Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Ten Commandments and Chicken Sandwiches

There is, as I’m sure nearly everybody knows, a big deal going on about Christians and gay rights advocates. I offer the following, which is nothing other than my current perspective, in the sincere hope that it will help to resolve the issue in the minds of at least some of the people on both sides

I have to say first off that I am not a Christian but I was raised by Christians, so I do understand the belief system. To anybody who may read this I’m going to first ask you to suspend your viewpoint, whatever it may be, for a couple of moments so you may understand more about the people who you think are in opposition to you. Some of The Ten Commandments don't apply to everybody of all religions. I invite you to take a quick look at them from the point of view of someone who is not a Christian...

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me... What's the point of being a different religion if you can’t have a different god or concept of just who or what God is?

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image... I think graven images are kind of cool myself. I like the artwork. It doesn't mean I worship them though. But even if I did that is sometimes just the nature of being part of a different religion .

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain... I understand it's a good thing to be respectful to a god and those who worship them but I really personally think they're big enough to take it without being bothered. And if my swearing offends someone I sincerely apologize.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy... Good for thee, not really important to me. If you aren't Christian or Jewish or several other religions, there is no Sabbath day. Why keep it holy from that point of view?

5. Honor thy father and thy mother... Good idea provided the return is acceptable.

6. Thou shalt not commit murder... Damn good idea! I completely approve. I disagree with versions that say "Thou shalt not kill" because sometimes killing is necessary. Hitler, for example, was a great person to kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery... Not really any of my business, or the government’s, who you have sex with, but still a good idea. It's absolutely great to have someone upon who you can rely, who won’t be tangled up in random custody disputes or support payments, or won't infect you with something you really don’t want to have.

8. Thou shalt not steal... Damn good idea! I completely approve.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor... Or anybody else I would think! But this is another good idea. Always seek to live with the truth.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's... I'm pretty okay with coveting. As long as you follow number seven and eight above I'm good. Covet away. But the second it becomes an ethical issue which effects other people, I’m against it.

So there are only five of them that I'm really in solid agreement with. The reason I bring this up is to make the point that you have to understand a lot of Christians haven't ever had this brought up to them. It doesn’t make them stupid, insane or dull. It just means they’ve never thought it through. They run very automatically under the assumption that even if you are of a different religion the “Big Ten” still apply to everybody. Unless someone takes the time to point that out to them in a very social way they will continue to push them, by pure reflex alone, without ever thinking it through. To some people this makes them look bigoted, like they are trying to use force to get compliance with their beliefs. This I assure you is not the case for the most part. And I say "for the most part" with some emphasis because sometimes the minority of them are trying to use force to make their viewpoint received. None of us are perfect.

Contrary to what some with an interest in promoting conflicts would have us believe, most Christians are perfectly okay with you having a different belief. Thus they can with all sincerity support their view of traditional marriage without hating the people, who from their own view, the majority of them are trying to help. The wrong thing to do is vandalize their property and get mayors to shut them down or spread or listen to false and sensationalized rumors about them in an effort to create enough strife to drive them out of business. 

Thus are the actions of mad men, and a damn handy way for all of us to lose all of our freedom. The right thing to do is respectfully disagree with them, telling them politely why you disagree with them, point out the parts of their commandments that don't apply if needed and why they don’t, and move on. That would cover ninety percent of the problems with the current social strife on the subject which we are currently experiencing. The remaining ten percent would be handled by spreading well documented, non-sensationalized, truth about them and if applicable, don't eat their chicken sandwiches. That’s your choice, which most people agree with and support if you’ve truly been wronged.

Just because someone does not agree with your viewpoint does not mean they endorse what you conceive to be its opposite. There are always going to be people with whom you are going to disagree. But because they disagree with you doesn't mean they are going to hate you for it. So do yourself and them the favor of not hating them for it. It doesn't serve anybody to make more enemies than you have to.

The real enemies are quite bad enough.

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