What the recent gay marriage legalisation in the United States has brought about is the rekindling of the eternal faith vs the state debate.
Most religious people, especially those from the Abrahamic religions, love to say that they deserve a sort of special treatment because their worldview is what has shaped our societies. They like to tell us that without their bible and their religion we would have devoured each other to oblivion, and that religion is the only thing that has reined in man’s excesses.
Ignoring the inconvenient fact that a great deal of man’s worst wars and persecutions have been in the name of God, that worldview still remains factually incoherent. The bible is not some great book of moral teachings.
Whilst the Old Testament is possibly the most repugnant book ever written, Leviticus and Deuteronomy definitely are.
So whenever someone tells you our morality comes from Judeo-Christian values, they are selling you a load of bollocks. To demonstrate that, I am going to take the most often held up document of morality, the Ten Commandments, and prove that they scarcely guide our lives.
I would prove to you that they barely guide the lives of Christians themselves, so there is no way that we derive our morality and laws from them.
I present to you, the not so moral Ten Commandments.
Did you know…
Only three of the Ten Commandments are actually codified into laws by societies today… ‘thou shalt not steal’, ‘thou shalt not kill’, and ‘thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour’ (perjury)
The first three commandments just deal with God belligerently stating his supremacy and pettiness. “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me” He also said not to make any statues to worship, and not to take his name in vain.
So these are just God going “hey folks, I’m your God. I love you, but I’m also very jealous. You look at another God wrong, make a statue to worship, even say my name at the wrong time: and you’re so screwed”
That’s three of the Ten Commandments, 30%, spent telling us about God and his jealousy and pettiness. I am not seeing the moral lessons here that we have inculcated into our societies?
Let’s get to the rest. Keep the Sabbath, not a LAW.
Honour they father and mother, not a LAW. Basic commonsense, determined by how they treat you- of course.
Don’t commit adultery, not a LAW. How else do you explain the millions who get cuckolded every damn year?
And my favourite, the one commandment that managed to condense slavery, and male chauvinism, whilst grouping the women with the slaves and ‘thy neighbour’s A$$’: all in one ‘NOT A LAW’ commandment.
“Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s house. Thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his a$$, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s”
In there is a tacit approval of slavery (don’t covet the man or maidservants), and the worst sort of male chauvinism. You’ll notice everything in that commandment refers to your neighbour’s properties, which includes his slaves, his a$$ (donkey), and his wife!
So it’s actually an insult to the human intellect and the progress we’ve made when anyone says this is the foundation of our morality and laws. It is so not.
As I often say, people are good not because of, but in spite of their religious beliefs. We are good people because we most times ignore what our holy books tell us.
If you think I’m lying, check out the punishments for breaking some of the commandments, as stated out in the bible, and see who follows those anymore.
‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord; whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death’. (Exodus 35:2) Nobody keeps the Sabbath law anymore except Jews, and nobody kills anybody for working on the Sabbath.
‘And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10), Yeah right. Staunch Christians, even pastors, commit adultery all the time. If you cannot keep to the general laws, at least respect the Ten Commandments. Nobody does, and nobody gets put to death for it.
Those first three commandments I mentioned, about not worshipping other gods and not taking the lord’s name in vain, what does God say about those?
“I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”
Damn God, why so prickly. Still, the Muslims, Hindus, any other religion basically, and the Catholics break these all the time. Where’s the four generation punishments man?
And do not get me started on saying the name in vain thing…it’s pretty much fashionable at this point.
‘Honour thy father and mother’, I do not know the punishment to that. I do know however, many Christians who revel in not doing so. In some circumstances justified, in others not so much.
What am I saying here? Only three of these 10 are real laws. The rest are guidelines that Christians themselves do not particularly follow, as shown above. So if no one follows them, and the punishments prescribed for them are also not followed, where is the justification for saying they inform or guide society’s moralities?
If these were the most important list of ten laws ever given, why are there actually so few laws in them? If God is eternal, he should have known 2,000 years later; we would discover virtues like free speech and libertarianism and not spend his first three laws outlawing freedom of speech and association.
Also, there’s no space for some of the other basic human laws that if you asked a three year old today, they would tell you. There’s no space for don’t torture, or don’t hurt you children, or don’t oppress those who are different from you.
There can be no set of ten laws further from human society and morality than the Ten Commandments. They have as much to do with our current setup of laws and morality as ancient Greek paganism- probably even less.