Rage Rage Mothers and Daughters

 

This poem is in response to a series we did on gender, the Bible, and the Church. Listen here.


 

Rage rage mothers and daughters

into the night the last light of which

is yours I know it

I can feel it in my bones

and the stars are aligned to show it

but when that’s no hope

remember our God made an oath

the first will be last and the last will be first

and one great day

you’ll be given your place

at the table which we men have blockaded

in the name of Jesus

which we’ve gravely mistaken

as a means to making our masculine kingdom

but the kingdom of heaven

belongs to the women

For so long we’ve been so trapped

by us, the hermeneutical weakest link

banishing sister kin to the kitchen sink

for a hundred mistaken generations

that feel from here less Spirit-breathed

than God-forsaken

and here we are living and persisting in

an unnecessary and unending degradation

of the sacred womb source

and warm breasted soothing-strength

of the very soul of this human race

How could this catastrophe be our history?

long were women banished from the altar

and the front rows kept for those

the patriarchs chose for male-only honor

distorting the good news as an age old ruse

to procure for ourselves yet a bit more power

and today the same sort of men

make the same desperate moves

wielding abortion and divorce like sharpened tools

in the name of an authoritarian game

we call good moral order

ignoring Jesus’ words not to do as the rulers do

- to serve instead of lording over -

but our only gender rules

are codes about where authority goes:

men rule and women are constrained

to the home or the school

and thus two whole millennia

of so-called Christian men

have used the Bible to make women liable

to abuse and silence

rape and defilement

to risk of death and exile

It was only on page 3

drowning in insecurity

that Adam grasped for control and named her Eve

as if his one and only friend

were just another beast of burden

to be captured and chained

tamed and given a name

But it’s to all our shame

that here today

we men of the dirt

police their skirt

length and birthrights

while we commoditize

their sexuality

for our own arousing profitability

and then abandon them

to bear the shame and pain

of our unwanted pregnancy

And then we have the balls (literally)

to say thus sayeth the Lord

and thus steal Jesus like Judas

for a shoddy endorsement

of unwanted patriarchal enforcement

like a band of misogynistic bandits

betraying our own siblings

for thirty bits of silver

an hour of feeling powerful

Instead of standing up on behalf

of the women abused in our pews

and the little girls whose worlds

are burnt down and souls turned inside out

by the dads and stepdads and uncles and brothers

who value two minutes of pleasure

over the lives of others

we defect to the men with the mics

who demand loyalty and silence

while questioning victims’ motives

and monitoring modesty

But honestly

these are our mothers

our sisters our daughters

and one day their justice

will be our judgment

as James Cone said of racism then,

“Isn’t it time the theologians get upset?”

what is Metoo and Churchtoo

but a message to men

that we too live in an age

calling for reckoning and rage

So find your anger brothers and fathers

but practice the way

of the Lamb unto slaughter

who though righteous, was silent

in defense of himself

showing how a good man can

bear the burden

of a history ruled by men

One day the table will be rearranged

take the lower place now

or be later arraigned

that is the promise

of justice and hope

this is the blessing

already bestowed

So rage rage mothers and daughters

and all you Christian husbands and fathers

into the night and into the day

until every woman makes her way

to the table,

but if you find that table

pervaded by men

flip that shit over

and rage on again

until they’re given an equal share

in the kingdom

 
 
PoemsNate Hanson