Excerpt from Chapter 3 of The Sword of the Lord. Baptists were an oppressed and disreputable religious community in American before the Revolution. They were attacked, beaten, jailed, and ostracized for the offense of creating their own churches outside the established Church of England. Baptists therefore, led the drive to enshrine the separation of church and state in the new United States Constitution.
In its simplest and most elemental form, the energy that drove the original development of fundamentalism was at the heart of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. A scribe asked Jesus the fundamental question: “What commandment is the foremost of all?” His response was: “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel!
If you are lucky in this life, A window will appear on a battlefield between two armies. And when the soldiers look into the window They don’t see their enemies. They see themselves as children. And they stop fighting And go home and go to sleep. When they wake up, the land is well again.
Cameron Penny's If You Are Lucky in This Life was originally published in the November/December 2001 issue of North American Review. Marie Howe reads his poem in the film Voices in Wartime.