Thursday, May 19, 2011

Robert S. Becker: Rightwing Ten Commandments To Serve Looming Theocracy

Moses Kaput -- Rightwing Ten Commandments To Serve Looming Theocracy
by Robert S. Becker article link
May 18, 2011 | OpEdNews

Have you read all original "Ten" Commandments lately? Check out Wikipedia for true revelation, namely notions that didn't make it. Why do religious extremists want to post outmoded Mosaic Law on every courthouse and abortion clinic? As law now embodies what matters -- nix on murder, theft, and bearing false witness (perjury), Moses' defunct inscriptions barely suit fringe manias any better than what remains of our secular culture.

What sort of "commandment" is "I am the Lord thy God"? Can belief be commanded? How relevant are defanged prohibitions against taking the Lord's name in vain? Or worshipping idols (American or otherwise), forgetting the Sabbath, or coveting "your neighbor's ox, donkey, male or female slave." That last one works for me. Doesn't honoring parental units (what, for procreating?) go along with positive parenting?

Why not throw in punishing abortion with hanging? Or gay marriage with stoning? More noteworthy by omission are compelling Judaic-Christian wisdom: Jesus' "Love thy enemy," or "Love thy neighbor as thyself" or "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Those compassionate values puncture the heart-deficient evangelicals who mouth distinctively unfeeling, unchristian meanness -- withhold charity, punish the sick, leave hungry outcasts to starve.

Commandments for a Theocratic Age

Time for philosopher-kings to "modernize" the Good Book, especially before wingnuts take over, plastering bad dogma over every door. My task today, however, isn't religious but political -- to detail working fringe dictums that drive extremism today -- presaging a theocratic, fundamentalist government.

1) Thou shalt exalt the Christian God above all pretend deities, for Jesus sacrificed to start the conveyer belt for faithful souls.

My Commentary: Doubters and dissenters of the True Faith, even nice pagans, won't make the chosen cut; as per W., "if you're not with us, you're against us," and presumably in league with the devil. The Rapture rap specifies the next cosmic war depends on Jews (what, again!) driving out infidels from the Holy Land. And non-converters will be crushed by all-powerful Rapture, certainly playing favorites. Think of the cable news coverage.

2) Thou shalt honor the True Faith -- fundamentalist, charismatic, Reconstuctionist Protestantism -- perfectly articulated, praise the Lord, in American English 2000 years A.D.

Commentary: Mystery upon mystery for obsessed fundamentalism has an infinitude of faces and nomenclature: Dominionism, Dominion Theology, conservative Pentecostal (assorted), Charismatic-Foursquare Gospel, Neo-Calvinism, Christian Reconstruction, Christian Patriotism, Theocratic Dominionism, Kingdom Now theology, Christian Nationalism and Theonomy (install Old Testament rules), among others. Through a glass darkly, for sure.

3) Thou shalt exalt like-minded evangelicals as superior, chosen beings. For the elect know original sin and their own -- rewarded with both eternal life in heaven and divine authority to impose their belief system on earth.

Commentary: Circular logic is key to literalist faith -- the missionary exalts depravity in order to transcend it, thus born-again to salvation. Certainly, no doubt about their personal election proves them and their creed universally correct. Not only are the self-anointed saved superior to the unsaved, hence God's favorites, doubters must serve the thrall of the netherworld. White, after all, is obviously not black, thus circular logic rules our most unified voting block.

4) Thou shall exalt America as the most exceptional nation on earth, especially after Christian Europeans took their destined place. Thus, God put Anglos in charge, just like He placed man above plants, animals, and underground oil reserves.

Commentary: Perhaps all races are equal, in theory, but damned if some aren't more equal than others. Doesn't history testify to white ascendancy, especially over the important countries with the most valued resources? Proof's in the pudding -- all those white, rural, small-down, socially conservative enclaves full of Sunday churchgoers. Look, if non-believers could understand the mystery of why elites are perpetually blessed, what would set apart the faithful? Or their denominations' fundraising?

