Answer me one simple question

This is the last day for the Blog Against Theocracy blogswarm, and I’ve finally figured out what I wanted to say. I know I can’t say it without pissing off a lot of people, but I hope I can at least make myself understood.

I have no problem with people of faith who cherry-pick their beliefs. These are folks who adhere to the higher moral and ethical precepts of their religions, and who choose to ignore the crazy stuff. I’m a cherry-picker myself, as I have stated. Shorter version of that post:

. . . the Golden Rule is everything. We don’t need anything else.

And if each one of us could take that to heart and jettison all the other “articles of faith” (note, please, that you don’t even need faith to adopt the Golden Rule), the world would be a far better place.

So — what’s the obvious problem with theocracy? Theocrats aren’t cherry-pickers. They believe it all. Oh, they may not want to bring back the blood sacrifices of the Old Testament, but are they literalists otherwise? You betcha. And that’s a problem, because some of those beliefs are mighty suspect.

I’m not even talking about the obscure stuff, like combing through Leviticus to find justification for one’s hatred of gays. I’m talking about big league, central-tenet-of-faith stuff — like Passover, for instance. Passover is key to both Judaism and Christianity. Everyone knows the story: the Hebrews are enslaved in Egypt*, God directs Moses and Aaron to free the Hebrews, Pharoah resists, God punishes Pharoah and his people with ten plagues, the last of which is the Death of the Firstborn, in which the Angel of Death kills all firstborn Egyptians but spares the Hebrews. Moses and Aaron have instructed their people to mark their doors with lamb’s blood so that the Angel of Death will “pass over” those homes. Hence the name.

Yes, most folks know this story, but who ever bothers to question it?

I will, and I’ll do it with typical Jewish panache:

God kills all the firstborn Egyptians, babies to ancients, guilty and innocent alike. And this is a good thing?

It gets worse, in my opinion. Not only does God kill the innocents, he makes the Hebrews complicit in his crime. Do any of the Hebrews warn the Egyptians? No. Do any of them argue with God to spare the Egyptians — as their patriarch Abraham once did on behalf of the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah? No.

Make no mistake, Passover is a big deal. Jewish children are taught to define themselves by this story. Easter, both in its substance (the Last Supper is the Passover seder) and its symbolism (echoing the themes of sacrifice and salvation) hinges on Passover. If I were a Christian, I would be complaining about the immorality of God guiding Jesus down a suicidal path; for that matter, isn’t God ultimately responsible for Herod’s slaughter of the innocents?

But I’m not Christian, so I’ll stick to Passover. I’ve tried to find some sort of moral justification for the tenth plague, I really have. But how do you make sense of something which is, on its face, so appalling? By obfuscation.

For example, from aish.com:

The plagues were not administered as a punishment; they challenged Egyptian society to make moral changes. They called on the Egyptians to recognize that their social system was not working; that the way to achieve security was not by enslaving and persecuting the Jewish people. They were a message to Pharaoh and his people: ‘recognize the existence of a higher justice.’

If this logic weren’t questionable enough, the author goes on to compare Saddam Hussein with Pharoah. ‘Nuff said.

This next author at least recognizes the moral dilemma, but fails to explain it in any satisfactory fashion:

And that is perhaps the most difficult aspect in both the Passover and Easter stories: the sacrifice of the innocent.

And note, in both stories, it is God’s will that this should happen. Yes, God’s will. In the Easter story, Jesus is a the willing sacrifice. In the Passover story, the sacrifice is not voluntary, it is God’s will, “The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.” (Ex 11:10).

As the Israelites sat down to eat the Passover meal, it was the evening of the night on which the angel of death would kill the first born of the Egyptians. When I sit down to the Seder’s I attend this week, I will think of that as I prepare to eat the meal. And I will think of it as I spill drops of wine to acknowledge the tragedy of the ancient Egyptians; death is about to come upon their households. And it is God’s will that it be so.

And so there is a somber and morally complex message in both of these stories. Sacrifice is sometimes the will of God. It is sometimes the will of nature. It is sometimes a necessity of life.

The will of God? The will of nature? A necessity of life?

Do you see that this is no small point? An acceptance of sacrifice as a necessity underlies our nation’s (and other nation’s) willingness to sacrifice our children to a belief. Sometimes not even a belief — who among you thinks Bush’s war on Iraq had anything to do with high-minded beliefs?

