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Friday, May 07, 2010

If This is a Christian Nation, We're Doing a Crappy Job of It

It seems lately that everything's going to hell. We've got a gusher of oil spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico, We've got major flooding in Nashville, and the state of Arizona has lost its mind. If there was ever a need for divine intervention, now would be an excellent time. Luckily, we had a National Day of Prayer yesterday, which cleared everything all up. We're good now.

Nah, just kidding. While the devout prayed for grace from on high, some clown crashed the stock market by trying to type with xylophone mallets. Turns out our economic well-being rests in the ability of some Wall Street wizard to type an "m" instead of a "b." Yay for the power of prayer.

I know I'm going to lose some of you here, but I've always said the only difference between praying and doing nothing is intention. If yesterday was an example of what a people can accomplish when they all get together and pray, then my advice is to knock it off -- you aren't helping. Want to get something done? Get up off your knees and do something.

Still, if there's one thing that religion teaches us, it's to believe in something despite all evidence to the contrary. This is why praying is a good thing, while not praying is a bad thing. It has nothing to do with effectiveness, that's just the way things are... because religion says so, that's why. And, since not praying is a bad thing, a ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional is the worst thing ever. Hands down. So, despite the fact that this particular National Day of Prayer was an exceptionally bad day, it must be defended. And who better than those two luminaries of religious and political thought, Sarah Palin and Bill O'Reilly:

O'Reilly Clip

Yeah Bill, you walk into the Supreme Court and you see the Ten Commandments, so that means we're supposed to be all Judeo-Christian. But you also see the Prophet Mohammad, so I guess that means the founders wanted Sharia law too. And the image isn't exactly of the Ten Commandments, it's of Moses carrying the tablets -- you can only see Commandments six through ten [PDF]. So I guess breaking the first five was cool with the Founding Fathers. Finally, the frieze was created in the twentieth century, so pointing to it as evidence of what the framers of the Constitution wanted is complete BS. You can shut up now, Bill.

But let's pretend that the Horsecrap Twins here have a valid argument, that all evidence points to the Ten Commandments being the basis of our law, thus making us the most Christian nation this side of Vatican City. How good a job are we doing in this Christian nation business? How many of God's laws -- the Ten Commandments -- are our laws?

Let's look, shall we?

There are actually fourteen or fifteen commandments, but they were boiled down into a handy decalogue because the first one is just a statement ("I am the Lord your God") and a couple of the rest are redundant. Different religions break them up the redundant ones in different ways, but the main idea of all of them is the same.

First up, "You shall have no other gods before me/You shall not make for yourself an idol." I don't claim to be an expert, but I don't think that either of those is a violation of federal law. In using the Ten Commandments as the basis of our law, we fail here.

Next, "You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God." Again, seems pretty God damned legal to me. So far, no good.

"Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." I seem to have noticed people working on Sundays without the cops arresting them. Totally legal. We're really starting to suck at this Christian nation stuff.

"Honor your father and mother." Please... there are TV sitcoms that revolve around breaking this one. Ray Romano remains at large.

"You shall not kill." OK, now we're getting someplace. Murder is totally illegal. War and capital punishment however...

"You shall not commit adultery." This one will get you in a court of law, for sure. But is it a violation of federal statute? It is not.

"You shall not steal." OK, I'll give you that one. Some would argue that there are forms of legalized theft, but that's another story. By legal definition, theft is a crime. Score one for God.

"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Perjury? Totally illegal. Lying in other circumstances? Usually not.

"You shall not covet your neighbor's wife." There's an entire industry devoted to coveting women. Hell, you're on a porn delivery machine right now. Set Google image search to unfiltered and type in "ass." You're not going to see a lot of donkeys. Thinking your neighbor's wife is hot? Totally legal.

"You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor." Not just legal, but actively encouraged. It's called "consumerism."

All told, if we're using the Ten Commandments as a basis for our law, we're doing a pretty crappy job of it. Only one is always illegal and most are always legal. Now how do you think Bill and Sarah would react to a piece of legislation outlawing covetousness or war? And if lying became illegal, they'd both need to find new lines of work.

So, can we get by without a National Day of Prayer? It doesn't seem to be working and it can't get any worse. Right now, the only purpose it seems to serve is to allow Christians like O'Reilly and Palin to pretend we're a Christian nation. Otherwise, it doesn't actually seem to accomplish anything at all. This Christian nation can't even manage to put together a system of Christian laws, what makes you think we'd have any better luck with prayers?


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mancko said...

But but... we don't care. You say stuff that I agree with, but apparently it doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, only that I agree with you. You say what you say because you are who you are. And you can be dismissed because of that. Just like Palin can be dismissed (despite the fact that, as far as my research can fathom, she is wrong) because I don't agree with her.

There is no dialogue. We should stop pretending.

Haha. Split the US into two countries, let one be for reds and one for blues. See which does better. Only, when the red country fails they'll just invade the other side. So, not a great idea.

I just want to stop feeling sick to my stomach all the time.

sofa said...

One group has hope, despite history and reason, denying marxism failsveverytime in every place wherever it was tried. The Reds (commies) always fail.

The other group has the food, the farms, the guns, the Constitution, Liberty, responsible free men who want to be left alone, and a Free Market.

Good Luck! And good riddance.

Wisco said...

Good Luck! And good riddance.

Why, are you seceding like the rest of the hate-America "patriots?"