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A Whole Lot Cheaper | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

(For Jimmy Swaggart)

It’s not easy watching preachers
howling on television
morning, noon and night
claiming the End is near

telling viewers they have time
to send money before the Rapture
takes them up into the air
to be with God forever.

One famed preacher is 80 now
explaining the Message of the Cross
as he has always understood it.
Every month he holds a telethon

and donors send him millions
to keep his station on the air
around the world day and night
so he can spread the Good News.

Not a cent, he says, ever goes to him
or his choir or his fellow preachers.
But if he needs $50 million a year
to spread the Message of the Cross

as the only way to heaven, why not
save time and money and tell viewers
to read the Bible to find the truth.
It would be a whole lot cheaper.

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