Monday, June 27, 2005

10 Commandments and the West

While I am fairly conservative, I do not identify myself as a Christian conservative, and I am coming from more of a libertarian background intellectually (it is amazing how high school Randianism takes so many years to shed, even long after you have forgotten the name of the guy who was left to die in desert).

Nevertheless, I think today's Supreme Court decisions on the 10 Commandments will have a potentially profound (and profoundly negative) impact on our society. While I leave the legal commentary and political analysis to others, I have an observation that I haven't seen elsewhere today, one that has been stinging at my brain since last fall.

As many of you will recall (unless you get your news from the MSM), Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was brutally murdered on Nov. 2, 2004. The motive: he directed a documentary exposing the mistreatment of women in Muslim culture.

What was even less widely reported in the US was (as Paul Harvey would say) "the rest of the story":
In the Netherlands, artist Chris Ripke reacted to the murder on Theo Van Gogh by an Islamic fundamentalist by painting a mural with the text "Gij zult niet doden" ("Thou Shalt Not Kill"), one of the ten commandments of the Christian religion. But because the head of the nearby mosque complained to the police that this was 'offensive' and 'racist', the cops came and sent in city workers to sandblast the mural. A local journalist, Wim Nottroth, who wanted to protest against this by standing in front of the mural was arrested.
Are we really living in a society in which the Koran must literally be treated with kid gloves, in which all manners of speech (including flag-burning) are to be tolerated, yet the 10 Commandments are singled out for special opprobrium? There is a word for this.


Blogger Goesh said...

Yeah, I call it materialism, where a person is valued for what he/she owns and can earn. One of the first things we do when meeting someone is to ask what they do. We never say things like, "Hi - I'm goesh, and I like goldfish, how are you?" now do we? And I call it plain, old fashioned apathy, where in this nation we have roughly a 25% participation rate in Democracy. Half of eligible voters are registerd and half of that number actually vote. If one thinks he has a fairly decent piece of the pie, it doesn't matter who is running the show. The preamble to the Constitution needs to be changed to read, " A few of We the people....". Democracy, use it or lose it. My dentist has a sign that reads: "Ignore your teeth and they will go away".

4:26 AM  

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