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Does anyone even know that I’m a Christian poet?

My testimony and public spiritual declaration.

I found this video and thought I would go ahead and make this claim publicly. Yes, I’m a Christian poet. No, I don’t believe your spiritual tradition is wrong.  This statement has the potential to irk both my Christian friends and my non-Christian friends, but I’ll claim it. I don’t think spiritual paths are exclusive. I think a omnipotent God (or gods) could have made a revelation many different ways for many different cultures. So I feel like I can claim, “Yes, I’m a Christian poet” without invalidating anyone else.

Video from the Passion for Christ poetry team: Does anyone even know that I’m a Christian poet?

I’m a Christian poet that believes in tolerance:

I used to think my mom was a pagan for participating in the Sacred Fired Community. This is a spiritual community working to preserve the pre-Christian religions that have been in continuous practice since their beginning. These are native practices, and she mostly works with the Huichol Indians in Mexico in the mountains between Puerto Vallerta and Guadlajara. She follows Grandfather Fire, who also says, the same thing, that all religions are right. That’s a tough one for a lot of folks to agree to but the point of the Coexistance bumper stickers I’ve seen some places. Even their community has a hard time not bashing Christians some times, but I decided they could be OK if they we OK with me saying, “I’m a Christian poet.”

I have a poem about this in my earlier book, “F— yeah, I’m a Christian poet.” But now I’m trying to retire this poem since I wanted to get rid of expletives so my poems were PG rated for greater public consumption. You can email me for a copy or order the book on my web store.

I was already a Christian poet when Paul Hensley, the husband of my spiritual mentor, Margaret, took this picture of me waiting to fight in the Olympic Trials.

I was already a Christian poet when Paul Hensley, the husband of my spiritual mentor, Margaret, took this picture of me waiting to fight in the Olympic Trials.

For about six months I lived with a very angry and bitter roommate who was a trauma survivor and like to fight with me. She used to say, “You’re not really a Christian poet.” Then she’d get on the phone and tell her friends how everyone in her life just a total jerk, just tearing people up over the phone.  I thought the boss who fired her might have been nine feet tall and ate babies for breakfast the way she talked. My finance had heard about a book at his church called, When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, about how Christians can do damage to the cause of Christ. He used this book to give that roommate the nickname, “my bad Christian roommate.” But later on she came back to me and apologized for all the hard times we had together and said that our time together had been very helpful to her and a good learning experience.  Just to show that you never know when you are making an impact.

I decided to become a believer in college after looking at some of the evidence of creationism and talking to other beleivers and particularly working with a mentor named Margaret Hensley. She worked with a nonprofit founded by Billy Graham called Navigators. Their theory was that tons of groups converted people to Christianity but few supported their growth and development and continued commitment. She’s sent me tons of books through the days and I’ve even read most of them.*

An Environmentalist who loves chemicals

An Environmentalist who loves chemicals

As far as Creationism, I think evolution makes a ton of sense except for one thing: Where did a single celled organism come from? Because I can really believe that people came from monkeys and horses came from Eohippus, that kinda makes sense. But a single cell involves mitochondria to move energy, huge amounts of DNA in intricate spirals, cell walls, and nucleus with another wall, riboplasm, etc. all kinds of parts that you might vaguely remember from biology that are all required. There is no life before a single cell, not intermediate. It’s all or nothing.

Saying that something this hugely complex thing could randomly occur from say, lighting strikes to a primordial goo, is about as implausible as any claim made by any religion. So a Christian poet and scientist like me would of course, write a poem about this, which is featured on one of my first digital poem collages.

I got sprinkly baptized as a Catholic at 12 when I went to a Catholic school, then again when I was 22 at a Bible church in Colorado Springs. That’s another story, how I went all the way to Argentina to meet a guy who lived in the same city in Colorado as me and get me to start going to church.

 Here’s Cloudscapes, my spoken word performance that most admits that I’m a Christian poet:

It’s about Brenda Day, who was my best friend and training partner going into the 1996 Olympics. She also helped me get started as a wrestler and took me on police officer ride alongs three different times. She took me practical handgunning, where she shot target popping up out of the woods and had to not shoot at civilian targets. She got me started on a soccer team with the funny moment where the coach, Ginger, said, “She’s such an incredible athlete, just learning soccer so quickly.” She said it so much and was so astonished that finally I had to correct her and tell her that I’d played five seasons of youth soccer as a kid. I miss my friend Brenda. If mental health services were “lifetime,” and it wasn’t so stigmatizing to get help, maybe she’d still be here.


* Shh… don’t tell Margaret I haven’t read quite all the books she mailed me yet. Or that I might admit other traditions are right.**

** Shh…don’t tell my mom  the same thing. Like competitors or something for my soul.

Are you a Christian poet, too? What works for you in your spiritual journey?

2 comments to Does anyone even know that I’m a Christian poet?

  • Like you, I am a Christian (Roman Catholic). Not a poet,however. I do have many friends of differnt faith tradtions, and like you I believe in tolerance. But just because I believe in tolerance, does not mean I believe that all thier different faiths are the same and all the religious beliefs are true.

    I respect and tolerate Budist,but do not agree with thier relious views. I have many wonderful friends who are fundamentalist Baptist who insist that unless that you accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour you cannot go to heaven. Does this mean a Muslim, who lives a good and holy life, who believes in God,and who prays to God, is condemned to Hell?

    • Corinna

      Here’s the South Park episode where they explain which was the correct religion. Pretty funny. The other funny point of view on it is from Discworld Creator Terry Pratchett who says that whatever you believed would happen in the afterlife will happen. So the Vikings did indeed meet up with 39 Virgins. But my stepdad says, “It doesn’t matter what path you follow as long as you follow it to the best of your abilities.” I don’t know how to explain it, but I think I can be right without other people having to be wrong.

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