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The tent revival came to town; I watch with fascination,
the posters say they’ll save my soul from hell and from damnation.
The tent is up, the chairs are placed, and now the crowds are there,
they’re singing halleluiah with their arms raised in the air.

The prayers are read, the songs are sung, (the choir sings quite well),
and now it’s time for Brother Bob to save these souls from hell.
With souls possessed they come up front, they start to scream and shout,
Brother Bob lays hands on them and orders Satan out.

They’re eyes roll back, they’re tongues hang out, while rolling on the floor,
they finally rise and start to cry and walk back toward the door.
The choir starts to sing again as collection plates are passed,
I can’t wait to leave, I’m so glad it’s done at last.

Now these “true believers” can get back to their life,
yelling at their kids and beating on their wife.
They’ve earned another year of committing every sin,
‘til summer time next year when Brother Bob returns again.


------
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win the world is for enough good men to do nothing...Edmund Burke


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Comments

The following comments are for "The Tent Revival"
by Psycho6058

My Comments
I liked this piece very much. It sort of reminded me of the services that I use to go to at a place called MelodyLand here in Anaheim, CA. At certain parts of the service everyone would sing and raise their hands in the sky. There was a lot of people bowing down and going to the sanctuary to be blessed as they call it. This would go on each and every Sunday. Then they'd come back the next weekend.

I liked it because of how it reminded me of what I did at MelodyLand each week. I'll be putting that experience in a folder for my bio of my religious experiences.

Thanks for allowing me to read it.

( Posted by: USGlen [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Very good,
Great. Finally a poem that expresses how I feel when I see a mas of 'believers' that but moments before where in revelry of drunken stupor. Thanks, thanks indeed.

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Memories!
Somewhat reminiscent of my own childhood church experiences, though services were never held in a tent up here.

Bitter, much? Haha. That last stanza threw me for a loop. Although it was funny, it seemed out of place. The first couple were good because they were observational. The last seems thrown in, and reliant on stereotypes.

What you say there may be true of many people, but certainly not all. That's the case with nearly all stereotypes. I'd feel just as uncomfortable if it was a stanza about the black members of the congregation going home to eat fried chicken.

Is it needed? Does it serve a purpose?

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Good LORD!
I have to comment here. First: nice flow, good read...

My religious experience is somewhat varied and I've done a fair amount of reading on the subject of religion over the years, my current interest is Jainism.

I spent about ten years as a sincere born-again Christian (and still function as one without all the trappings). Although I never had the experience of being "slain in the spirit" at any of those revival meetings (held in the church), even when everyone around me dropped like flies, I found the people (at least in the churches I attended) very sincere about their faith and being consistent with their walk.

Not so with many of the people I knew in the church of my childhood, where there was rarely genuine regret over sin, just a callous relief that they can easily obtain absolution. (There WERE wonderful, sincere Christians in that church too, but it really was not the norm.)

This piece made me imagine a backward town; the tent revival coming in with the same appeal as the circus - the simple people succumbing to the guilt of the fire and brimstone preacher, but without a genuine "connection" to God, it doesn't "stick," and they go back to their evil ways.

It's not about born-again Christians; it's about individual people and their character.

I have known people to change their ways - and really become new people. One man comes to mind who was a teen in Schenectady NY, head of a street gang who came into a revival meeting. He had a genuine born-again experience and was one of the most intensely honorable men I've known (was about 54 when I met him - still completely on fire for God). Many people like him were part of my life. It was not a show.

It's the others that give the genuine Christians a bad name.

I think the last verse of this piece is valid and necessary. Unfair to the good people? Maybe. But true to the facts. This does happen. It's part of the big picture. Such is freedom of speech.

Good Read, good springboard for thought...
Thanks for this provocative post.

Regards,
Lady M

( Posted by: LadyMitulia [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )





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