick and sly and slippery
As the silver syllables slide their way into your ear
But see that’s my greatest fear
That the steps I take won’t match the words I speak
So that when I speak all you hear of me
is a weak hypocritical critical Christian
Doing one thing, but saying another
Loving my friend, but hating my brother
It’s a show.
I’m sorry I get drunk on Saturdays
and go to church on Sundays to pray
for my friends who get drunk on Saturdays
And on that note,
I’m sorry for making the church about the pews and the cross
And the walls and the steeple
Because see, the building is not the church
The church is the people
I’m sorry that I hate you because you are gay
I’m sorry I condemn you to hell because you are gay
Instead of loving I jump to hatred
Mouth open and tongue preaching
Eyes open but not seeing that you are the same as me
Just a fucking human being
I’m sorry that I only hang out with Christian friends
And we do nice Christian things
Like pot luck dinners and board game nights
While in the night a man beats his girlfriend again
Another homeless man died again
Is this the way that my own crowd has been?
But here I am with the same friends again
But see what I always forget is that Jesus didn’t come
to hang out with the priests and the lords.
No, He hung out with cripples and beggars and whores
I’m sorry for history
For native tribes wiped out in the name of the church
Lodges burning Stomachs churning and yearning for justice
And mothers screaming and pleading
Pleading for the young ones
As they are dragged away to church schools
Where they were abused
I’m sorry for the way that I refused to learn your culture
Instead I just came to spread the Gospel
And the plague
I’m sorry that I stand at the front doors of abortion clinics
Screaming at fifteen year old girls as they enter
Instead of waiting at the back door to hug them as they leave
I’m sorry for taking my wars and my faith to your lands
When historically it was on your lands that my faith was born
And in the face of the storm, I realize that
If God is Love and Love is God
Then why are we shooting instead of sharing?
Why are we launching instead of learning?
Why are we warring instead of walking together?
Why are we taking instead of talking together?
Why are we bombing instead of breaking bread together as brothers?
You see, I think that God looks down and He’s sad
And from His right hand throne above
Jesus asks where is the Love?
And if it takes Wil-I-Am and Justin Timberlake
Asking that same question for us
To start asking that same question
Then where the fuck are we headed?
So I will take this stage to be my chapel
And this mic my confession booth
And in the presence of God, the few, the proud,
and the blessed I confess, that
I am a Christian. I’m sorry.
– A poem by Chris Tse