Has America become a country where classroom discussion of the Ten Commandments is impermissible, but teacher instructions in safe sodomy be to be mandatory?
The search for inner peace and the quest for peace in the world go hand in hand. The overall impact of the Ten Commandments is to show us how being a good person in the world and finding a sense of spiritual wholeness deep within are intimately connected to each other.
The fear-oriented religion is the religion of 'don't': don't do this, don't do that -- because fear is negative. The Ten Commandments are all fear-oriented -- don't do this, don't do that -- as if religion is nothing but avoiding -- don't do this, don't do that -- closing oneself in safety and security, never taking any risk, never moving on the dangerous path, in fact not allowing yourself to be alive. Just as the first type of religion is stupid, fanatic, the second type of religion is negative. It gives a certain stiffness, up-tightness. It is childish. It is a search for security which is nowhere possible, because life exists as insecurity. God exists as insecurity, danger, and risk.
The Ten Commandments are not prefaced with "If you're in the mood".
It should be noted that people in the free market rarely bear false witness; integrity is the rule. The morning mile, phone calls, planes the airlines buy, autos by the millions – no one could list the instances – are as represented. We have daily, eloquent, enormous testimony that the Ten Commandments can be and are observed by fallible human beings. Contemporary politics is the most glaring of all exceptions.
Native American Ten Commandments -
Treat the Earth and all that dwell therein with respect.
Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well-being of Mind and Body.
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater Good.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions.
And then there is the Tenth Commandment. 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.' The Ten Commandments are God's basic rules about how we should live — a brief list of sacred obligations and solemn moral precepts.
The first nine Commandments concern theological principles and social law. But then, right at the end, is 'Don't envy your buddy's cow.' How did that make the top ten? What's it doing there? Why would God, with just ten things to tell Moses, choose as one of those things jealousy about the starter mansion with in-ground pool next door?
Yet think how important the Tenth Commandment is to a community, to a nation, indeed to a presidential election. If you want a mule, if you want a pot roast, if you want a cleaning lady, don't be a jerk and whine about what the people across the street have — go get your own.
The Tenth Commandment sends a message to all the jerks who want redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, more government programs, more government regulation, more government, less free enterprise, and less freedom. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell.
The five points of yama, together with the five points of niyama, remind us of the Ten Commandments of the Christian and Jewish faiths, as well as of the ten virtues of Buddhism. In fact, there is no religion without these moral or ethical codes. All spiritual life should be based on these things. They are the foundation stones without which we can never build anything lasting.
Congress should pass legislation to remove from the federal courts their jurisdiction to hear these outrageous challenges to the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Perils of Worship -
The life without reverence is barren and insensitive. And worship is the proper expression of reverence. The Sermon on the Mount leads to adoration, thanksgiving, and prayer as truly as it leads to acts of service. But there are perils in worship.
Some of the worship that goes on in our churches is merely lip service, talk takes the place of activity. True worship is the expression of the reverence of a human personality for his Lord and Creator. Reverence makes us eager to serve and obey. But false worship and lip service can be worse then open defiance.
The story is told of Mark Twain's encounter with a man who managed to combine the appearances of piety with a predatory career in business. "Before I die," said the hypocrite, "I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb to the top of Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud." "I have a better idea," answered Mark Twain. "Why don't you stay right at home in Boston and keep them?"
After the warmth of the worship that says, "Lord, Lord," there is a chill in the words, "Do what I say." But if we do not meet the chill, the warmth is not the warmth of life. Bishop Gore ended his book, The Sermon on the Mount, by saying: "Many will come to him in that day with a record of their orthodoxy and of their observances, of their brilliant successes in his professed service; but he will protest unto them, 'I never knew you.' He 'knows' no man in whom he cannot recognize his own likeness." (The Sermon on the Mount by Charles Gore, p. 188. John Murray Ltd., London)
His own likeness? If we understand the Sermon on the Mount, we will never claim that. But if it sinks in, it does begin to remake us.
I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.
The first commandment requireth us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God,and our God, and to worship and glorify him accordingly.
I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral.
The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this: When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.
The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple: I should say, love is wise, hatred is foolish. In this world which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way — and if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.
Why don’t they pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as Prohibition did, in five years we will have the smartest people on earth.
Could not all this flesh keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell! I could have better spared a better man. Henry IV, Act v, Scene 4
We learn nothing by being right.