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“Hey, Moses! Is that a chisel in your robe, or are you simply joyous in the presence of God?” (in the voice of Edward G. Robinson, wearing a toga and chomping on a cigar)

According to the story, Moses returned from the mountaintop only to find an ongoing party to which he had not been invited. Moses angrily responded by throwing God’s commandments to the ground, where they shattered. Moses then marched back up the mountain bearing blank tablets (and maybe a chisel?).

News item: Georgia’s Governor recently signed a bill into law authorizing the posting of the Ten Commandments in state courthouses.

I can’t argue with that. I’m willing and eager to go much further. Let’s post the Ten Commandments in every classroom in the USA- unabridged, of course.

Commandment X would be educational indeed:
“Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” (King James version)

This might engender a degree of thought heretofore unseen among public school students, as well as some awkward questions-

“Why didn’t God just say slavery is a sin- It is, isn’t it?”

“Did men own their wives like slaves or cattle? Why would God permit that?”

“Isn’t coveting the basis of capitalism?” (There’s a Commie in every class)

“Did anyone frisk Moses for a chisel before he headed back up the mountain with blank slates?” (That might be me, the smart ass in the back)

“If the word of God comes through Man, how can we consider it to be reliable, let alone sacred?”

Ah, youth. Give them a chance and a clue and they just might pleasantly surprise you.

(Don’t feed me that “Man cannot fathom the will of God” stuff. Evidently Rev. Pat can. God told him why the U.S. was attacked on 9/11. God revealed His will unto Pat regarding the tragic tsunami, and the flooding of New Orleans. If you seek pat answers, ask Rev. Pat. I suggest that you decline should he offer you Kool-Aid. If he wasn’t a televangelist he would be facing court-ordered psychiatric evaluation- and rightly so.)

I would also stipulate that the Ten Amendments (U.S. Bill of Rights) be posted next to the Ten Commandments. The dichotomy might prove enlightening.

But wait- there’s more! I would also mandate the conspicuous posting of the Constitution of the United States- a document conspicuously devoid of even a single reference to God. I checked, but feel free. I feel more free since reading it again. We should all read it now and again- maybe once a year on Independence Day (that’s July 4th or Firecracker Day, not a movie). This would reveal the deceit of those falsely claiming that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation. This nation never was, is not, and God willing, shall never be a Christian nation. It would be unconstitutional.

“But God is on our money”- So is the Goddess of Liberty, as well as an appalling variety of occult symbols. In God We Trust? Perhaps, but faith in the dollar in a world full of faiths is based upon the perceived value of the dollar, not God.

Will Gov. Sonny Perdue next proclaim that children be taught that the earth is flat, and 6000 years young, and uppity darkies must be kept in their place, in the proud tradition of Lester Maddox?

Let us free these children from the despicable lies of their forefathers, or maybe we should free Dixie from the constraints of modern Western Civilization. Perhaps Lincoln was wrong.

Let's secede Georgia.


"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."

- Ralph 'Where's Waldo' Emerson

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like. And I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins

Related Items


The following comments are for "Georgia on my Mind"
by drsoos


I should add that I intend no ill will towards Georgia or Georgians. I simply oppose any apparent government endorsement of a particular religion. In my own state of Delaware, a school board is being sued for conducting Christian prayer at official functions. In fairness, I should address this as well.

I realize that the U.S. Congress kicks things off with a prayer to God (but not to Jesus). I have no problem with non-excusionary prayer.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

Demwit; The ten commandments were given to Moses and the 7 Noahides were given to Noah. There's a difference.

( Posted by: TINKER [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

There is no need for name calling. Demeter does not deserve to be treated in that way by you or by anyone else here. Please show me that you are worthy of my time by being a gentleman with the ladies here, and that includes Miss Robinbird and Emaks.
You've brought up a good point about the laws. Yes, the 10 commandments were given to Moses by God, but those commandments were given to the Jews, the Hebrews, the tribes of Israel. Those commandments were not intended for the gentiles. The Noahide laws were given by God to Noah specifically for the gentiles. There is more to it, but like Demeter, I do not want to debate this subject. It is an endless source of long debates and varied opinions among theologians and rabbinical scholars to this day.


