Lyric of the day:
"No hell below us
Above us only sky"
This composer died 24 years ago this week.
H. L. Mencken has a bunch of quotes that shall endure forever. I have a favorite:
"Christians must be fascinating people... I hope to meet one some day."
I don't pass this on in order to piss off the people who think they are Christians, but I guess it's going to happen. In actuality, most people of Protestant denomination hold a combination of beliefs, hybridized between old testament Judaism and the reform religion that Jesus tried to get going. My reading tells me that we have a way to go.
An example that keeps getting pushed in our faces is this ten commandment thing. I watched a one ton truck go by that had the very rock an Alabama judge wanted to force people to view if they had business with his court. Judge Roy Moore claimed the so called ten commandments were the foundation of American Law, and had a version chiseled in a granite graven image and installed in his court. I suspect Judge Moore is a closet anti semite (most fundamentalists are! Talk to one sometime...) but here he goes and puts an adulterated version of Jewish Law in a supposedly christian court. First of all. there are a whole bunch of commandments in the old testament and the ten that are usually refered to, aren't actually in there as Judge Roy out them on his rock.
If you are the least bit skeptical, Exodus makes a great read. If you are a fundie, it will drive you nuts! How do you come to grips with the tenth commandment? Do you even know what it is? You probably think the tenth commandment is something like, "Thy shalt not covet" or something like that involving your neighbor's wives and farm implements. Nope! Moses took a couple of blank rocks up to God and God wrote,
"Don't boil young goats in milk!"
Goat chowder, it turns out, is an abomination in the eyes of God. When my time comes, I suspect I will get to go to sleep for a very long time...like forever. But if I am wrong, I will be able to look god right in the eye and say that I am pretty sure I never stole anything and I'm damned positive I never improperly cooked a goat. I mean I like goat meat, but dang, people, every boy who grew up near Johnson County, Georgia knows danged well that goat is supposed to be barbecued!
I realize that most christians actually never read the christian part of the bible, particularly here in East Tennessee, so I would like to present a short bible lesson from the christian section. It is labelled Mathew, although though Mat the disciple, probably didn't write any of it, but that's another discussion.
So this rich kid comes along and asks Jesus:
"Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments."
"Which ones?" the man asked.
"Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others.
Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself."
The young man said, "I have obeyed all of these. What else must I do?"
Jesus replied, "If you want to be perfect, go sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower."
Isn't that just like a rich brat? The ten commandments turn out to be pretty confining for a well to do boy about town so he goes and tries to get his homework load reduced by asking "Uh, Jeez, my man! This commandment thing is a bit confusing, seeing as there are around thirty of the things and they sort of contradict each other, and my gosh, I'm gonna get stoned to death for eating the wrong goat recipe?... I mean, come on, can you give me a break here and cut this back a bit?
"Which ones?" he asked the son of god.
"Which ones of these commandments do I have to obey to go to heaven?" he asks, trying to weasel out of getting stoned for wanting as nice an ass as his buddy gets to ride when he tools about the village looking for barbecued goat... "Coveting" you know. Asses are specifically mentioned in the biblical rules up to this point! Although, if you are looking for an out, you lawyers out there can make the point that coveting asses as a bad thing is not actually listed in the first set of ten rules, but was in one of the revisions Moses rounded up after he broke the first set. Very confusing, ambiguous and overly broad, I can hear them arguing.
"Unconstitutional!" they state in perfect harmonious irony!
Much like Roy's rock!
So anyway Jesus gives the guy a new list! See here what this means? Judge Roy and all those other fundies are trying to hornswoggle us on this biblical law thing, and not tell us that Jesus rewrote the things after appellate review.
I don't think the rich kid liked the new version much either:
"If you want to be perfect in God's judgement, sell everything you own and give the money away.
The Bush administration, saying that religion "has played a defining role'' in the nation's history, urged the U.S. Supreme Court to permit Ten Commandments displays in courthouses.
So there you have it! Let's now turn our attention to our President, such a godly man, as he demonstrates his Christianity... By following the commandments of Jesus.