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This post is also available as a podcast: https://anchor.fm/teague-mckamey/episodes/Excommunciated-e1mh1nb

“Excommunicate” is a word meaning “exclude from communion.” Ideally, excommunication would be used to eject harmful people from the church as a protective measure. Historically, it has been used for this and for other, less savory reasons. For example: let’s say you’re a powerful church leader losing influence because some low-level monk is challenging teachings of yours that aren’t backed by apostolic tradition. You might brand said monk a heretic and excommunicate him, not because he’s a threat to the church, but to your own power. Excommunication, like anything else, is a tool that can be used for good or immoral purposes.

My second book of poems, Event Horizon, includes a poem entitled, “Excommunicated.” I’m not going to say much about this poem as my hope in writing it was to provoke thought. But I will say this: historically, communion has referred to a couple things: 1) fellowship with other Christians in the church; 2) the bread and cup as elements representing Christ’s body and blood that are ingested during the church service. My poem explores both of these aspects.

If this poem does stir any thoughts, and you’d like to share, feel free to comment below 😊


Thunder pounded bereaved fists
while the sky wept.

The earth lurched,
sick from drinking blood
that trickled from
the shreds of a man
hanging there

until they took Him down

leaving the cross to dangle from chains,
adorn walls,
or crown steeples

of the open arms
and bowed head;

of the body 
and the blood.

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