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Leland Waldrip

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Member Since: Aug, 2001

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Books by Leland Waldrip
The Good Is Gone
by Leland Waldrip

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A few years from now …



Attended church today, had been a while,

Place almost familiar, on my face a smile.

Saw polished wood pews in metric rows,

Shiny new, how costly, only God knows. 


Mahogany organ, piped to top of the wall,

Auto keys dimpling in soulful, somber call,

Alter boys prepping ecclesiastic setting,

Eucharist table with fancy lace netting.  


Stained glass windows, rainbow bright,

Arched teak ceiling, beam show of light,

Pulpit ornate, very large, impressive.

Everything new, gleamingly obsessive.


Thumbed new hymnal, as quiet instilled. 

A surprise, seats grossly under filled.  

Pastor strode to dais, and organ wall

Tempo and volume rose to dramatic fall.


 He led off with prayer, customary all right,

But tenor strange I thought, and up tight.

Said amen, started sermon he’d prepared.  

By the tone of his voice he really cared


 For people. Yet, how they’d deserted,

Wouldn’t attend church, he asserted,

Due to request to help pay Federal taxes,

Fill out government forms and send faxes,


Quarterly reports on participation percents

Of church related activity to secular events.

Angered some folks, and drove in a wedge,

They’ve all reneged on a solemn pledge


To apply for more funds, a Federal loan.

These folks excuse was that it was unknown,   

The major role Feds would claim as theirs 

In day-to-day operation of church affairs.


Would never have taken the too sweet bait

Of unholy partnership of church and state,  

And they’d ever and always rue the day

They consented to take money that way,

And deeply resented the partnership role

That made them a part of the Federal dole.


With some bitterness, Pastor went on to say,

As the congregation couldn’t raise his pay,

He was forced to resign and accept a calling

To pastor where enrollment was not falling,

And folks were more willing to take grants,

And play along with the government dance.


Moreover, he advised, Feds’re so involved,

   You’re hooked, your problem’s not solved,

Government debt has mortgaged the church.

I loathe it, but now I leave you, and in a lurch.


With that, he said a prayer like the first,

Out the back door he moved with a burst,

I left through the front almost as fast,

Not my first time there, it was my last.


If I ever go again it’ll be to a place

That pays its way and turns its face

From the government to the people,

Nothing from Feds, floor to steeple.


Church no longer special in our nation,    

For each member is taxed on a donation,

All church property is taxed as well,

They even tax us for ringing the bell.

Before, the U.S. left our churches alone,

But now and forever, that good is gone.




Rappahannock Books
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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 7/15/2003

whatever happened to separation of church and state? alas, those days are gone

powerful, thought provoking write--well done

(((HUGS))) and love,

karla. :)
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 7/15/2003
Exceptional write Leland!!

Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 7/15/2003
It's seems to be quite a shame that nothing in our lives is untouched anymore by the IRS. Not even our religion. Great write Leland. ~SH~
Reviewed by Christine Morell 7/15/2003
Bravo. An exceptional poem.
Reviewed by g g (Reader) 7/15/2003
This is wonderful and so true..

Lady G.
Reviewed by Joseph* OneLight*® 7/15/2003

Great write! Is this speculation on your part or something you know is coming?

Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 7/15/2003
I hear this so clearly, excellent and powerful, loved it,

Reviewed by Trish - The Trickster 7/15/2003
An excellent and powerful write. Superb!
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge (Reader) 7/15/2003
AMEN, powerful write. God is love, God is in all of his creation, and not subject to taxation.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 7/15/2003
Great stuff! Man o man! Yes! And nevine Al Seidi? Some people have a lot of nerve complaining about another's religion. Seems to me there are SOME religions where spilled blood is more enlightening than a bowed head in prayer. Thank you for the masterful poem, Leland.
Reviewed by David Knight 7/15/2003
If you have a deity you wish to worship, why do you need others to tell you where and how?
Reviewed by Robert Blackwell (Reader) 7/14/2003
Kyrie elason.
Reviewed by nevine Al Seidi (Reader) 7/14/2003

You guys have a different God!
Your god might buy you Friedman's Lexus; but ask me and I tell you: I love the olive tree!
Very interesting! Egyptians keep pressing me with a question: " don't they have a God?" I answer: " Had they had one, would they tresspass on His threshold?"

Enoyed it.

Decoding the Language of God by George Cunningham

book analyses the evidence uesd by scientist Francis Collins to support his Christian faith and concudes that scoence and religion cannot both be true and are incompatible worldvie..  
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