( Posted by: BHansen [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

Drsoos, Georgia, Tinker
Drsoos, I think that there shouldn't be prayer in school or government places because what about the people who are not believers in God? I think prayer and God are private and not for school or government. That's my opinion because I think government and schools should respect everybody. If you let prayer into school then all kinds of other religion things start to get asked for and there is always going to somebody who wants only their religion or who wants their religion to be tops. I think you are funny in the beginning of this rant.

Tinker, Don't call my grandma names. Shes not a Christian but you say you are so act like one. I think you are right about being honest in your opinion. My mother is a Christian and she doesn't call my grandma or my aunties names. Be respectful in a real way instead of like those who say they are respectful but who really are not. You should always have all the truth and facts before saying things and making judgements is what I think.

( Posted by: tomasini [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

I take back the Demwit crack. I have nothing against Demeter or any of her family members. Thanks for clarifying my questions Bhansen.

( Posted by: TINKER [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

Good at ya Tinker. Now apologize to Robin.

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

BTW, thanks for being a manly man and standing up for right. (I try to be a manly man, too, although I am a very female femme) Thanks.

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

Soos, you're needed!
Hey Soos-
It was fun. Of course I heard your truth. I relish in religiuos discourse.
You had to know you had a little kettle of worms...
;) You are one of my favorite people for stirring worms; (in a good way) you make me laugh!
I suspect you wrote this with the intention of drawing out assholes-
Ha! I live in the country, and although I don't hunt, I've picked up a lot of local lure- to pick up spiders and snakes-
(you're good!)
I read your original article. Will hold comments on topic, for now...
I've stayed away from religious topics for a while.
Hey, Soos, god is God, assholes are Assholes, and we people of words look at it all and try to interpret better than "wtf"..., don't we?
best to you-

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

The Race is On!
It's my favourite show: Georgia, Kansas, and Kentucky in a desperate race to the bottom. But let's not leave out Utah, our dark horse.

Fun, as your stuff always is, Soos. Amd thought-provoking. Who knew way back when that history didn't begin until the Eisenhower era (when "In God We Trust" was added to the cash and "under God" to the pledge)? All about the red menace, which stalks us to this day, clad only in potato sacks and ideology.

Re your comment about Pat Robertson, check out my "So You Want To Be A Saint?" if you haven't already. I can't remember. Pat Robertson would be so much fun to write in a play, don't you think?

Too tired . . . This is the last thing I will read before bed . . .

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

(sorry soos) Viper
Viper, nver mind

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: April 27, 2006 )

Gentle Christians in demand
My Christian friends wonder why I'm a liberal... my liberal friends wonder why I'm a Christian...

I am a Christian. And yet I support -- to the point of calling it a demand -- separation of church and state. Why? Because both freedom of religion and freedom of political belief are so important, that to mix them together is to confuse them.

This is not to say that one's religious beliefs can not INFORM one's political beliefs. Nor is it to say that one's religious beliefs should not come into play when one is making or discussing political matters. But there is a vast difference between politics, governance and "the state" per se, which is what gets so many folks into trouble on this thorny issue.

Let's take an example. School prayer.

Is it OK, for example, to pray in public school? Sure. I prayed all the time in school. Is it OK for the school to try to stop me? No. I have every right to pray. The state, in the form of a public school administration, has no right to stop me from exercising my right to a reasonable practice of my religion. As long as my prayer does not either interfere with the application of the school's civic/governmental duties (education) or with other students' relgious rights (i.e., my prayer doesn't do them religious harm), I can pray.

Now... does the school have a right to encourage or suggest that I pray in one form or another? No. Why? Because that would be a form of state sponsored religion. As soon as the state shows any kind of favoritism -- ANY KIND -- towards one type of religion, or to religion AT ALL, that discriminates against other religions and/or against the idea of no religion.

This is another concept that many of my religious friends get confused about. They believe that groups that seek complete separate of church and state are atheists and, therefore, if "they win," therefore "atheism wins" in "the battle for our schools."

Let's get something straight -- not talking about religion is not the same as saying there is no god. Atheism is the ACTIVE belief in the absence of god. Not talking about god in school is the absence of talking about either god or the absence of god. If I don't talk about what kind of sex you and your spouse have, that doesn't mean I don't believe in it; just that I don't think it's an appropriate conversation to have with you.

