Friday, June 15, 2012
Politics and The Ten Commandments
In my experience, both liberals, progressives, and so-called conservatives give lip service to the Ten Commandments. But even though many of the most fervent and dedicated so-called conservatives say they honor the Ten Commandments and try to live by them, they really don’t. While liberals and progressives who don’t talk much about the Commandments, actually live them a bit more that do the so-called conservatives.
That’s because liberals and progressives have internalized the Ten Commandments more than their vociferous so-called conservative brethren and tend to see the Commandments in both/and terms, as both narrowly and legalistically meant to govern our outer physical behavior, and as guides to both our outer physical behavior and our inner thoughts feelings and behaviors - as guides for getting our bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits.
For example, the Commandments as guides to both inner and outer: we might not often be inclined to covet other people’s possessions, but do we compare our lives to theirs, sitting in judgment over the differences? Yes, of course we do; at least I do, constantly.
Another example: Killing another person seems abhorrent, even when done in our names by the state, but what about when we have extinguished hope, enthusiasm, or opportunity—which seems to be the point of large chunks of contemporary Republican policies aimed at large segments of the population?
The Ten Commandments may thus be seen to have both an inner metaphysical meaning and an outer physical meaning. While the narrow, physical, legalistic interpretation of the Ten Commandments would not seem to be violated by much of contemporary Republican policies and politics, what about the spirit, intent and metaphysics of the Commandments? How well do the policies and politics of contemporary Republicans reflect the spirit, intent and metaphysics of the Commandments?