by Shlomoh
Sent to the YAHOO Group, [free_expressions]
Sunday, June 15, 2008

Re: Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion specific values

A member wrote:
The only tenets that stand the test of time are the Ten Commanments, with or without religion. We have nothing without them.

I don't think that the men who compiled the TORAH were the only enlightened people in the world. You can find analogs to most of the ten commandments in other religious traditions. Most people in America give lip service to the ten commandments because if they REALLY lived up to them, this world would be different. There are parts of the Sermon on the Mount that are equal to or are more sublime than the ten commandments. There are sayings of the Buddha which also are on a parallel with them. I am sure that in Native American religion, there are amazing counterparts to the "Right Path" of life. And so on.

The very people who are touting the Ten Commandments are practicing graphic arts and working on Saturdays. The compilers of the Ten Commandments say that those people are to be killed. Well what can we do? This is America, and although belief in the supernatural is now the Law of the Land, we have not yet risen to the level of Salem. But give us bit of time.

A few more conservative hypocrites in office, and we'll get there yet. I can't wait for the witch trials to begin, or for the major book burnings. I really can't wait to see the media and the Internet dumbed down to the level of a 6 year old. I can't wait for the burning of fags, and for abortion and divorce to become criminalized. Don't get me wrong. I love being Jewish. I love the idea of Israel. But Israel's geographic location is based on tbe book of Jewish scriptures. There are very sublime things in our TANACH, and there are many things in it which are outrageous. You find this same situation in ALL scriptures. I even love going to SHUL on holidays and celebrating our holidays, especially PESACH and SUKKOT.

BUT, and here is the big but - I would NEVER have my scriptures IMPOSED on others and a way of life, and if it were to be imposed, it would have to be scruitinized just as every other aspect of our civilization is scruitinized before being accepted.

As an American, I accept the idea of the Constitution as a guide to life. I believe that Adams and Jefferson and Washington were intelligent men. They were raised in an age and in a civilization in which the Bible was taught as the ULTIMATE guide. YET, when they got the opportunity to create a country, they IGNORED the very Bible on which they were raised. Their concept was to do away with kings and clerics as leaders of America. If people today say that America is a Christian country or a religious one, then it just proves Marx's premise that religion IS the opium of the masses. Because the masses cannot appreciate what the Founders envisioned for our country. Today, most Americans do not understand what America is supposed to be about. America is about democracy - not about a nation whose laws are driven by pre-modern ideas of morality and slavish obedience to writings whose veracity we are not allowed to question. We question everything else, don't we, AND if they are weighed in the balance and found wanting, then we should read the proverbial writing on the wall of our consciences.

I am a member of a tribe which created the TANACH and gave it to the world, or should I say allowed the world to steal it. The problem is that the world has not done a good job using it. It has taken the WORST aspects of OUR Bible and killed and persecuted with it - while ignoring LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. When a gentile asked our rabbi HIllel what Judaism is, Hillel did not read him the ten commdments. He said to the gentile, "What is Judaism?
That which you hate being done to you, don't do it to anyone else! That is Judaism. Everything else is commentary." Treat people how you want to be treated and dont concern yourself with the salvation of their souls or which books they read or what their political opinions are. For those things do the gentiles seek.

Our TALMUD says, Pray for the welfare of the government [the Roman Empire]for without the government, people would eat each other alive. Boy were they right. The Empire fell and Christians DID devour each other, and everyone else too. Today in America, they are attempting the same, and our benighted orthodox brothers are enabling them. But notice, the TALMUD does NOT say without the Ten Commandments people would eat each other.

Free_Expressions was a YAHOO discussion group for people interested in religion and politics.

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