The problem with theocracy is not that we would live in a Golden Rule society. Nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t even mind living in a Christian theocracy if our leaders restricted themselves to Jesus’ teachings of love and caring for one’s fellow human. Those teachings aren’t the problem.

The trouble with theocracy is that there are tenets of faith which are, plain and simple, immoral.

***

When polled, most Americans say they would be uncomfortable electing an atheist President. I’m uncomfortable electing a man (or woman) of faith.

Since I won’t get an atheist candidate any time soon, I guess I’ll settle for the non-crackpot option.

D.

*There is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the Exodus story. Nor, for that matter, is Herod’s slaughter of the innocents a matter of historical record. But that’s neither here nor there. By definition, people of faith don’t require historical or archaeological evidence to help them believe.

The point is the symbolism of the story, and the fact it is accepted by Jews and Christians with so little scrutiny.

33 Comments

  1. Corn Dog says:

    “Since I won’t get an atheist candidate any time soon, I guess I’ll settle for the non-crackpot option.” Lol. Good luck on that one. I think what make them want that office also makes them a crackpot.

  2. microsoar says:

    In an uncharacteristically* serious tone, I’ve read the post and followed the links while nodding in a way that presumably means I pretty much agree with you, Doug.

    Absolute, unquestioning fundamentalist faith remains a total mystery to me. Might as well tell me to believe there’s a flying saucer parked over the next hill and to take your word for it.

    btw: I’m largely bemused by your Rabbi. How is it possible to be a Jewish atheist or agnostic? Seriously. Really.

    *That’s one seriously long word, but I haven’t been able to work antidisestablishmentarianism into conversation yet.
    ** Damn it, couldn’t stay serious. Sorry Dog.

  3. Balls says:

    Americans don’t want to sacrifice their children; they want to sacrifice other people’s children. So, we kill Iraqi children and there is relatively little complaint in the U.S. Certainly, there was little outcry in 1993 when Bill Clinton bombed Iraqi power plants and fouled their water supply. About two million Iraqis died.

    For that matter, nobody seems to care very much about the rising number of U.S. military casualties. Remember how CNN was hyping the 2000th casualty? The ranks of the military are not filled by the middle and upper classes. The sacrifice of the children of the poor seem to be shrugged off by the rest of America.

  4. Walnut says:

    CD, I don’t think they’re ALL crackpots. Hence the John Edwards poster up at the right.

    Microsoar, I recall trying to find the book written by the atheist rabbi. I wasn’t successful. I wonder if my rabbi got the name wrong?

    And is ‘Dog’ payback for Microsaur? :)

  5. shaina says:

    :-( you have a point…i guess i never thought about it like that. hm.
    regarding jewish atheists–have i told you before that here at UMass we have a jewish atheist group? they’re called JAZZ–jewish athiest ztudents at the zoo :-) they get together and talk and play games sometimes. hehe.

  6. Walnut says:

    Yup, I figured you’d be in the “pissed off” faction :)

    JAZZ, eh? I am so there. To me, Judaism is an ethical system. The OT God needs anger management.

  7. To me, Judaism is an ethical system.

    Then you’re familiar with these fine folks, I hope?

  8. Lyvvie says:

    I’m of the opinion that I won’t take part in any religion that can’t follow the ten commandments. I mean they’re pretty simple rules to live by. So how can any cleric, pope, minister or rabbi or whatever say it’s ok to kill someone? Wage wars? Ask them for forgiveness, do hail Mary and your sin is erased…huh? I don’t like the word of man and I don’t trust it either.(I thought this as a kid in Sunday School – way, way before Da Vinci Code.)

    I was talking with a pal at work last night. Now he is a big mouthed antagonist type who says things deliberately to wind up an evoke a reaction. Which I always give – I’m easy to wind up. So he was talking about his new car, and how he’s going to have it blessed, he’s what I call a superstitious Catholic, But he says this to egg me into a tirade. Eventually we’re shouting at each other and he says

    “You women! It’s all your fault we have lives so hard. Fucking Eve and her Fucking apple. All you women are to blame for this.”

    “If that were true,” I said “then why don’t the Catholics, or any religion, forbid us from eating apples? If it was such a big deal, if it’s such an atrocity then no one should ever eat an apple. Banished from perfection because they ate an apple? Then why the hell are we still eating them? They don’t make us any smarter so no one should have apples. Burn down the orchards to free us all from the temptations of knowledge and disobedience. But do they? Nope. Apple a day they say – what do you think God has to say about that?!”