That is the essence of the "separation of church and state" argument -- that it is "inappropriate" for the state to be involved in any way with discussions of our decisions about religion. Because, simply, they are PERSONAL issues, not issues that the state should be involved with on any level.

All of our Founding Fathers were religious; most were Christian. Yet they were deeply distrustful of state religions. They had seen the problems caused by the official Anglican Church in England and the Catholic and various other state-sponsored churches in Europe. And so, while there are some nods to "higer powers" in some of our historical documents, there is, as Soos points out, a conspicuous lack, especially compared to other documents of the time, of references to Him What Must Be Obeyed.

I believe in God. Way lots. All the way, all the time, every day, every night. I'll talk you up one side and down the other on how much I believe in Him. I don't care much for 687 varieties of kosher or the Cabalah or the 9 million names of God. I'm more of a mercy and grace and New Testament guy, but I believe in Him more and more the older I get, with my brain more than my heart. God just makes sense to me. A universe without God seems... dumb.

But a government without God seems smart.

I don't want to live in a country that requires any lip service to any God. Because that is the beginning of something very nasty. My God doesn't need governmental backing; no true deity should. And no truly good government should need heavenly shoring up, either.

My religion informs many areas of my life, yes. It may inform my political decisions, too. Is the death penalty just? Is abortion right? Should we go to war? Who pays for health care? Do I have a right to die when I choose? These are all tough, moral and ethical issues that anyone's relgion might reasonably speak to.

Anyone's religion. Any *one's* And everyone's relgion deserves as much respect from the government... from the state... as any *one* religion. And those who make their decisions based on thoughts other than religion deserve as much respect, too. Hell, if you want to vote based on the what you find on the back of a box of Fruity Pebbles, that's your right.

God is, I believe, interested in your spirit. In your heart. Let the government have its place, and let God have his. Keep them separate. When you mix them together, nothing good can come of it.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: April 28, 2006 )

Georgia, and Andy (on my mind)
Andy for President

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: April 28, 2006 )

Pick and Jews

I'm no Biblical scholar (let alone Talmudic, Torahnian(?) or Koranian(?). Apparently I know enough to get in trouble or to instigate it. Perhaps a little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing. I do know enough to understand that the written word, proclaimed to be God's own, appears to condone the ownership of one's wife or other humans as one would own cattle. Elsewhere God appears to command the wholesale slaughter of peoples opposed to his Chosen, with an absolute lack of mercy for the innocent (for starters).

I certainly can't explain the picking and choosing (although I was raised in the Christian faith, but not particularly devout). My fault- I fell asleep during an excellent recent cable TV show on the Ten Commandments. It wasn't boring (I said it was excellent), I was simply exhausted.

613 laws! Either somebody chisels very small, or there were more than two tablets. No wonder your people needed an ark to cart that covenant around in! Papyrus would have served the exiles well. (Take two tablets and call me Yahweh- I may use that.) Law 128 rings a bell, though. I recall that there is some debate concerning whether Onan was punished merely for spilling his seed (whether on the ground or as pearl necklace), or for failing to fulfill his duty to his fruitless late brother's wife. Apparently the first interpretation gives rise to religious proscriptions of contraception (another potentially fruitful subject), whereas the second would tend to invalidate such views.

I vaguely remember reading or hearing that any Jew with the last name of Cohen is somehow special. Is a Cohen a Kohen? This might make a fascinating article, but not from me. It's not really my bailiwick.

I don't believe that an inclusive prayer to a Higher Power is an undue burden to atheists, so long as the atheist is not compelled or pressured to participate. It may be more of a burden to those seeking prayer to their specific version of God than to the athiest. I view this as an obligation to the great (and greatly challenged) American value of Tolerance- we put up with other people's nonsense to some degree in exchange for their toleration of ours. God may command us to love one another, but our nation's secular covenant asks only that we tolerate a reasonable degree of one anothers' bullshit. We are free to despise or even hate one another, and to expess this. We are free to be assholes. I am opposed to government displays of the Ten commandments unless, as stipulated above, unedited.

I won't deny being an occasional provacatuer, but my intent is to provoke a lively and thoughtful debate, not partisan sniping or holy war or personal insults. Opinions are like assholes- but I would prefer to see a considered opposing opinion expressed well as opposed to a display of someone's unwiped sphincter.

