Jesus Was a Feminist – a poem by Robin Merrill

Jesus Was a Feminist
by Robin Merrill
I’m going to tell you a secret:

Jesus was a feminist.

And yes, I know I just ticked somebody off.

I ticked this guy off just by bringing up Jesus (sorry)
and I ticked this guy off by suggesting that Jesus liked girls
(not sorry)

But I don’t believe in beating around the burning bush
and I’m tired of being bossed around by a church
that bears no resemblance to the one of holy design.

You see, I have a daughter now.  And that girl,
she’s a feminist, because nobody’s told her yet that she’s not
supposed to be.

So I bite my thumb at the preacher who told my
twelve-year-old-self
that I was going to hell for playing basketball
in short pants and short hair
with boys.

Because you know what, mister preacher man?
Nowadays we womenfolk can read
and if you open that Bible you’ve been pounding on,
you’ll find a verse that reads
There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free,
neither male nor female,
for we are all one in Christ.

I know, right?  The heresy!
And did you know that the longest conversation
Jesus has in the whole Bible is with a woman?

No sir, I’m guessing you did not know that.

Because you’re too busy telling entire congregations
not to vote for a woman because she can’t be trusted
even though God entrusted a woman to have your
precious baby Jesus
without a single drop of manhood in sight.

And I know I can’t change your mind.
You will keep telling women to obey their abusive husbands
and every time you do, you will push a woman
further away from her higher power.

But as for this woman?  I know that:
It was women who followed Jesus around, sleeping in caves.
It was women who stayed at the cross when the men grew faint.
And it was a woman who returned to find an empty grave.

So this woman is okay with it
if you don’t find me fit
to touch your pulpit
to teach your Sunday school
to lead your choir

’cause this woman
has found her own sanctuary

right here

in the quiet corners
you don’t even know about
where people read and paint and think …

There is more than one way to worship.
There is more than one way to glorify.
And tradition is never as great
as the woman who breaks it.

And I will break it gently.
Neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free …
I will break it gently.
With a feminine touch.
I will break it gently.
With faith, hope, and love.


Robin Merrill’s poetry has been featured on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor and hundres have appeared in places like Flint Hills Review, Oklahoma Review, Margie, The Café Review, and Stolen Island Review, and she was the 2013 recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation of Boston.  Visit her website at robinmerrill.com. “Jesus Was a Feminist” was posted here with permission.

Listen to Robin read her poem here.


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3 responses to “Jesus Was a Feminist – a poem by Robin Merrill

  1. Great words to live by. I shared this on Facebook and Google+. Tina Morley

  2. Yes, ditto! Thank you for sharing Tina! 🙂

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