    He had no answer for it. Evidently I am a freaking psycho. But I still want to know.

  9. Suisan says:

    Well, I guess I pick and choose, because I see the whole “sacrifice of the innocents” theme as an ancient holdover of cultures and religions more ancient than Judaism. It was important to the people at the time, in the same way that rejecting all other gods and refusing to worship graven images was a Big Deal.

    Now? Not so much.

    The sacrifice of Christ never resonated with me as a Christian. Or that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son”, which really makes no sense whatsoever– I want a guy like that loving me?

    There’s another theme in Christianity, that of Christ as King. Again, it doesn’t hit any chords whatsoever, but a lot of cultures really get into that idea. I see it as one of those themes that exist for some folks to pick up on.

    So the idea of sacrificing the innocents doesn’t really affect me at some level. I can’t take the story to be literally true, but it makes for a good parable. As such, there are some parts of the parable which are more important to me than others. Methodists don’t believe that we are eating the body and blood of Christ during the recreation of the Seder dinner, our Communion, but some do. For me, the Easter story ends up being about what Jesus’ followers chose to do with his movement and his words after he died. I truly see the resurrection as a symbol of his life and his words living on through his followers after his death, not as a literal transformation of the flesh. But clearly that’s not a universal view.

    Hope you had a good Seder, Doug.

    Suisan, the Thematic Christian

  10. Walnut says:

    Protected Static: AEU looks great! But it also demonstrates a key principle of memetics: some ideas are more infectious than others. Eternal life, bingo! You win the memetic lottery! But four core principles which are both logical and unassailable? Not sexy enough. Why do I say this? Because there are only two chapters of the AEU on the West Coast. Depressing.

    Lyvvie, even the ten commandments are overly elaborate and outdated, IMO. The first commandment isn’t even a commandment (see the wiki for the text): “I am the Lord thy God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” The next four are repetitious — all about not dissing God. The Noahide laws are a little easier to get behind, IMO. But the Golden Rule is simplest of all and subsumes the rest.

    As for the apple, just as it doesn’t say “snake” in Genesis, neither does it say “apple.” It’s the fruit of the Tree of Wisdom. And that guy was an asshole who wasn’t worthy of your emotional expenditure. Screw him. Figuratively, not literally.

    Suisan, you summarize very well the problems I’ve always had with Christianity. I had a friend in high school who insisted that if I would only read the Gospels, I would see the light and convert. Well, I read the Gospels, and nearly everything aside from the Sermon on the Mount left me underwhelmed. If one culled the good stuff, you had a solid ethical system (and I’ve written here about Thomas Jefferson’s version of the New Testament — that is precisely what Jefferson did), but there was too much there that left me scratching my head.

    No seder here. Our local temple has one every year, and they’re good people. I enjoy seeing them. But my family has zero interest, and I don’t like leaving them behind.

  11. Walnut says:

    Apropos of nothing, read Cintra Wilson’s stupendous rant on new White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. And don’t skip the comments. No one rants like Cintra.

  12. shaina says:

    i like suisan’s comment. it makes a lot of sense! thanks, suisan, for saying what i was thinking 😛

  13. Walnut says:

    This is from one of my readers (by permission), who asked that I post anonymously:

    I didn’t want to post this on your blog, I don’t have the energy for a religious controversy right now, but the main thing that bothers me about most of the Christian groups, especially the damn Jehovah’s Witnesses, is the gleeful anticipation of armageddon. It’s like they’re planning the end-all by-invitation-only sleepover/birthday party/cookout and it’s all gonna be GRAND!

    Okay, fine, sure, you might be one of the ‘lucky ones,’ but last time I did the math, the numbers of those spared are to be but a teeny fraction of the Christian faith, let alone the whole world. How can anyone be positive they’ll be sprouting wings instead of getting obliterated? And, what kind of person eagerly awaits the day when BILLIONS of people die?

    I find the whole concept of praying for mass slaughter to be obscene, especially when its viewed like a party favor. Pick me, pick me! And are these godly folks doing anything to make the world a better place? To maybe try to stop it from happening? Nope, they keep on planning their little party as if they alone handed the ‘it list’ to the bouncer at the door and snigger about going nanner nanner nanner, I’m invited and you can’t come!

