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A mother's struggle with meth addiction and recovery by Kimberly Wollenburg

 

TO A CONTEMPORARY BUNKSHOOTER

You come along. . . tearing your shirt. . . yelling about
     Jesus.
     Where do you get that stuff?
     What do you know about Jesus?
Jesus had a way of talking soft and outside of a few
     bankers and higher-ups among the con men of Jerusalem
     everybody liked to have this Jesus around because
     he never made any fake passes and everything
     he said went and he helped the sick and gave the
     people hope.
 

You come along squirting words at us, shaking your fist
     and calling us all damn fools so fierce the froth slobbers
     over your lips. . . always blabbing we're all
     going to hell straight off and you know all about it.
 

I've read Jesus' words. I know what he said. You don't
     throw any scare into me. I've got your number. I
     know how much you know about Jesus.
He never came near clean people or dirty people but
     they felt cleaner because he came along. It was your
     crowd of bankers and business men and lawyers
     hired the sluggers and murderers who put Jesus out
     of the running.
 

I say the same bunch backing you nailed the nails into
     the hands of this Jesus of Nazareth. He had lined
     up against him the same crooks and strong-arm men
     now lined up with you paying your way.

This Jesus was good to look at, smelled good, listened
     good. He threw out something fresh and beautiful
     from the skin of his body and the touch of his hands
     wherever he passed along.
You slimy bunkshooter, you put a smut on every human
     blossom in reach of your rotten breath belching
     about hell-fire and hiccupping about this Man who
     lived a clean life in Galilee.

When are you going to quit making the carpenters build
     emergency hospitals for women and girls driven
     crazy with wrecked nerves from your gibberish about
     Jesus--I put it to you again: Where do you get that
     stuff; what do you know about Jesus?
 

Go ahead and bust all the chairs you want to. Smash
     a whole wagon load of furniture at every performance.
     Turn sixty somersaults and stand on your
     nutty head. If it wasn't for the way you scare the
     women and kids I'd feel sorry for you and pass the hat.
I like to watch a good four-flusher work, but not when
     he starts people puking and calling for the doctors.
I like a man that's got nerve and can pull off a great
     original performance, but you--you're only a bug-
     house peddler of second-hand gospel--you're only
     shoving out a phoney imitation of the goods this
     Jesus wanted free as air and sunlight.

You tell people living in shanties Jesus is going to fix it
     up all right with them by giving them mansions in
     the skies after they're dead and the worms have
     eaten 'em.
You tell $6 a week department store girls all they need
     is Jesus; you take a steel trust wop, dead without
     having lived, gray and shrunken at forty years of
     age, and you tell him to look at Jesus on the cross
     and he'll be all right.
You tell poor people they don't need any more money
     on pay day and even if it's fierce to be out of a job,
     Jesus'll fix that up all right, all right--all they gotta
     do is take Jesus the way you say.
I'm telling you Jesus wouldn't stand for the stuff you're
     handing out. Jesus played it different. The bankers
     and lawyers of Jerusalem got their sluggers and
     murderers to go after Jesus just because Jesus
     wouldn't play their game. He didn't sit in with
     the big thieves.

I don't want a lot of gab from a bunkshooter in my religion.
I won't take my religion from any man who never works
     except with his mouth and never cherishes any memory
     except the face of the woman on the American
     silver dollar.

I ask you to come through and show me where you're
     pouring out the blood of your life.

I've been to this suburb of Jerusalem they call Golgotha,
     where they nailed Him, and I know if the story is
     straight it was real blood ran from His hands and
     the nail-holes, and it was real blood spurted in red
     drops where the spear of the Roman soldier rammed
     in between the ribs of this Jesus of Nazareth.

 

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