February 16, 2013

Clint Margrave

THE FAMOUS ATHEIST

had come to town to debate the afterlife.

At the reception following,
my wife and I watched a mob of disciples
rush up to him,
young men and women
in their thirties,
thrilled to be in the presence
of the great man.

Charismatic and as charming
as he’d always been on television,
the Famous Atheist
cracked jokes
about the end of the world,
compared god to Kim Jong Il,
made people laugh,
while reminding them
how religion still poisoned
everything.

As more and more followers
descended on him,
asking for autographs,
pressing copies of his best-selling
book into his famous hands,
telling unsolicited tales of their own
conversion,
giving praise to the man
who had saved them,

the Famous Atheist,
growing tired of their worshipping
his every gesture,
unintentionally
threw up his hands,
and they all bowed.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

__________

Clint Margrave: “My wife and I attended a debate last year between Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and two rabbis. Big fans of Hitch and hoping to shake his hand, we paid the extra money to attend a reception afterward, only to be punked by an aggressive mob of fanatics, who shoved in and imposed themselves, leaving us on the sidelines feeling foolish and noting the irony.” (web)

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