My Old Kentucky Homesite

Horton Hears an Evangelical

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 03/02/2010

[Note: A couple of years back, I posted the following pseudonymously on my previous blog. I’d like to acknowledge authorship under my real name, so I’m republishing this piece here on the appropriate date: Dr. Seuss’s birthday.]

In a place known as Whoville the folks got distraught
When Horton the elephant said what he thought.
“The oddest of oddities isn’t as odd
As people believing that there is a god.”

The Who Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists
The Who Vegetarians, Wiccans, and Nudists,
The Who Presbyterians, Baptists, New Agers:
All spread the sad news on their cell phones and pagers.

A Who Evangelical fell to his knees
And he said, “Oh no, Horton! I beg of you, please!
We always have liked you. We all think you’re swell,
And we can’t stand the thought that you’re headed to hell!”

But Horton just laughed and he wiggled his trunk.
The bible to him was a big bunch of bunk.
He meant what he said and he said what he meant,
“Religion is silly a hundred percent.”

The Who Evangelical let out a snort in
A very snide way most insulting to Horton.
“You say you’re an atheist? Here’s what we’ll do —
For we all know that atheists are anti-Who —

We’ll drive you from Whoville; we’ll send you away.
Or else we will force you to worship and pray.
A person’s a person, no matter how small,
But an atheist isn’t a person at all!”

But Horton just laughed once again even louder
And told all the Whos he would not take a powder,
Nor worship some stupid nonsensical being
That no one was hearing and no one was seeing.

“I will not be threatened,” he said. “It’s not funny.
I won’t trust your god with my flag or my money!
I will not allow him to influence science.
An elephant thrives on his own self-reliance!”

The Who Evangelical said, “My dear chap, sure
You think you’re so smart, but just wait till the rapture.”
The anti-Christ’s coming and then you will find,
That your friends are in heaven but you’re left behind.

“We cannot allow that to happen to you,
Because, after all, Jesus loves ev’ry Who.
You must accept God for the good of us all.
A person’s a person no matter how small.

“And though you’re no Who (you are just a big elephant),
God loves you, too. What you are is irrelevant.
He can destroy us if someone’s defiant.
A sinner’s a sinner no matter how giant!”

The Whos approached Horton, began to surround him.
If some of the Whos had their way, they’d have drowned him.
Some others thought maybe they might build a fire.
And stoning was mentioned among the Who choir.

But Horton was huge and avoided the crunch of them,
Picked up his foot, and then stepped on a bunch of them.
Hoping survivors would give up their mission,
The elephant told them about superstition:

“The oddest of oddities isn’t as odd
As people believing that there is a god.
There isn’t a heaven, or hell you should dread.
A person’s a person — until he is dead.”


15 Responses to “Horton Hears an Evangelical”

  1. the chaplain said

    I take it the Christians who had been stomped dead were proclaimed martyrs and canonized as saints. Now, the citizens of Whoville have a month’s worth of new holy days to celebrate with either wine, dancing and feasting, or self-flagellation and fasting, depending upon their worship-style preferences.

  2. Chappy:
    Actually, the stomped Whos had only themselves to blame, since they were homosexuals, liberals, and baby-killers.

  3. So you used to blog as Tom Delay?

  4. Des:
    Nice one. It took me about half a minute to get it. But you’re wrong. I used to blog as a winner of the Kentucky Derby. Now, much to my horror, I actually live here.

  5. Now this is a serious sort of silly, n’est pas?

  6. J-Co:
    Or peut-être it’s a silly sort of serious, non?

  7. I read today in a school for Read America Week (or whatever they’re calling it). I read a book that, when I was in second grade (the class I read for was a second grade), inspired me. The book? The Lorax. And after, one of the kids asked, “How does it end?” My response? “We don’t know yet.” Too bad I couldn’t have corrupted their little minds with Horton Hears an Evangelical. Of course, that’s another one for which we don’t have an ending. But there is hope for the future. We’re up to, what, 8% of America? It’s a start.

    Thanks. I enjoyed this last year at NMH. I’d forgotten it. Even better now.

  8. (((Billy))):
    Maybe after Horton Hears an Evangelical is picked for Oprah’s Book Club it will become acceptable. Didn’t she put Faulkner back on the must-read list a few years ago?

  9. the chaplain said

    I think you’ll need to add a few more illustrations before Oprah will consider it for her club.

  10. Chappy:
    You go, girl.
    (How come Oprah never tells them where to go?)

  11. MacNutz said

    Ha, I read this out loud to my wife, she rolled rolled about like a Pentecostal larfing until she got hiccups. Thanks

  12. MacNutz said

    I vote for Horton Hears an Evangelical

  13. Mac:
    Note: Your wife’s hiccups will not be cured if she drinks a glass of holy water.
    Thanks for your vote.

  14. D R Hosie said


    Horton Hears an Evangelical is a clear winner in the silliness contest, and a wonderful prize for the rest of us.

    Having failed to recognize this opportunity to importune with such silliness in a timely manner, I would still like to offer a link back to a recent post of my own – titled (an) Ode to Sarah P. :)

  15. D+R = Doc(?):
    Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed Horton.

    After checking out your very nice poem, I’ve taken the liberty of sexing up your link. Now, I think, it screams out to be clicked. (And I urge my verse-loving readers to do so.)

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