5) Thou shalt exalt free market capitalism, and let no socialist assert anything incompatible between the purity of Christianity and scope of corporate triumphalism.

Commentary: Two sides, same coin, self-evident truth. Rightwing scholars brag how Christianity answers precisely to immutable economics of Milton Friedman (what, another Jewish prophet?). Which says a great deal methinks about both paradigms. The Bible stands foursquare alongside powerful CEOs, endorsing profitability and private property, deregulation and low taxes, trickle down economics, and domination of the earth by Christians. Q.E.D.

6) Thou shalt exalt the most moralistic, impassioned televangelists, for they are the true messengers of God. Ye shall know them by the self-declared intensity of their faith -- for faith alone underscores blessedness.

Commentary: Messengers of the Lord receive direct communication from on high, thus confidently preaching God's will. True ministers don't need Vatican-like hierarchies or respect for history to tell them what goodness is, only a secret chat with the Lord. Of course, one needs ways to tell true from false preachers, the latter revealed as sexual deviants sent by God to test the faithful. Beware all philanderers who covet their neighbor's ass.

7) Thou shalt revere the Holy Bible as literally true and incapable of error -- more infallible than any pope on matters of faith and doctrine.

Commentary: Truly, the task of the true pilgrim is formidable: to unearth the one right path whose denomination understands the Bible in its holiest form. While new prophets pop up every new moon, at least evangelicals no longer have to depend on idolatrous papists from zealots called "the whore of Rome." Still to be resolved, however, is one small linguistic issue -- how perfect, incorruptible Biblical literalism survives, translated from desert scrawls and Egyptian tongues to Aramaic, then Greek, Latin, and Arabic, before culminating in modern English, itself evolving for centuries? So many mysteries, so little time.

8) Thou shalt never abort babies, but attacks on abortion clinics and doctors answer to God's plan. Because the end (life) justifies the means, doing away with baby killers is excluded from the prohibition against murder.

Commentary: Unborn babies are so holy that capital punishment suits adults only, especially Islamic terrorists, serial murderers, government whistleblowers, or those practicing unclean sex. As marriage is made in heaven, offspring of one man and one woman serve the big divine plan -- more true believers. Indeed, not reproducing undermines the order to "be fruitful and multiply" (but not "gay fruity").

9) Thou shalt spend six days taming the beast of government, then one day making up for not serving the poor, sick and needy.

Commentary: Thou shall never apologize or admit error -- except when betraying Saint Ronald Reagan. Thou shall not question ideological leaders, especially from the holier-than-thou Republican Party. Thou shall deny global warming, and human impact, and any Democrat named Al Gore. Thou shall willingly pay tithes for Pentagon militarism, anti-terrorism, police, and border guards. Thou shall salute the Flag and anthem, but never Planned Parenthood, Darwin, or any sneaky president with two (count 'em) birth certificates.

10) Thou shalt honor the total freedom of Biblical morality, especially on states rights, marriage and the dominance of the male. As the Father governs Heaven, let men head the household, control budgets and politics, rule over inferior females and children underfoot.

Commentary: Parental, Old-Time religion hasn't survived for nothing. By fiat, states rights belongs to each decentralized tribe so local majorities shall nullify any federal stature, secede and/or rejoin at will. Isn't freedom about competing forces and healthy dynamism? As our Founders prove, indisputably, our enduring national triumphalism depends on fundamentalist Christian values and leaders.

Conclusion: This is no idle task, just for entertainment. Formalizing suitable modern commandments best assures God stays on our side, not just with happy thoughts and good intentions but infinite power. Do not fearsome enemies rear at every turn? Halleluiah, praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition -- what better ally against Iran, China, Pakistan and North Korea, none of which happen to be Christian? Now that's Very interesting.

Robert S. Becker: Educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English) Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, high end audio company from '80 to '92. From '92-02 he did marketing consulting & writing; since 2002, he scribbles on politics and culture, looking for the wit in the shadows.

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