    FWIW, I think the world will keep on keeping on in one fashion or another. The human race is too inventive, ruthless, and adaptable to just roll over and die, regardless of what catastrophes we create for ourselves. It’s that sick grin I hate, the certainty that they’re right and billions of other human beings are wrong, that their greedy little soul is worth more than that of some half-naked kid in the Amazon jungles who’s never even heard of Jesus Christ, or an atheist doctor trying to stop AIDS in Africa, or even some hard working widow of another faith working her ass to nothing to feed her three kids.

    Screw that. I believe God wants people to play nice and not purposely screw things up or break them. I believe in the golden rule too, Doug, and that all the religious mumbo-jumbo across pretty much all faiths comes down to the same thing parents tell their little kids when they go to a friend’s house: Play nice. Be considerate. Don’t break stuff.

    Mostly, though, it’s Play Nice, and so many religions don’t seem to get that.

    Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest. :)

  14. …there are only two chapters of the AEU on the West Coast. Depressing.

    Three. But yeah… There used to be a Bay Area organization at one point, and I’m surprised that there isn’t one in Portland.

    To be fair, I think a lot of that has to do with the organization’s origins as much as the power of their ideas. The organization was founded by liberal German (or German-speaking) Jews . For all their talk about the Ethical Culture movement drawing upon Jewish and Christian ethical traditions, the initial members of were almost exclusively Jewish. And look at the initial cities – they’re ones with large German populations.

    Much of the stagnancy (if not decline) of the organization probably has to do with the emergence of Liberal Judaism and the decline of ethnically-identified Jewish communities from the 1960s onward. Couple that with the historical reluctance of Jews to proselytize, and, well… We only knew about them because they performed my Father-in-law’s second marriage ceremony back in the 70s (my wife is about as much of a Red-diaper baby as they get).

  15. Walnut says:

    How unfortunate! And now I have to google “Liberal Judaism” (yeah, there’s a lot I don’t know, I admit it . . .)

  16. Thorne says:

    Walnuts!!! (I got that right, this time!!!) This was a great article, but the comments and your continued interaction with them really made it for me. I especially love your anonymous friend’s rant. Although I’ve never been (even by the furthest stretch of the imagination) a christian, I have to admit that the whole idea of the rapture and Armageddon has always appealed to me in a perverted sort of way. I dunno… maybe I read too much survivor type science fiction as a kid. Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein. I always kinda wished those rapturous freaks would disappear, body and all (so we “left behind”-ers wouldn’t have to deal with the bodies and general clean up.) One particularly vehement raptureist once informed me that I specifically, would be in the direct employ of satan in the endtimes. As a tattoo artist, I would be in high demand to mark everyone with the number of the beast. Ha-ha. Now, that’s what I call job security!!! Really, though… all seriousness aside. I think it might be kinda cool to rebuild without all those religious zealots. Who knows what we might achieve in the aftermath of a global abortion. I think Big Mama (aka Mother earth) is getting pretty tired of this crap, anyway. I mean; check out the bees.

  17. Walnut says:

    . . . the aftermath of a global abortion.

    Somehow, I don’t think they think of it that way.

    SO — what was your favorite survivor SF — Earth Abides? Erewhon? Lucifer’s Hammer? Yeah, I always loved that stuff, too. Thanks for coming back, Thorne!

  18. Marianne McA says:

    Just for the fun of arguing the case for the opposition – if you knew death was 100% survivable, and knew also that people who had died were happy and perfect and fulfilled in ways unimaginable to the undead – would killing babies be a bad thing?

    I suppose what I’m wondering is would the tenth plague look the same from God’s point of view?

  19. Walnut says:

    Just for the fun? Talk about devil’s advocacy.

    You make a good point; but it’s not God’s point of view we have to worry about, but the point of view of people like George W. Bush, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and William Donohue which should scare us, for they truly believe they are channeling God’s will. If they think this way, especially Bush, then our children and children in Iran, Iraq, etc., are screwed.

  20. Lynda says:

    I also had a difficult time figuring out exactly what I wanted to say. It even looks as if your thought process was much more focused than mine. Still, I have a quote from Dave Barry that goes well with yours: “The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.”

    Thanks for letting me peek under your hood to see how the engine runs.

  21. Marianne McA says:

    Don’t know enough about American politics to say anything useful. Though I will point out that the UK is fairly secular, and we’re at war with Iraq as well.

    As for politicians who are convinced that they’re channelling God’s will – we’re just about to get the Rev. Ian Paisley as First Minister in N.Ireland. Lucky us.

