Humanist Voices in Verse: “Good Without God”

This week’s poem is by Tom Pontac. Tom started writing poetry seriously as therapy in his 50s. He went to college at age 60, met the love of his life and his must that year, and graduated at age 64. He published his first book, Movies in a Minute: The Essence of the 100 Greatest Films Distilled into a Page or Two of Poetry, at the age of 78. He has completed over 250 races of marathon distance or greater, and is still running.

Good Without God

Some people think it remarkably odd
That you can be good, really good, without God

Some people take a particular view:
That you must be Christian or Muslim or Jew
Or hold, we are told, to some holy belief
‘Ere our sinful self rise up and bring us to grief

Some people think we are naturally bad
And, since born in sin, simply bound to be sad
They offer salvation to cure all the ill
That the human condition is bound to instill

I hold the opinion, without wanting quarrels,
That there seems a schism between faith and morals
As to what people say vs. what people do
There’s ‘oft no connection, it seems, ‘tween the two

I ask, is a person who holds goodness dear
Not the equal of one who is good out of fear?
And why so much anger, I find it quite odd
Against those who feel they are good, without God?

—Tom Pontac