Esteeming Texts He Does Not Take To Heart

Why will a people languish
While regarding as holy a text
They will not take to heart?
A text they will neither study
Nor implement as it deserves?—
A text they will not learn themselves,
Even as they insist that others should do?

Why not simply throw it away altogether,
Rather than to pretend
It has such great value?

What do they gain from this?

And do they not do this
Both with the Bible
And with their Constitution
In matters religious and civic alike?

What is this about man
That he will take such pride
In esteeming texts
He does not take to heart
Or follow?

I cannot help but to wonder
Whether Cain was doing
Something of the same sort
When making his half-hearted sacrifice—
Afraid to bring none at all,
But unwilling to give his best.

Or is this worse than fear?
Is it rather a twisted pride—
As of the Pharisees—
That revels in making a show
Of oneself, washing the outside of the cup
While leaving the inside unclean,
And occasionally straining out gnats
While swallowing camels?

Either way, the irony resounds
That one might promote a text
With which he does not agree
Regarding the seriousness
Of his very own negligence.

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