  22. JollyRoger says:

    I see an awful lot of Jesusistanis trying to cherry pick what they like from both testaments. And this is normally to justify some hatred or other.

    I have no problem with what a person believes, but I have an implacable suspicion of any and all organized religion. Too often religion is a mutual-support club for bigots and haters of all stripes.

  23. Marianne McA says:

    Thinking about the thread further, my head started to spin. Accepting the premise that a theocratic state is a bad thing: how do you rate a politician like Paisley in terms of this discussion? He definitely thinks he’s doing the Lord’s will, but against that his defining political policy has been the rejection of integration into a theocratic state. Hero or villain?

  24. Walnut says:

    Hi JollyRoger! Welcome aboard.

    Marianne, I think there’s a difference between “doing the Lord’s will” (which could be a good thing, after all, depending upon that person’s interpretation of “the Lord’s will”) and CHANNELING God’s will, meaning the person defines their wishes as consistent with God’s will by definition. “If I think it’s a good thing, it’s because God has instructed me thus.” That’s Bush. The former (“doing the Lord’s will”) is not necessarily bad, although it could be bad depending upon one’s cherrypicking (witch hunt, anyone? Thou shalt not suffer . . .) The latter is delusional.

  25. Thorne says:

    Lucifer’s Hammer, definitely. But I think I’m remembering Earth Abides, as well. I really Love David Brin’s Earth. It’s not really survivor type, more of a very acute speculative look at what he terms as “the best possible future [he] can imagine”. He’s got a great blog, too. Stop by and see me sometime, big boy!! LOL. You might get a chuckle out of my last BAT post.

  26. Walnut says:

    On my way, Thorne. If for no other reason than to find out what BAT means.

  27. […] 127) Balls and Walnuts: “Not only does God kill the innocents, he makes the Hebrews complicit in his crime. Do any of the Hebrews warn the Egyptians? No. Do any of them argue with God to spare the Egyptians — as their patriarch Abraham once did on behalf of the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah? No. … An acceptance of sacrifice as a necessity underlies our nation’s (and other nation’s) willingness to sacrifice our children to a belief. Sometimes not even a belief — who among you thinks Bush’s war on Iraq had anything to do with high-minded beliefs? The problem with theocracy is not that we would live in a Golden Rule society. Nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t even mind living in a Christian theocracy if our leaders restricted themselves to Jesus’ teachings of love and caring for one’s fellow human. Those teachings aren’t the problem. The trouble with theocracy is that there are tenets of faith which are, plain and simple, immoral.” […]

  28. tom cady says:

    signpost:
    it looked so easy, our heritage beckoned
    the nation was, after all, christian
    and so they began their crusade marching toward theocracy
    and as they plodded the children wailed “are we there yet?”
    and god whispered back “you’re going the wrong way”

  29. karen says:

    I just happened upon this site while looking for some medical information. I find these comments interesting. I have so many things I want to say but don’t know where to begin. First of all I am not very educated but still have opinions. I may not say this with the right words but hope you can figure out what I am trying to say. With so much hatered ( which I don’t understand ) for the Jews and what they have gone through in Germany isn’t it amazing they have a state and manJews from all over the world are returning to the Land God gave them (Israel). Isn’t it amazing that most of their neighbors hate them and want to destroy them. They don’t have much land and in the bible God called it there land. I can’t help but wonder what all this means. I can’t help but believe what I have heard being said by others that it has something to do with Issac and Ishmael? I also am like many who can’t make since out of alot of things in the bible but it says that his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. To think that all the stuff going on seems to be over such a small piece of land and people really makes me wonder if we aren’t in the last days. Would like to here your comments. thanks, karen

    Another thought how could we have life like we do as complex as life is without a creator?

  30. Walnut says:

    Hi, Karen. Regarding the Middle East mess, people have fallen into a trap of circular reasoning. Chaos and bloodshed rule the land so the end times must be near. (Never mind that chaos and bloodshed have ruled the land since the Crusades.) Armageddon-thinking can then be used to justify even more bloodshed in the region (witness the Administration’s burning desire to go to war with Iran). If we’re not careful, Revelations will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I doubt there is anything I can say to set you free from a mythology which you’ve grown up with, and live and breathe as an adult. For me, it took a course in cultural anthropology to shake me up and make me realize the insanity of human belief. All I can tell you is this: what I have expressed in this blog post took me a good forty years to realize. The Golden Rule is the only thing we need in order to coexist in peace; God may be good, if He exists, but the concept of God and the belief in God cause far more harm than good.

