The Tin Commandments

Alan Bisbort, Hartford Advocate:
On a visit to Atlanta earlier this week, I noticed a new affectation sweeping the fringes of red culture. On placards the size of real-estate transaction signs, the Ten Commandments are posted in front yards, augmenting the "God Bless America" ribbons on the rear-ends of homeowners' SUVs.
This was not deep in the Dark Ages of red culture. This was not Cobb County, where these signs are no doubt mandatory and where the school board has placed anti-evolution stickers on biology texts. This was Southern suburbia, where I grew up, two counties removed from Cobb. To my surprise, I didn't find myself flinching in horror at the "hidden agendas" of the Ned Flanderses and Church Ladies compelled to make such public pronouncements of self-righteousness. Rather, I refamiliarized myself with the actual words of the Ten Commandments. It was then that I decided to see if the "values"-laden Republicans who lord over us and shove the commandments down our throats, actually adhere to their own preachings.
Need I add the obvious answer? Of course they don't! The Republican "values" crowd would be lost without their hypocrisies. Indeed, hypocrisy is the glue that holds America together. James Hillman nailed it in his recent book, A Terrible Love of War : "Hypocrisy in America is not a sin but a necessity and a way of life. It makes possible armories of mass destruction side by side with the proliferation of churches, cults, and charities. Hypocrisy holds the nation together so that it can preach, and practice what it does not preach."
Check out the commandments for yourself, found in Exodus, Chapter 20, 1-18.
-- "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."
Moses (quoting God) told his people that they must stop worshipping false idols. I take this to mean that no other objects of worship besides God are allowed, including money, stocks, oil, real estate and Paris Hilton videos. Please deposit all such items in the receptacles at the back of the church on your way out the door. Praise the Lord.
-- "Thou shalt not make for yourself a carved (or graven) image" and worship it.
That put me in mind of my Republican neighbor, who's out polishing his Hummer every other day.
-- "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."
Does telling a U.S. Senator, "Go fuck yourself" on the floor of Congress qualify?
-- "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
Hey, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Exxon, Target, Office Max, Circuit City and all other big Bush donors, if you don't close on Sundays you're living in sin.
-- "Honor thy father and mother."
When GWB was told that his father opposed the decision to go into Iraq, the son said, "I have a higher father that I follow ..." The old man's out of the loop as usual.
-- "Thou shalt not murder."
Where to begin? Iraqi civilians (100,000+), U.S. soldiers (1,400+) ... and counting.
-- "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
The roll call of lechers forms on the right: Newt Gingrich, Robert Livingston, Henry Hyde, Bill O'Reilly, Jack Ryan, Neil Bush, Daddy Bush, Phil Giordano, Strom Thurmond, Dick Morris, Schwarzenegger, Giuliani, Kerik ...
-- "Thou shalt not steal."
Where to begin? Cheney's Halliburton, with no-bid contracts and price gouging. Daddy Bush's Carlyle Group, which has a key to the U.S. Treasury. Enron, thief of thousands of Americans' retirement savings. The Bushprano Family (W, Jeb, Neil, Marvin), just follow the money ...
-- "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."
Colin Powell, is that cornmeal in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? When Colin held that vial of kitty litter up at the U.N. and insisted it was proof of an Iraqi WMD program, he knew it was a lie. Ditto Condi Rice, and her 9/11 Commission testimony. Ditto, Dick Cheney every time he opens his mouth. Ditto, Swift Boat Veterans. Ditto, every utterance about Social Security.
-- "Thou shalt not covet they neighbor's house, wife, servant or hand-maid, ox or ass or anything else that is his."
And that includes his oil.


Blogger Boston Dreamer said...

There are a couple of those signs in my neighborhood. I find them a bit pretentious; didn't Christ argue against wearing your faith on your sleeve? I do believe that he felt prayer and worship of God should be a private thing. And anyway, aren't there different versions of the Ten Commandments? I do believe so.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Boston Dreamer said...

Oh yeah! Someone else to add to the roll call of lechers and thieves of the right: the young councilman in Williston that is already facing some 20 odd counts of lewd behavior with a minor just got accused of stealing 500 bucks from his place of employment and trying to pull an Enron by cooking the books!

11:06 AM  

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