Saturday, July 11, 2015

The "Thou Shalt Nots...." Issue - Again

Back in January 2014 I wrote about an issue involving the display of a Ten Commandments monument in the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol, and an associated request from another body to erect a different monument in the grounds. Things have moved on a tad since then. Oklahoma's Supreme Court has ruled that the Ten Commandments monument be removed from the Capitol grounds.

The Court Has Ruled: Remove The Monument

The Oklahoman [newspaper] editorial board has weighed in on the Ten Commandments monument controversy with a tortuous and illogical argument that the state should now repeal its constitution..........................
Since then the conservative crowd in Oklahoma has been in a complete meltdown, suggesting everything from repealing the constitution to impeaching the judges who made the decision. Both Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Gov. Mary Fallin have publicly pledged their support for keeping the monument at the Capitol. One lawmaker has even made the claim that the ruling “could even lead to churches, synagogues, mosques and other buildings used for religious purposes being unable to receive police and fire protection as they would be directly or indirectly benefiting from public monies.”

Freedom of religion (any religion) is supposed to be one of the USA's most treasured rights. I don't see how this squares with emphasis on just one religion: Christianity. An American citizen of any faith, other than Christianity, or an agnostic or atheist (which I am, depending on the day), could be feeling very much an outsider when all emphasis, all the time is on Christianity. This doesn't seem to me to be in the spirit of the Bill of Rights. How can it be morally right to place a monument to some Christian Bible verses in the grounds of a government building, from which a state government supposedly represents all Oklahomans, of every religious shade, as well as those who are non-religious, equally?

As I've written before, more than once, whenever Oklahoma is in the news, it's always for something embarrassing or tragic. In this case it's the former - I'm at least thankful for that.


Sonny G said...

I understand your feeling of embarrassment. I cringe every time NC is in the news
:( its either some redneck nutbag or Gov Dum-azz . I've seriously considered moving so folks wouldn't hear NC and wonder if I was like what they are seeing or hearing.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ That's exactly how I feel too. Things got even worse in OK when Mary Fallin was elected governor. Ye Gods! Feminists talk about how wonderful it'd be to have more women in positions of power - if Thatcher and Fallin are examples, and then I hope Capital Fs (for feminism) are proud! They seem to think that all women are wonderful and nurturing, and empathetic and warm, as well as being clever, capable and efficient. WRONG! It's as hard to find a female with both kinds of attributes as it is to find a male. (Went a bit off topic there - I blame Fallin))

mike said...

I was hoping the Baphomet statue and whatever design The Church of the Spaghetti Monster desired would be sitting next to the ten commandments there on the OK capitol grounds, but appears for not, with the OK court decision. There have been numerous legal cases regarding the ten commandments:

I find it wonderful that the more the Christian activists push their agenda, the more they lose. Reminds me of the old "Roadrunner" cartoons with Wile E. Coyote:
"Coyote, instead of his species' animal instincts, uses absurdly complex contraptions (sometimes in the manner of Rube Goldberg) and elaborate plans to pursue his prey, which always comically backfire with Wile normally getting injured by the slapstick humor."

Twilight said...

mike ~ LOL! I know - that would have been fun!

Republicans in OK like to make us all look like fools; even Coyotes of the Wild variety are less flippin' ridiculous than this lot. ;-/

If they think "their" people need to be reminded of "The 10" to keep 'em toe-ing the line, then lte 'em erect such monuments in the grounds of every "Christian" church in the state (and there must be tens of thousands of those from elaborate edifices to little roadside shacks or rooms above stores in tiny towns).

In any case, followers of Christ ought to be be paying more attention to HIS suggestions - he didn't use those "Thou shalt nots" he used the positive voice - "LOVE ONE ANOTHER".
That'd be way too difficult though - wouldn't it?

Rant over.

mike (again) said...

Re - "LOVE ONE ANOTHER"...I'd be happy with "live and let live".

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Yes - well, I guess if we did the first (LOA) the second (LALL) would follow naturally. :-) Good song!

LB said...

I agree. It seems the most respectful way to honor our differing beliefs and non-beliefs, as well as *everyone's* right to religious freedom, is to remove the monument.

I also agree about loving one another. Live and let live sounds good to a point, so long as we don't ignore the humanity (and suffering) of those less fortunate than us.

Along these same lines, the first episode of "Million Dollar Listing San Francisco" aired the other night. I doubt if many of the new techie millionaires, real estate agents or property owners have stopped to consider the role they're playing in displacing long-time renters and low and middle income residents, leaving them without decent options.

It's not just the Bay Area. All around the country, many urban areas -places where poorer people have traditionally found work and enjoyed access to affordable services and transportation- are quickly becoming *unaffordable* for all but the very rich.

And the same thing is true for healthcare.

It's hard to actively 'love one another', if we refuse to see and acknowledge what's happening all around us ~ Oklahoma has its share of social and environmental injustices too.:(

LB (again) said...

California is an embarrassment too. Its lack of affordable housing is one example:

California also has the highest poverty rate in the US.

Twilight said...

