i’m a pussy-footing Protestant

most Church of Ireland leaders pretty-consistently refuse to engage in contentious cultural issues. the lack of courage and leadership used to make me very frustrated. i wrote this poem when i once believed meaningful mission. although i still attend an Anglican church, i no longer give it any of my hopes, and little of my energy.

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    I’m a pussy-footing Protestant
    I went to Trinity, you know;
    my Bible is the Irish Times,
    I wait patiently for Godot.

    I’m a pussy-footing Protestant,
    my upper lip is stiff you know,
    onward uncertain soldiers,
    – up ascendancy tally ho!

    I’m a pussy-footing Protestant,
    here i sit i can do no other,
    I won’t quote chapter and verse,
    my beliefs firmly undercover.

    I’m a pussy-footing Protestant,
    swallowing camels, straining gnats
    – abortion of unwanted babies,
    won’t Catholics sort out that?

    I’m a pussy-footing Protestant
    and I do not ride a horse,
    my head’s below the parapet
    there’s so little that i endorse.

    I’m a pussy-footing Protestant,
    what do my bishops believe?
    I pray this crucial question –
    should I stay, or should I leave?

    _____________________________________________

    “here I sit, I can do no other” – a deliberate misquote of Luther’s strident saying: “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

    The Dublin working class playwright Brendan Behan, a staunch Irish Republican, saw the Anglo-Irish as Ireland’s leisure class and famously defined an Anglo-Irishman as “a Protestant with a horse”.

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