Humanist Voices in Verse: “The Dogma of Doubt”

This week’s poem is by Sheryl Zettner. She holds a degree in German from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her poetry has been published in The Raintown Review, The Deronda Review and the Laurel Crown Foundation’s publication Dreamcatcher.

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The Dogma of Doubt

Who’s more firm than one in doubt,
More dogmatic, more devout?
More prepared and fueled to fight?
More in need to feel he’s right?
More insistent, more afraid,
Always trying to persuade?
Airing theories, posting memes,
Wishful thinking to extremes.

Who exudes excessive pride?
Disregards the other side?
Makes a point of other’s flaws
Just to emphasize his cause?
Will not listen, will not hear
Even when the case is clear.
But by twisting truths and facts
Merely dodges all attacks?

Who’s in need of feeling sure
Moral, virtuous, and pure?
Pushing Jesus, Darwin, Thor
Starting up a Holy War.
Once he’s safely in his pack
He feels free to launch attack.
Patronizing all the rest,
Smugly sure his way’s the best.

Who is only out to fight
Thus will never get it right?
Truth will always pass him by
Sure he’s right, he lives a lie.
The paradox, one needs to doubt,
Every question, every route.
Ignoring doubts incurs the cost:
Those who doubt their doubts are lost.

—Sheryl Zettner