by: Carl Sandburg.
* * * * * * *
You come along tearing your shirt and talking about Jesus.
I want to know what the hell you know about Jesus.
Jesus had a way of talking soft and everybody except a few
bankers and higher-ups among the con men liked to
have this Jesus around because he was soothing and
helped the sick and gave people hope.
You come along with a diarrhea of words, shaking your fist
and calling all of us damn fools, froth of your own spit
slobbering over your lips, blabbing and blabbing we’re
all going to hell and you know all about it.
I’ve read Jesus’ words. I know what he said.
He never came near real decent people but they felt easier
when he passed. It was your crowd of bankers and
businessmen that hired the sluggers and murderers that
put Jesus out of the game.
I say it was the same bunch that’s backing you that nailed
the nails into the hands df this Jesus of Nazareth. I
know just as much about this Jesus of Nazareth as you
do and I know he had lined up against him the same
crooks and strong-arm men that are lined up with you
paying your way.
This Jesus guy threw out something fresh and beautiful from
his person wherever he passed along. The smell of his
body, touch of his hands, catch in his voice made
women and children feel safe and happy about God.
But you, Billy Sunday—you’re only the dirty smokestack of
a glue factory and you put a smut on every human
blossom that listens to the raucous yawp of your
I like a man that’s got guts and can pull off a great original
performance, but you, Billy Sunday—hell, you’re only a
cheap salesman, a real American bunk artist selling and
selling for hard American dollars a cheap imitation of
the stuff this Jesus guy said ought to be free as air and
sunlight. I tell you you’re an imitation and they’re all
getting your number.
And now Hearst has picked you up—along with the
railroads and the banks and all the other big-business
crooks, Hearst is boosting your game—you certainly
always did belong with the whores.
If it would do any good I would vote for a law saying that
mutts running loose like you ought to have their
testicles cut out—but it wouldn’t do any good so long
as you’ve got your leather tongue and your leather
lungs and your leather conscience.
Men you have called lousy are not half as lousy as you are.
Men you have called syphilitic and rotten are not half as
syphilitic and rotten as you are.
Sometimes I wonder what sort of pups born from mongrel
bitches there are in the world less heroic, less typic of
historic greatness than you.
You tell poor people living in shanties that Jesus is going to
fix it up all right with them by giving them mansions in
the skies after they’re dead and the worms have eaten
You tell poor people they don’t need more money on
payday and even if it is fierce to be out of a job, Jesus’ll
fix that all right—all they got to do is take Jesus the way
I’m telling you this Jesus guy wouldn’t stand for the stuff
you’re handing out. The reason the bankers and
corporation lawyers of Jerusalem sent their sluggers
and murderers after Jesus was because he wouldn’t play
Why don’t you go away somewhere and sit by yourself a
whole day in a toilet,
On a stool all by yourself, sitting there with your chin in
Think it all over, empty your bowels to a finish, and ask
yourself if you ain’t about as coarse and crooked a
grafter as any of ‘em in the penitentiaries of the United
States or the pits of hell you tell us about.
I’ve been out to this suburb of Jerusalem they called
Golgotha, where they nailed him, and I know if the
story is straight it was real blood ran from his hands
and the nail-holes and it was real blood spurted out
where the spear of the Roman soldier was rammed in
between the ribs of this Jesus you talk about.
I won’t take any bunk from you or anybody else about it—
you gotta show me where you’re pouring out the blood
of your life instead of grabbing piles of Am~rican silver
dollars and keeping the mints working overtime.
I want blood instead of bunk in my religion.
Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993