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“Judge Not That Ye Be Not Judged TOO Harshly!”

    I still wonder if the first set of Commandments Moses smashed in anger were the same as the second set he presented after he furiously slayed so many thousands of the flock when he came down from the mountain and went berserk at them partying with a golden calf. I also wonder where all that gold came from if they had been slaves just prior. So much to wonder about in the Bible! I've wondered almost a lifetime and still haven't figured it out.

   I wrote this post and then went searching for a copy of the Commandments that read as I had been taught them in parochial school. I couldn't find one, in fact, I couldn't find any two that read the in most interpretations of Biblical passages. After researching religion for most of my life, I am still amazed at how folks  judge others according to what religion and interpretations they follow.  Ancient religion certainly hasn't promoted much peace on earth.

    Research became my religion after I no longer had faith in the one I once knew well. I am at peace with it…but most of the world is not at peace with religion and I often wonder why. Folks judge each other harshly for not believing what they do. I have acquired a rather wide open mind on the subject and even on Moses’ Ten Commandments and will explain why.
     1.   “I am the Lord thy God…thou shalt have no strange Gods before me.”

     Seems to me after reading the Bible a few times, there is no stranger God than the one that it promotes…the one who created devils and demons and hell and is wrathful with no empathy if you break "his" commandments.(As Moses proved) Native Americans had a number of interesting Gods they worshiped before missionary’s introduced them to the harsh one and even harsher consequences.

2.  “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord God in vain.”

   When I think God ought to damn something, I have no problem with saying so              and neither do a lot of other honest folks. “Goddammit…we have had enough wars  and mass murders ever since Genesis law was enforced on humanity!”

3.  “Remember to keep holy the Lord ’s Day.”

   I sometimes go shopping on Sunday and most all the stores are open for business, so I’m thinking jillions have long forgotten that commandment. I think Saturday remains the Jewish “holy day” and their stores are busy also that day. I can remember the “blue law” that required certain business’s to close on Sunday but I guess it was cutting into the profits and causing a problem for those who work the rest of the week. My Mom used to not want Dad to work in his hay field on Sunday, but if rain was in the forecast…expensive to grow mowed alfalfa fast became "unholy" till it was in the barn.

4.     “Honor thy Father and thy Mother”
    This one I totally agree with….unless your parents beat you to the point of having to be put on life support, or starve you and eat plenty themselves, or in any way  sexually abuse you…then let them rot in jail and go to hell!

5.      “Thou shalt not kill”

    Thou usually shouldn't...unless it is in self defense, or you are a policeman or soldier who needs to take out an enemy or bad guy…or if you are a hunter or meat processing plant seeking to put food on the table…and I’m not sure Dr. Kevorkian was a sinner helping terminally ill patients in agony go painless and peacefully.

6.        “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

   This one can be sticky since it was alright for a man to have more than one wife... though not OK for a wife to have more than one husband, way back when Moses came up with the law…and some Mormons and Muslims and others still think  that prejudice is alright. There are also certain marriages I have heard of that one decides they prefer a secret “gayer” lifestyle but want to remain “socially acceptable” and remain married to a straight person for the kids sake and economical reasons. Makes sense to me the straight person might want to find another lover of his or her "now" preference also.

Genesis [6] But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts. Well that was sure nice of the original prophet of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. And Abe did allow his wife to marry another man so the prophet would prosper. The story's of the two faced Biblical “holy men” makes my head swim in wonder as to how the  Bible became so popular.

7.     Thou shalt not steal

     This is a fairly good one…but a lot of folks still admire Robin Hood’s ethics…robbing from the greedy rich to help the hungry poor.... or some "holy preacher"robbing from the pockets of the poor faithful to enrich their own greedy lives. Ethical?

8.                 Thou shalt not bear false witness.

     True…but if I feel a little white lie is better than hurting someone’s feelings and no harm will come of it…I’m not above it. “Honey…you look much better today!” …when they still might look like death warmed over. NOT a sin in my prayer book!

9.    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
( Refer to the "sticky" Commandment # 6 up above)

10.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

I see nothing wrong with wanting the same merchandise your neighbor has as long as you don’t steal the material from him or anyone else. 


Grundy said...

Interesting the last two commandments are basically "don't even think about committing a couple of the other commandments."

DMS said...

That comic at the end is hilarious! I loved reading your thoughts on this interesting subject. It is amazing how many people judge others for not feeling the way they feel about religion. Considering that religion is interpretation- it is even more fascinating.

I think the main thing is to be a kind person and to be accepting of others. :)

Have a wonderful weekend-

Jon said...

This was cool, Anna. Your take on each one (of the 10) was interesting.

Anna Maria said...

Grundy...those last two puzzle me also as if they were just repetitions.

Anna Maria said...

DMS..Happy you like that did make me laugh also. You are right, if we all followed the one "Golden Rule"...Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you"...this would be a more peaceful planet for sure.

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Jon...always happy to give you something interesting to think about. :D

Hausdorff said...

Great analysis Anna,

In particular I like what you have to say about commandments 4 and 5. It demonstrates how even the good stuff in the bible is usually taken too far. Honor thy father and mother is a great rule almost all of the time, but as you point out, there are instances where it doesn't work.

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Hausdorff!...most of the commandments are good examples to live in peace by but I suppose every once in a while I drift back to the way I was taught them as a child ...obey or go to hell! I remember thinking a lot of my friends were going to hell because they ate meat on Friday. ;D

It does take some time to un-brainwash yourself and realize using common sense gained through experience comes in a lot handier than obeying what someone thousands of years ago thought was absolute right for him and everyone else.


Great post, Anna. This gets me to thinking.

When Jesus came, he said that he "fulfilled" the law of the prophets, meaning the 10 Commandments and the rest of the rules and regulations of the old testament. Jesus then went on to say there were just 2 commandments. To love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.

To me, this is a much easier way to live. It's straightforward but admittedly not always easy.

Loving God means having affection and gratitude for the creator of the world and all that I've been blessed with. Loving others means expressing kindness and compassion instead of being mean and nasty.

I like how simplistic the whole thing becomes when I consider those words of Jesus. I'm not a religious person and I avoid church like the plague. But I can and will try to be kind and grateful...

The cartoon is hilarious.

Anna Maria said...

Thanks Grace!...and I agree, loving "Who or Whatever" created our majestic earth and all it's beauty and wonder and treating others as you would like them to treat you is really all humanity would need to create a more peaceful planet. I go a step farther and suggest if we all believed in reincarnation we would do a whole lot better in not fowling our "nest" we would keep returning to.

Nancy Alborell said...

I'm an atheist, but I hope I'm wrong. It would be wonderful to meet God, even if he's mad at me. The gospels have so much to offer and the teachings of Jesus are sublime. Ultimately, people place their faith in the religion that works best for them. Nobody worships a God they can't agree with.

Anna Maria said...

Thanks for stopping by Nancy! I call myself an "agnostic" because I have no idea either who or if God might be so I created my own simple religion of just me, "It," and Jesus and an angel as my mentors. I don't think a real God would get mad at anyone for not understanding with all the concepts out there and no proof. :D