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A Miscellany 376
They Say My Soul Needs Salvation

by: Gordon Barthel

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They Say My Soul Needs Salvation

they say, the intellectual elite of antiquity
my soul needs redemption, their salvation naturally
and they know this because my soul, my mortal essence
is less than absolutely perfect
and anything less is unacceptable to their deity
the supreme purveyor of love, forgiveness and compassion

and yet, I have learned from a century of science
from Wundt, James, Freud, Pavlov and Skinner
we mortals are neither perfect nor imperfect
for we have our strengths and weaknesses
we have our virtues and our vices
we have our knowledge and ignorance
our passions and prejudices

and so, after careful consideration, I do believe
the only redemption my soul truly requires is
salvation from pious soul-savers who know nothing
nothing of humanity’s inherent beauty
nothing of humanity\s intrinsic virtues
nothing of our natural strengths
nothing of our innate intelligence
nothing of my hopes and fears
nothing of my dreams and nightmares
and still, they believe they can save my soul
though I choose to believe my soul is fine
requiring only salvation from nescient soul-savers