March 20, 1997


one said, long ago,

words to the effect


“I do not believe that what you say is true,

but I will defend to my death your right to say it.”


I do not


I am willing to learn

I am willing to change

I am willing to understand


I am even willing to give my life

that others may see my God

and seeing Him, believe


I am not willing to give my life

that those who deny my God

may go on doing so



At least, I would like to think that I am willing.

The poem is based on a corruption of Voltaire:

“I detest what you write, but I would give my life

to make it possible for you to continue to write.”


One Said, Long Ago
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

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