    Does the Middle East turmoil have anything to do with Isaac and Ishmael? Yes and no. Yes, because many fundamentalists (Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike) believe in the literal truth of the story. No, because in fact the story is myth and is being used by the respective parties to justify bloodshed on the grand scale, to murder their brothers for the sake of a belief and to make that murder “holy” and not base.

    If you are a powerful ruler and you want to make a grab for land and resources, how best do you mobilize your armies? Appeals to Nationalism work at times (see Nazi Germany), but appeals to religious inevitability work even more commonly. This land is ours because God gave it to us. Those people are bad because they have been our mortal enemies for thousands of years. Try, instead, to get your armies excited over the thought of resources and land — wealth in which they will not share — and see how far you get.

    I fear that Christian “End Times” thinking is fully capable of bringing on the End Times. Christian Fundamentalists are well on their way to controlling the US military. Learn more here.

    As for your last question, as painful or unbelievable as this might be for you to hear (depending upon your upbringing and what you have been taught in life thus far), evolution does account for complexity. A college intro biology course would sort this out for you (not a high school level course, since those generally lack much discussion of evolution) but I really can’t begin to do justice to the topic here.

  31. […] Isaac and Ishmael By Walnut My old post from Blog Against Theocracy Day still generates interesting comments: I have so many things I want to say but don’t know where to begin. First of all I am not very educated but still have opinions. I may not say this with the right words but hope you can figure out what I am trying to say. With so much hatered (which I don’t understand ) for the Jews and what they have gone through in Germany isn’t it amazing they have a state and manJews from all over the world are returning to the Land God gave them (Israel). Isn’t it amazing that most of their neighbors hate them and want to destroy them. They don’t have much land and in the bible God called it there land. I can’t help but wonder what all this means. I can’t help but believe what I have heard being said by others that it has something to do with Issac and Ishmael? I also am like many who can’t make since out of alot of things in the bible but it says that his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. To think that all the stuff going on seems to be over such a small piece of land and people really makes me wonder if we aren’t in the last days. Would like to here your comments. thanks, karen […]

  32. karen says:

    Thanks for you answers again I found it very interesting. I went to the site you mentioned
    (Christian Fundamentalists are well on their way to controlling the US military. Learn more here.) I haven’t heard of any of this before. I grew up in a home that believed in God but didn’t go to church and didn’t read the bible not sure we even had one. I also had an Aunt that took me to church and is a very strong Christian. I have always wanted to know more about God and life. I have studied with Jehovah Witnesses and many things they said made sence to me. Like Christmas wasn’t Christ’s birthday. I went to a pentecostal church for awhile and really enjoyed the worship and learnt alot from them. I watch God’s Learning Channel and have learnt a lot there as well. I really want to know the truth.

    What really hurt is where I read (During a football game, an upperclassman reportedly asked, “How does it make you feel to know that you killed Jesus Christ?”).
    If you read the scriptures it was only a small group that hated him. They managed to have him put to death and if we are to believe the way we have been taught that was God’s will that he die for our sins, he was the sacrific, no more lambs to be sacrificed. After hearing more from God’s learning Channel I wonder how far off many christian’s are. We say we believe in the 10 commandments but how many keep the Sabbath? It is one of the commandments, not suggestions, and not just for the Jewish People. And in case people don’t know Jesus was a Jew.

    I agree we should love our neighbor. I would love to live by thou shall not kill. I was really big on that growing up and thought it was wrong to kill someone, but sometimes you have no choice. I wonder how many Jews would be alive today if they had been able to of fought back instead of being slaughtered like animals. I must admit I wonder where God was when all that happened. I wonder how many cried out to him in their time of trouble and how many he saved. I have heard so many cases of people calling out to God and he has saved them in their time of trouble.

    I like to think I have an open mind but to tell you the truth I think we are all brain washed to what we believe or don’t believe.

    Just my thoughts for the day. Again I enjoy reading different peoples thoughts on things.

    Have a great day, karen

  33. […] Here’s a linkto Doug’s original story.  It was a blog against theocracy post, and I rather agree with Doug’s view that people like George W. are completely insane and more than likely don’t have an inside track on the mind of God.  And just for the record, I know better than to think I have one, either.  […]