I am curious about this "So You Want to Be a Saint" post, but Frumpy McGuffin has apparently not posted such an item. Monkey trials redux. The Mormon the merrier.

Thanks for the 10's. It must refer to the commandments.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: April 28, 2006 )

I 2nd Andy's nomination!

It looks like I was replying to comments while you were commenting. Thank you!

However, if an individual wishes to vote based upon what they read on a box of Fruity Pebbles (with the possible exception of the nutrition facts), I would suggest that they stay home and watch the Flintstones. The same goes for those who can't decide whom to vote for until election day. Being part of an INFORMED electorate is a civic duty. An uninformed or ill-informed vote is nothing to feel warm and fuzzy about. But now I've drifted from my own topic. That's a subject for another post. Besides, I'm a Cap'n Crunch man. Aargh!

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: April 28, 2006 )

Oh God....did we need to read ALL 613 Demeter?

just kidding, I only got to #4 then skipped the rest.

I have followed sage advice for many years, I never discuss religion or politics. However, I will agree that Reverend Pat is a few notes shy of "Pop goes the Weasle".


( Posted by: BWOz [Member] On: April 29, 2006 )

True about the Freemason link, Lil.

Myself, I think modern Freemasons have lost touch with their occult roots. I know a 33rd-degree Mason, a Rev. Canon and Grand Prior (and also a Presbyterian minister), really nice old guy, spent Thanksgiving with him last year. And as far as I can tell, he and his mason buddies are mostly into barbecuing and charity work.

You have no idea how disappointed I was! Maybe it's like the Baptists, where you have the rapid fundamentalist Baptists and the apathetic lukewarm Baptists. You think?

What makes this worse is that in my area the Scottish Rite building, the Masons' home, is one of the coolest and creepiest buildings in the city. It's simply gorgeous. And inside? Inside it looks like a bloody high school with lime green walls and chipped tile floors. Sigh.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: April 29, 2006 )

Interesting stuff, Lil and Persephone!

You don't have to be related to a Mason to become one, at least not anymore. All you need is a Mason who's willing to sponsor you. I've been invited, but declined because (despite my rabid curiosity about what they do), you have be some sort of theist to join, and I wasn't comfy with that.

Weighs heavy on my heart.

But now I'm hoping we can wrangle some secrets from Lil and Persephone. Spill, spill!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: April 29, 2006 )

Viper and Demeter (Hi Soos!)
I must jump in and comment. I know little of these things except the obvious eye on the dollar, etc. I am ignorant, but fairly well read, ya know? I live in Jeffersonia. Masons seem to have been (and may continue to be) forward thinkers...
I can't help it though, I get two images in my head. The first is Fred Flinstone and the other is Jackie Gleason. Both had funny hats- not too much unlike Viper's persona ala avatar.
Who was it who had the "Grand Poo-bah?"
I don't mean to make light. It is a fascinating subject. I'm looking forward to "Davinci Code" next month. Tom Hanks was the perfect cast-
(Now ya'll can get back to the interesting stuff..)

( Posted by: emaks [Member] On: April 29, 2006 )

Jarring news

The Masons are known for preserving their secrets of home canning. I can finger their Grand Poobah- Jackie Mason.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: April 30, 2006 )

The One Commandment
I am the Power
the only One
And I will say
what must be done.
So grab your chisel
in your hand
Obey One law
you understand?
Christian, Jew
whatever what
This is the law
that I begot
Freeman, Mason,
this must be done
The Only Law
is just...

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: April 30, 2006 )

Grand Order of the Soos
Soos, you're so disgusting. haha

Like emaks, I often think of Fred Flintstone when I hear the word "mason". That show had tremendous influence, really, beyond spawning the Simpsons et al. Fred Flintstone is a cultural icon.

Thanks for the info, Lil. You're always helpful that way!

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: April 30, 2006 )

Tiny Chisels or Big Tablets?
drsoos,I won't snub you buddy. I may not always understand your humour but I wouldn't snub you for it. The Moses lines are funny about having a chisel in pocket. You are sometimes sick but funny about the finger, gross!

Demter, I am shocked to know so many laws are to be followed. Who can do that? Can anyone do that? Not me. My grandparents are Eastern Star. My grandfather is a member and my grandmother both can be members. He's a Mason too.

ivordaves, that is a good poem & real true. There is only one God no matter what we want to call God. That makes the Masons right in their thinking.

