On Extremists

they are prepared at

a moment’s notice

to lay down their lives

for a cause

for something bigger

on the


surface this appears

a noble lot, don’t they?

this group willing to

give their final breath

only this is a



because they aren’t just


they are killing in

the name of their god

(who shall remain in lower-case)


lining them up

cutting off heads

burning them alive

this isn’t religion

it’s madness


they kill with no

remorse, no conscience

because someone had

the nerve to draw a

silly cartoon


noble they are not

insane they certainly are

and I will not bow to them

I will not respect them

and neither should anyone


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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on May 7, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. A very fitting indictment of extremism. As the late Terry Pratchett keenly observed of those who would kill or die for an ill-considered cause, “You’ve only got one life, but you can get a new cause on any street corner.”

  2. Well said! Plus it applies to people of other faith groups who seem intent on damning everyone who isn’t like them… National Day of Prayer is going to be painful in this part of the country… thankfully, my church listened to me and we are holding our own time of prayer and fellowship around the table…

  3. Well said and well written. I couldn’t agree more, in any faith, religious or non religious groups.
    It’s madness!

  4. I completely agree. I don’t understand how anyone can say they believe in God, with a capital G, and still commit these horrendous crimes…. very sick people, very sick. I think we should all pray for them, pray for God to heal their sick souls…. well written post, thank you. Michelle

  5. I agree whole heartedly. When I work on something I believe to stop take a break. Return to it later. Usually go through emails of those I follow. What you have written is excellent with message conveyed.

  6. Great piece of writing and has always been:)

  7. Loved the ending… And I’m with you on that. I just hope the sane voices in the world can unite on that and lead this fight. Although I fear it’ll get worse for our kids before it dies out.
    Needless to say, very well written!

  8. Your poetry Extremists is very misleading because no God would ever want its believers to commit an act of injustice, and inhuman.

  9. This is just plain simple truth – perfect 🙂

  10. Indeed…it amaze me how people keep ignoring these atrocities.

    I especially like your line that says:

    this is not religion
    this is madness


    Pray and hope for those who are suffering at the hands of such extreme human cruelty.

  11. As a Muslim, I completely agree with your words, good sir. These people contort The Message and exploit it to their own advantage. Great words, although the divinity of the religion itself, in my opinion, shouldn’t have been “knocked.” Love the poem otherwise.

    • They do contort the message to fit their means, however, the message is often one that doesn’t declare peace rather violence for all the Abrahamic religions. If they practice their beliefs in peace the violence will cease and matters will improve. It’s great to meet you!

  12. No matter how rational they ever seem to become, it’s noteworthy that 1 John 4:8 refers to God as a god of love. When someone can show me that randomly and ruthlessly chopping off the heads of innocent people was a loving act approved by the God, Jehovah, in the Bible, I just might consider how they can be doing so in the name of God.

  13. I might add, that also we know that this is their claim – to be doing it in his name. They very often say “Alla hu akbar” which literally translates as “God is greater.” What a selfish way to show that. Their acts bring him a bad name instead.

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