You can force me to my knees

And order me to pray;

You can offer to cleanse me

And wash my sins away.


You can read me passage after passage,

And verse after verse;

You can tell me what's sinful

And glare when I curse.


You can preach and preach

Until your throat is hoarse;

You can lecture me on how

I should feel guilt and remorse.


But I will never feel guilt

For being what I am.


I am a sinner.

I am human.


My sins exist between me

And the people I have hurt.

And I don't need to be told

When to feel guilt or remorse.


I do not want you to wipe my slate clean,

Or tell me what the scriptures really mean.


Who gave you the right?


Who gave you the right to tell me

What to believe?

Who gave you the right to tell me

Where to seek reprieve?


And who gave you the right

To interpret words allegedly so holy,

As words of instruction – telling you

That my life

Is your business,

And everyone else's business too?


And tell me who gave you the right

To throw stones and make judgments,

Purely because I refuse your rites,

Your gospels, your ceremonies

And prayers?


Shall I tell you who I pray to?


I pray to humanity.


I pray to goodness,

And human grace,

And humility

With a human face.