LB ~ We tend to think of California as all that's wonderful - politically anyway - and that idea must harm the state's true image in a reverse kind of way. It IS all that's wonderful for the multi-millionaire "celebrities" who make the state their home in palatial houses and condos, encroaching ever more widely into more and more areas, raising rents and purchase prices. As you've outlined, that has been at high cost to millions of ordinary people who are squeezed out. This is happening worldwide too I think, to some extent. In London, England it has been nigh on impossible for years for ordinary people to find living space they can afford, without having to undergo a long and very tiring commute to get to work every day, even then homes available at long commutable distance are probably still out of reach of many pockets.

Yes, it's hard to love one another when a majority don't want to be bothered thinking about doing that - or even understanding what it actually means. :-(

Okies have been misguided and blinkered for so long that they cannot see what's going on right under their noses. Fracking, earthquakes, water pollution, bought senators and congress people, but nothing ever changes. Same people keep being voted in.

mike (again) said...

I have no idea what happens when we leave the Earth, but I've encountered too many stories of young children having a past life recall, adults having paranormal experiences, plus my very own unusual reminders of something greater and quinkydinks that I can't explain. I'm inclined to believe that karma of some sort does exist. It's possible that we may all be one or at least all connected to a greater root. If we are all one, then any negative action or negligence upon another is upon the perpetrator, too. This crazy world we live in may have an appearance of great injustice, but I suspect that it all makes sense from a non-Earthly perspective.

“When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.” Confucius

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Maybe that saying "sometimes we're the windscreen, sometimes we're the bug" becomes a reality in alternate lives. ;-)

Twilight said...

LB ~~ O/T...I keep meaning to tell you: we watched "North & South" (not the US Civil War one - the other one), you mentioned it once, a while back - we enjoyed it a lot. Thank you!

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I've been asked in part of an e-mail from an occasional commenter who is in the UK (JD), to mention this to you:

When Mike airs his bemusement at this mad world and writes "I suspect that it all makes sense from a non-Earthly perspective." show him this about dreams and synchronicity -

...scroll down a bit and read the sample chapter from the book. Very interesting.

It is certainly food for thought, and one explanation for quinky-dinks and suchlike. :-)

mike (again) said...

Thanks JD and Twilight! Yes, Michael Cocks' sample chapter is much to my way of thinking. I found the following particularly suitable considering Twilight's post about the ten commandments and comments from LB:

"Both consciousness and culture continually evolve. In the 21st century as communications draw us ever closer to each other in a “global village”, the pressure is on all cultures to move towards accommodating to each other, so that there becomes more general agreement about what is right and wrong, the rules of trade, international justice, accommodation between Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, facing the forces of secularism and so on.

They evolve, but they are all indispensable. Take away language, culture, philosophy, and religion, take away our relationships with each other: exactly what is left? We have largely obliterated mental life.

Yes, it is true that the above creations of the human mind are imperfect, change for the better, or for the worse. But they are what is, and they are the means evolved for creating and relating to Reality. And, according to almost universal human intuition, there is a dimension beyond, unknowable to human minds. Our engagement with this Reality can either be superficial, or at depth.

To respond at depth to what comes from the Whole, and from the Void, can be described as holy, whole making; and to respond at depth means to abandon self-centredness, and to be open to the creativity and love of the Whole. This response also permits hidden knowledge belonging to the Whole to influence the individual."

LB said...

mike ~ The last paragraph of that quote reminds me of the Prayer of St. Francis. I won't copy the whole prayer, only the last parts of it:

"Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life."

Some might consider the last sentence counterintuitive to living a fuller, deeper, more meaningfully-connected life, but I think St. Francis understood the truth of it.


Twilight ~ Glad you both enjoyed the series. My husband and I've enjoyed so many PBS series/movies at this point, it's hard for me to keep track of them. Funny too, how the same actors appear again and again, like old familiar friends. Did I already recommend "Bleak House"? Or maybe you said you'd already seen it.:)

Speaking of movies (and 'dying to self'), I watched an amazing documentary last night on Link TV, "Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness":

Link TV has some *very* informative programming, including "Democracy Now", the independent news hour with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. In case you're not already aware, here's a link to Link:

Twilight said...

LB ~ We haven't seen "Bleak House" yet, but certainly intend to do so once we've completed the string of stuff from which we are making up a patchwork of evening viewing currently.

I don't think Link TV is available here, unless it comes exclusively through the "dish" system, which we don't use. Maybe it'll be available on Roku - will take a look around.

mike (again) said...

Thanks for telling us about LinkTV, LB! Twilight, I just installed it on my Roku. Go to this link: and click on the "Add to my Roku" button. I was already signed-in to Roku prior to hitting the button. If not already signed-in to Roku account, you'll have to immediately after hitting the button. LinkTV is apparently is KCET TV, which is non-commercial TV out of LA. When I lived in Ventura, KCET was the local PBS station.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Thanks - we'll see to it tomorrow (today I mean) - been watching a VHS set I bought for bargain price in Ardmore the other day ("The Duchess of Duke Street") - it's addictive, & now it's 1 am!

LB said...

You're welcome, mike.:) I'm glad you were able to share with Twilight how to access it. Where we live, it's one of the few channels included with basic cable.



Twilight ~ "The Duchess of Duke Street" was already on our list. Good to know it's worth seeing.

R J Adams said...

Strangely, the American collective memory has totally forgotten their Founding Fathers were almost all Deists, not Christians.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ The American collective memory has forgotten a lot of other things, it seems to me!