BPFNA has just released "A Pilgrim in Rome: Cries of Dissent", a new work by pastor, performer and author Al Staggs. This collection of powerful and timely poetry is written in response to Staggs' observations of the political, religious and socio-economic climate in US America today.
The author writes, "This collection of poetry is an attempt to give witness to my faith in the context of systemic injustice that is being proliferated on a massive scale. It is my conviction that the messages of Jesus, the prophets and the martyrs who died for speaking truth to power compel us to counter the events and evils of our time by speaking courageously on behalf of 'the least of these.' At some point, to be silent is to be complicit."
Walter Brueggeman writes, "Al Staggs knows about words and puts them to fresh and suggestive use. He knows about brutality that shows its ugly face in too many places. And he knows about phoniness that supports evil by its default. With his words he conducts guerilla warfare, leaving us unsettled, seeing more clearly than we might wish, inviting us to decide anew. No easy slumbers here!"
John Shelby Spong writes, "Al Staggs writes his poetry with the passion of a prophet. Like Amos of old, he recognizes that divine worship is nothing but human justice being offered to God and that human justice is nothing but divine worship being acted out. His words call religious spokespersons and political leaders who lace their rhetoric with religious phrases alike to acknowledge both their idolatry and their hypocrisy. Read him and weep for what your country has become and for what Christianity is no more."
"A Pilgrim in Rome" is available for $10 in the BPFNA Catalogue or by calling 704/521-6051.