Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sarah Palin and the Ten Commandments

On a recent episode of The O'Reilly Factor, Sarah Palin suggested that the United States "create law based on the God of the Bible and the ten commandments." Since she didn't clarify which version of the Ten Commandments she was referring to, let's first take a look at the Ten Commandments Version 1.0 found in Exodus 34:11–27:

Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.

The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.

Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.

And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.

Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.

Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.

The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
A government based on laws like these almost certainly can't fail! "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk." I guess Palin wants to make cheeseburgers illegal. If that's what she's planning, she'd better come up with a better plan. After all, "When cheeseburgers are outlawed, only outlaws will have cheeseburgers."

OK, let's give Palin the benefit of the doubt and assume she's referring to the Ten Commandments Version 2.1 as found in Exodus 20:3–17. (I'll skip Version 2.0 (Deuteronomy 5:7–21) since it's basically the same as Version 2.1)

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Since this is the God of Israel speaking, it's pretty clear that in order to obey the First Commandment, we're all going to have to convert to Judaism. Since 98% of the U. S. population isn't Jewish, Palin's set herself a rather large goal. C'mon, Sarah! How can you expect everybody to become Jewish when you haven't even converted yourself yet?

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

I guess the Statue of Liberty has got to go. Mount Rushmore too. All those statues of Jesus people kneel in front of and pray to? Not allowed in Sarah Palin's America.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Some people interpret this Commandment to mean "Thou shalt not swear", but that's not what it says. According to God, you can swear all you want as long as you don't take his name in vain. My prediction is that this will be one of those laws that's on the books, but is never enforced. Really, how could you enforce it?

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

"Manservant" and "maidservant" were the King James way of saying "slave." If Palin wants to bring slavery back, she's bitten off more than she can chew. It just isn't going to happen, Sarah. As for not working on the sabbath day, does Palin seriously think that the US economy won't be devasted if all stores were required to be closed every Saturday? Then there's all those difficult questions as to whether flipping on a light switch counts as work or not. Probably be easier to just not make this a law in the first place. Just saying.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

This is all fine and good as long as you happen to have parents worthy of honoring. What about children who've been sexually abused by their parents? Is Palin going to pass a law forcing them be respectful towards their abusers? And again, how does she plan on enforcing such a law?

6. Thou shalt not kill.

Wow. I'm surprised Palin would come out as against the death penalty, but there it is. It's really brave of her to risk losing her support amongst conservatives and take the moral high road like that.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Really? Right after coming out against the death penalty, Palin is suggesting we start stoning adulterers to death. Some consistency would be nice, Sarah.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

This is already a U. S. law! Finally got one.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

People often interpret this commandment to mean "thou shalt not lie." Fortunately, the Ninth Commandment doesn't say that. As long as you're not bearing false witness against your neighbor, you can lie as much as you like! Major loophole.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

There's that uncomfortable assumption that we're all slave holders again. Enough with the slaves already, Sarah. It's just not going to happen. As far as coveting goes, be honest: how many of you have purchased something such as a pair of shoes, a cell phone, or even a car because you saw someone else had one and you wanted it? Making this a law would be the end of America. If we weren't so obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses, the economy would die. Why does Sarah Palin hate American so much?

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