Saturday, June 17, 2006

7 Out of 10 - Not Bad For A Congressman

The whole 10 Commandments thing is a lot more complex then it seems. Apparently, during his grilling by Stephen Colbert, Representative Lynn Westmoreland (GA-8) actually managed to name as many as 7 of the the 10 Commandments. Of course, the fact that Westmoreland is co-sponsoring a bill in congress to allow the display of the Commandments in government buildings, makes his inability to actually express all of the commandments more newsworthy.

Westmoreland's office officially commented on the Congressman's inability to express or even paraphrase all of the commandments by suggesting that only a member of the clergy could, or should even have to, name all of them.

Is suspect that most Republican have a hard time with Commandments two and three.
2. "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain."
Let's face it. If we held Republicans in public office to the 10 Commandment standard regarding the taking of oaths. Well, there would be round the clock public stonings.

How many Republicans could count on the support of big business if they actually stood behind the requirement to cease work on the sabbath?
3. "Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your manservant, or your maidservant, or your ox, or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day."
No Wal-Mart runs on Sunday. In fact, no professional football on Sunday. Ditto for NASCAR. Well, the list is endless. But, remember, Republicans declare that our country is founded on the legal standards expressed in these commandments.

UPDATE: As I noted above, this whole commandment thing can be pretty complex.
4. "Remember [zachor] the Sabbath day and keep it holy" (the version in Deuteronomy reads shamor, "observe")
The seventh day of the week is termed Shabbat and is holy, just as God ceased creative activity during Creation. The aspect of zachor (remember) is performed by declaring the greatness of the day (kiddush), by having three festive meals and by engaging in Torah study and pleasurable activities. The aspect of shamor is performed by abstaining from the 39 melachot (forbidden categories of activity) on the Shabbat.

The Torah, which Moses "transmitted" from God to the Jews actually lists 613 commandments. The 10 Commandments certainly can be broken up into more than 10 or combined to number less than 10. Is God's word on the Sabbath different if we count in as his 3rd or 4th Commandment?