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A few items from this morning's Post

First: Eartha Kitt is 78 years old? WTF?!?! I mean look at her!

Secondly: Since we can safely eliminate the possibility that a Justice of the SCOTUS is a clinical moron, we must assume that when Kennedy says that if an atheist happens to walk by a display of the Ten Commandments in a public place he should just "avert his eyes," he is deliberately missing the point. I could harp on the blatant disregard of the rights of the non-religious, but even that isn't the applicable point here.

The point is that artifacts of religious doctrine do not belong on official display in public places. Anyone who truly cares about their church's autonomy ought to be fighting tooth and nail to keep it separate from government if they have any idea what's good for it. Even if the current crowd in power seems to support your views, how can you be sure they will always do so? How do you know some whim of the ruling powers won't smell like heresy to you if the winds start to blow the wrong way?

Aw, hell. You see, this is why I haven't been posting about politics much since the election. I feel so helpless and frustrated, I just start rambling. Preaching to the choir. I think I should make a resolution that I only get to prattle on about this stuff after I have taken some kind of concrete action to change the thing I feel like griping about.

So. In happier news, my wonderful Dad is coming to visit us tomorrow. Yay! He's here on business, which means my Step-Mom won't be here (bummer). But I get to see the paternal person, and that rocks. Then on Saturday, Morrigan! Hurray!

What do you say we officially start the weekend about a day and a half early?

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
katie_m
Mar. 3rd, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, I kind of get a kick out of that line of argument. Particularly when it came to the pledge of allegiance, where they got to simultaneously argue "it's very important that God is in the Pledge" and "but it doesn't mean anything! Like, about God! Because we don't mean God when we say God! Er, please don't look at the historical context behind the curtain."

It's adorable, in an irritating kind of way.
fenriss
Mar. 3rd, 2005 05:00 pm (UTC)
Mmmm! Specious logic!
chadu
Mar. 3rd, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)
The point is that artifacts of religious doctrine do not belong on official display in public places. Anyone who truly cares about their church's autonomy ought to be fighting tooth and nail to keep it separate from government if they have any idea what's good for it. Even if the current crowd in power seems to support your views, how can you be sure they will always do so? How do you know some whim of the ruling powers won't smell like heresy to you if the winds start to blow the wrong way?

Bingo. None of these folks Gets It.

I think that either you post 'em all (all religions or lack-thereof represented) or you don't post 'em.

Now, while there's an argument to be made for the 10 Commandments being a piece of legal history, I think they should only be posted in context with other historical legal milestones -- Hammurabi's Code, Magna Carta, yadda yadda.

Also, in the legal history light, interesting question: which version of the 10 C's should you post? Hebrew? Catholic? KJV? Various flavors of Protestant?

Personally, I think it would be killer-funny if the 10 C's were allowed to be posted in public/gov't places, but only in the original Hebrew, because no translation counts. I think that'd send some of the more crypto-anti-Semites around the bend.

Then again, some of the more wacky and strident sorts about these issues probably think Jesus spoke English.

CU
_blackjack_
Mar. 3rd, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC)
Then again, some of the more wacky and strident sorts about these issues probably think Jesus spoke English.

That's not too far off. There are a LARGE number of Evangelicals who believe the King James translation is devinely inspired. Which it must have been, since there are lots of places where it wasn't inspired by the actual meaning of the text.
chadu
Mar. 3rd, 2005 04:46 pm (UTC)
The KJV was inspired by an overweight transvestite from Baltimore?

. . .

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

(Seriously, though: from what I can tell, as poetry, the KJV is pretty good. As a translation of the Bible, it blows stoats.)

CU
_blackjack_
Mar. 3rd, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
What part of "I am Yahweh, your god, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slaves! There are no other gods for you in my presence!" (translation mine) isn't establishment? It isn't even a general statement of theism; it's an exhortation to worship a specific god, by name.
chadu
Mar. 3rd, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)
There are no other gods for you in my presence!

Here's something: what if monotheism is a local phenomena? That is, "in the presence" of Yahweh or his agents/assigns, he's the sole deity of the universe, but outside of that presence -- like a mile away or something -- the world is full of small gods and kami and nymphs and elves and such?

CU
fenriss
Mar. 3rd, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
Hee! I got Chad and Jack talkin' dogma. I win!
boadiccea
Mar. 3rd, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
I think you got them talking about it last week too, didn't you? :)
chadu
Mar. 3rd, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, like that's hard. :)

CU
_blackjack_
Mar. 3rd, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
That was pretty much the original intent. Yahweh was the only god that was acceptable for the Israelites, but in a "my god can beat up your god" sense. Yahweh didn't come to be considered a universal creator god until the Babylonian Captivity. You'll notice he said "who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slaves", not "who created the heavens and the earth." The phrase I translated as "in my presence" is literally "in front of my face". Or more losely, "up in my biddness, yo".
boadiccea
Mar. 3rd, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
Have fun with Dad! And give Miss M and her parents kisses from us. :)
fenriss
Mar. 3rd, 2005 05:21 pm (UTC)
Will do!
timquestionmark
Mar. 3rd, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
The most amusing thing for me is the fact that under US law breaking the majority of the 10 commandments is not only perfectly legal but also quite common place. Even in Red states!

fenriss
Mar. 3rd, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
No, no! The Commandments are the basis of our legal system! So, by definition, that can't be true!

(Christ, I'm punchy today. Oops! There I go breaking the law...)
_blackjack_
Mar. 3rd, 2005 10:34 pm (UTC)
Pretty funny, considering our legal system is actually based on Roman Law and Anglo-Saxon Customary Law, not on Mosaic Law. It's thuroughly pagan. If they want to see a legal system rooted in the Semitic Mosaic tradition, they should try going to Saudi Arabia and see what happens if they blaspheme.
_blackjack_
Mar. 3rd, 2005 10:21 pm (UTC)
But who will do something about all the drive-by covetings, and graven images in our schools?
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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