( Posted by: unseenwriterx [Member] On: April 30, 2006 )

So maybe it was Perry Mason

By "finger" Jackie Mason I meant (jokingly) that I could point him out as Grand Poobah of the Masons, while obliquely alluding to Jackie allegedly giving the finger to Ed Sullivan on live TV (a long long time ago).

Thanks for the comments. Now can we can it with the whole Mason thing?

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: May 1, 2006 )

8- ) smile

I meant to add that to the end of my last comment. I love the Mason stuff and I think somebody (else) should, as they say, write what you know. I'm all happy... share my joy.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: May 1, 2006 )

Masonic doo-dah
Much has been written about the Masons and their various connections to all sorts of cults, etc. Here's the most popular short version of the conspiracy theory.

IN ANCIENT EGYPT... (ain't that a fun start?)

The story goes, the original MASONS were the sect trained to use the powers of knowledge and math to build the house of the gods... the pyramids. This is why you see pyramids on Masonic stuff. And why so much Masonic stuff related to actual masonry; i.e., building tools; the sextant, compass, aprons, etc. They were originally builders of sacred places.

The secrets of these original Masons were learned by the Knights Templar during the crusades. The Europeans, during this time period, were well behind the Arabs in terms of science, medicine, etc. The Templars befriended many Arab potentates while traveling in the Middle East and became fond of the mystical arts, especially as they pertained to the stories of the Old Testament. The secrets of the Jewish Masons who had helped build the pyramids were especially precious to them, and they worked elements of those stories into their own organizations' rites.

The Templars amassed great wealth during the crusades as guardians of caravans, bankers (they invented personal checking!) and traders.

But in 1305, Philip the Fair, King of France, set about to obtain control of the Knights Templars. They had been accountable only to the Catholic Church. To end this, and increase his own wealth, Philip ousted them, essentially. Jacques DeMolay (the last Grand Master of the Templars), along with hundreds of others, was imprisoned and tortured for seven years. Philip eventually managed to force Pope Clement to condemn the Templars. Their wealth and property were confiscated and given to the French King.

Even under torture, DeMolay refused to disclose the location of the funds of the Order and he refused to betray his comrades. He was eventually burned to death, along with several other Templars. His last words were curses of the King and the Pope, both of whom died within the year. The Order was, needless to say, disbanded.

But their secret trove of treasure was never found! And some say that the order went underground, only to surface, centuries later, as the Masons. A semi-secret society whose monotheistic code was friendly to all the major Abrahamic religions; Christianity, Judaism and Islam. A society with roots in Arabic/Middle Eastern mysticism. A society whose members are affiliated with the sciences, logic and government by popular rule, rather than that of church or royalty... the two kinds of power that brought down (cue spooky music) the Templars.

It is said, for example, that when Louis XVI was beheaded -- in a revolution spurred by Masons -- many in the crowd shouted, "Jacque DeMolay you are revenged!"

The youth-arm of the modern Masons is called? Yep. DeMolay. Check it out.

So... how much of this is true? How much fable? How much conspiracy theory? Well, some point out that the heirs of the Templars -- the Masons -- have their pictures on the most powerful money of the most powerful country in the world.

Pyramids to green-backs. What a long, strange trip.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: May 3, 2006 )

As usual I joined this discussion late, but I have read all of the comments as well as the posts. First of, the Artical was thought provoking to say the least. The discussion that insued was of an intellectual level that is much more advanced then any found around here. I am a student in Louisiana and am very used to defending the Christian right to practice their beliefs, even though God and I are not quite as close as an "intimate relasionship". I have found that for the most part those that speak out on such topics can hardly be worthy of the floor, much less the term scholar. For once I actually learned something instead of dipersing flimsy arguments. I bow down in acknowledge ment of my ignorance of this subject. I thank you for allowing me to glean some knowledge. Also, thank you for the post. Also, andyhavens, thank you for being a calm head. Unfortunate as this may be, there are altogether a very short supply of you out there. Follow your God, or follow your heart, but never follow your neighbor, for the cliff is the next step if you do.

( Posted by: crackpotpoet [Member] On: May 5, 2006 )

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