The Road from Damascus to Corinth

[I]t is improper for a woman to speak in church. — 1 Corinthians 14:35

The Jew originally known as Saul
Of Tarsus is remembered for the letters
He wrote to various communities
Of Christians under Roman rule. St. Paul
Exhorted them to trade the squamous fetters
Of sin for righteous opportunities

Available to all who follow God’s
Own son, and that in of itself is well
And good. But when a doctrine curbs opinion
Some queries will arise: What are the odds
A single writer’s words will damn to hell
All those who interface with God’s dominion

In ways unlike the one this man prescribes?
And: Can a person be a proper Christian,
Who isn’t also a committed Paulist?
Though nothing good will come from diatribes,
It’s always fair to ask a pointed question.
Impartiality might be the tallest

Order of which most theists can conceive,
But it’s presumed they’ll try and try again
Until inequity’s iniquity
Is overcome. For women to believe
As Paul is harder than it is for men,
Since sexist slights approach ubiquity

In his epistles. His remarks on marriage
Include the thought that it’s preferred to burning,
Though not by very much. It’s not his fault.
Back then it was the custom to disparage
Mere women. Nowadays we stoke our yearning
And swallow Scripture with a grain of salt.

C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden. Over the past eight years, hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and India. He is inordinately fond of single malt Scotch whisky.