Face Time

The clerical collar

Today nobody knows it

Why the first ministers chose it

The ring around the neck

Was meant to look like a link in a chain

To express unity with the Roman slaves and their pain

 

Now that’s all forgotten and besides

It doesn’t look good on TV

 

The televangelists

On their primetime hour of power

They’re rockin’ earth tones and silk

Donations are their mother’s milk

When they’re talking about the Holy Ghost

What really matters to them is who’s got the most

Wearing suits with nice creases

They step out of Benzes with long leases

To tell you that’s the way God planned it

 

Now I don’t mean to just sound outrageous

So let’s look inside the pages

And see what the good book has to say

 

“Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts.”

 

In other words….

 

I don’t wanna walk and talk about Jesus

I just wanna see his face

 

The archbishop sipped tea in the back of the limo

Exquisite wood and leather everywhere

A $900 briefcase at his feet

And a laptop to which he gave great care

 

He had a meeting and he was late

But it didn’t bother him, let them wait

He represented the biggest account on earth

Let them take more time to prepare

Bankers were the trout in the stream

And he was the bear

 

When the archbishop stepped from the limo to make that trip

From one oasis of perfumed air conditioning to another

He ignored the homeless all around him

The homeless who asked him to be their brother

 

But in the conference room the suits were all smiles

Brandy and cigars

Signatures all around

All the money for the new cathedral had just been found

 

Now I don’t mean to just sound outrageous

So once again let’s look inside the pages

And see what the good book has to say

 

“How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help? Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”

 

In other words…

 

I don’t wanna walk and talk about Jesus

I just wanna see his face

 

National City is an international city

Between San Diego and the border

A storefront church sits on a corner

In a mixed neighborhood created by the new world order

 

The pastor has a day job

Works hard like his congregation

Nice folks

 

But controversy came to National City

In the year 2004

The mayor declared the city an immigrant sanctuary

Said they would not bar the door

The right wing went crazy

Telling lies about Mexicans, said they all were lazy

 

The pastor and his church?

They didn’t say a word

In 2006, the right wing got their own mayor in

Again, the pastor and his church could not be heard

The new mayor laughed

When he revoked the sanctuary status

He said that those immigrants

They’re a cancer and they’re aimed right at us

Said we don’t need more people of other hues

And still there was silence in the pews

 

Now I don’t mean to just sound outrageous

So one more time let’s look inside the pages

And see what the good book has to say

 

“I was a stranger and you took me in.”

 

I don’t wanna walk and talk about Jesus

I just wanna see his face

 

 

Poem / 2007