Friday, March 9, 2018
Following the ten commandments
Sometimes after reading the news and having imaginary rants at Republicans I reflect upon their false Christianity. And I do believe that Christianity has an intelligible enough worldview to make it clear that one cannot be a Republican and a Christian. I do realize there are a lot of people driving this delusion pretty hard, but it does not change the fact of it; one cannot drive a car in two opposing directions at once and get to both places one wants to go.
But not wanting to hold others to a standard different than myself I am compelled, even in the heat of my passion, to turn the light on myself. If I am willing to condemn the Christianity of others, what is the measure of my Judaism?
Granted I do not believe in this great, smoky, wrathful Jewish God. I observe nothing and celebrate no holidays. Granted I count my Judaism from the Marx Brothers, Yiddish, Israel Zangwill, and far left politics. But even with that I admit there must somewhere be some accounting. And I probably believe there must be an accounting because I am Jewish.
But alas, the Torah is, to my mind, a vastly more murky document than the New Testament. Fortunately it does possess something perhaps usable as a central pillar. It seems not unfair to use the Ten Commandments as a kind of a core. And so I have decided to measure myself against these. If I dare condemn exploding Muslims as false Muslims, Republican Christians as mere thieves of the word far too indulged by real Christians, I had better take my measure as a Jew against something. And so in the interest of fairness here is how I measure against a central tenant of my people, the Ten Commandments.
Wish me luck.
I am the Lord thy God, thou shall not have any gods before me.
Taking the first phrase "I am the Lord thy God" as a sort of a welcoming stage setting, an author's introduction so to speak, I'm going to focus here on the explicit commandment "thou shall not have any gods before me." And... I don't! Sure, I may have a few gods side by side, or I may have no gods at all, but nothing "before". So I'm one for one!
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.
Does cheese count? No? I think I'm in here
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Er, as long as swear words aren't a misuse I think I'm okay. I could consult the Talmud, but, well, fuck the goddamn Talmud.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
If you were thinking I was going to justify my way to success, well, at least here I can't. I don't remember the Sabbath day hardly ever, and whatever days I try to keep holy end up being random and the holiness has holes.
Honor your father and your mother.
Fuck them and fuck the Ten Commandments. That's a two way street.
You shall not murder.
Oh. I do. All the time. And I'm sorry.
You shall not commit adultery.
Okay. Good. I actually quite agree here and comply entirely!
You shall not steal.
Um, well, all comedians are thieves. And property is a bit of a mixed bag. And no, I don't think I'm willing to pass on myself or this commandment here.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
My neighbor totally said I could!
That's a little jest. Ha! But actually, easy peasy. You say shall not and... okay, I don't.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, or property.
At first I was going to say I'm okay here, because I covet not these things, but my list here is pretty simplified and in reality one is not allowed to covet anything. I sometimes covet my "neighbors'" blog success.
How did I do?
Five for ten. If it's a test I failed. If it's baseball, the sport of Jews, I am like a god.
I guess I'm more the baseball kind of Jew.