It was as though his disdain of human contact had converted itself into a craving for things humans had touched. The residue of the human spirit smeared on inanimate objects was all he could withstand of humanity.
Soaphead Church didn’t like being around or touching people. He despised body excretions and worshipped cleanliness but this prevented him from being part of something. He wanted to belong to a community but he only wanted to have what remained of humans on non living objects because that “was all he could withstand of humanity.” This “residue of the human spirit” was as dirty as he could get; the dirtyness of an actual human was more than he could take but he still wanted to be part of it somehow. He stuck with the spirit because that is the most pure and clean of the human body. He wants to capture the essence of the human soul to have what he is missing. This way he gets part of humanity in himself and accepting what he is instead of trying to be some kind of god.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Soaphead Church” by Toni Morrison Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box