They Know Not What They Do

They Know Not What They Do April 12, 2019

My column here is called Empathy Mining. It’s an important theme that I try to weave into most everything I write. Most often, I try to get people to feel empathy for the downtrodden and marginalized. Too often, that probably comes out in ways that make the folks across the aisle feel marginalized by my words. That fact isn’t lost on me–and if I forget, someone is always quick to remind me in the comment sections. As a Christian–and formerly a conservative one–I have to check myself from time to time to make sure I still have empathy for my brothers and sisters on the right. And I do have empathy for them–after all, I was once in their camp–but empathy is often overshadowed by impatience. Since I was once far to the right of where I now stand, I know that conservative Christians are in a very tight spot. They’ve been so effectively sold a political bill of goods that they have become hard-wired to cling to that ideology, despite some of its obviously problematic ramifications when compared to the teachings of Jesus. They lose sight of the Constitutional foundation of freedom and equal rights for ALL even–especially–people who live a very different reality from them.

I do understand the intense and constant pressure that conservative Christians are under. Even though it’s not the case, they have been conditioned to feel like freedom for someone else is a threat to their own freedom. Even though it doesn’t work that way in the slightest, that’s what they are constantly hearing in their circle.

I was thinking about all this yesterday and this simple little poem came to me. I also recorded it as a song, which can be heard at the youtube link at the end of the poem.

Forgive Them for They Know Not What They Do

They bought the snake oil

And now they’re hooked

They wear the tin foil

Endorsed by crooks

Backed into corners

And digging in

Beware of foreigners

Your life’s a sin

Oh, where is the reason

Of the select few

Oh, there’ll come a season

Forgive them for they know not what they do

They come a runnin’

To every fight

Pack’n guns and

Taking rights

Love’s the rule

But so much hate

Played for fools

Is it too late?

Oh, where is the reason

Of the select few

Oh, there’ll come a season

Forgive them for they know not what they do

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