Saturday, April 30, 2005


Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
One thing I didn't address in my discussion of the 1st C is the nature of penalty. Now those who are Jewish don't believe in Hell as the Christians do. So the punishment for digression against the rules differ from sect to sect. Now in my way of seeing things, if it is so important to put these ten rules on a monument or a wall or wherever in a public building, it would stand to reason that you feel these rules are as inviolable as those that our lawmakers have made and that are being enforced in public buildings like, let's say, a courthouse. Now the Hebrew God gave these rules to Moses in a particular order, but I do not think any one or another is of greater or lesser importance to the deity. All must be treated equally in terms of obediance. A real believer, one who feels so deeply about religion and the Hebrew God and whatnot that he or she is compelled beyond reason to put these rules up or defend the right to put these rules up or drive hundreds or thousands of miles to stand vigil in defence of these rules...well, this person must not digress against the rules for any reason without some real consequences to his or her eternal soul...as they believe it to be.

So back to the 2nd Commandment:
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Once again, the language is pretty simple. The name of the Hebrew God is not to be taken in vain... How do we interpret "vain"? Well, for starters, we can go to the dictionary:
in vain

In an irreverent or disrespectful manner: took the Lord's name in vain
Irreverent and disrespectful. Let's delve more deeply:


adj 1: showing lack of due respect or veneration; "irreverent scholars mocking sacred things"


adj 1: exhibiting lack of respect; rude and discourteous; "remarks disrespectful of the law"; "disrespectful in the presence of his parents"; "disrespectful toward his teacher" [ant: respectful] 2: neither feeling nor showing respect [syn: aweless, awless]

So, basically this commandment comes down to respecting not the Hebrew God, but his name. What is his name, anyway? Is it Jehovah? Is it Adonai? Eloheinu? Jesus? Allah? God? George Burns?(okay, just broke the commandment there) Whatever it may be, disrespecting it would be just as bad as, let's say killing my neighbor for his wife and car while my wife waits at home for me on the Sabbath (breaking commandments 2,6,7 & 10). Now I'm probably going to go to jail for the whole neighbor killing business (unless I say he was attacking me and I had to kill him in self-defence...it'll work now in Florida, but I would be in violation of the 9th Commandment), but disrespecting the Hebrew God's name isn't going to carry the same burden for me.

But let's look at a Christian scholar's view of the 2nd C... Martin Luther said:
...this commandment enjoins this much, that God's name must not be appealed to falsely, or taken upon the lips while the heart knows well enough, or should know, differently; as among those who take oaths in court, where one side lies against the other. For God's name cannot be misused worse than for the support of falsehood and deceit...Yet, to tell it in a few words, all misuse of the divine name occurs, first, in worldly business and in matters which concern money, possessions, honor, whether it be publicly in court, in the market, or wherever else men make false oaths in God's name, or pledge their souls in any matter.

But. the greatest abuse occurs in spiritual matters, which pertain to the conscience, when false preachers rise up and offer their Lying vanities as God's Word. Behold, all this is decking one's self out with God's name, or making a pretty show, or claiming to be right, whether it occur in gross, worldly business or in sublime, subtile matters of faith and doctrine. And among liars belong also blasphemers, not alone the very gross, well known to every one, who disgrace God's name without fear (these are not for us, but for the hangman to discipline); but also those who publicly traduce the truth and God's Word and consign it to the devil...

Hmmm, I wonder who might be doing such things these days? Maybe you, dear reader, might have some ideas regarding transgressors. Please feel free to share them in comments. For my part, there are few among the false pious that pretend to know the will of the divine or pretend to have some kind of special access to the divine who pass the test of the 2nd Commandment. The gaul of these hypocritical soulless religio-maniacs to put on such a big show about the display of the 10 C's while consistently breaking them amazes and disgusts me. If Dante's Inferno is an accurate representation of the afterlife, these evil bastards would find themselves here:

Level 8- the Malebolge

Many and varied sinners suffer eternally in the multi-leveled Malebolge, an ampitheatre-shapped pit of despair Wholly of stone and of an iron colour: Those guilty of fraudulence and malice; the seducers and pimps, who are whipped by horned demons; the hypocrites, who struggle to walk in lead-lined cloaks; the barraters, who are ducked in boiling pitch by demons known as the Malebranche. The simonists, wedged into stone holes, and whose feet are licked by flames, kick and writhe desperately. The magicians, diviners, fortune tellers, and panderers are all here, as are the thieves. Some wallow in human excrement. Serpents writhe and wrap around men, sometimes fusing into each other. Bodies are torn apart. When you arrive, you will want to put your hands over your ears because of the lamentations of the sinners here, who are afflicted with scabs like leprosy, and lay sick on the ground, furiously scratching their skin off with their nails. Indeed, justice divine doth smite them with its hammer.
Be back soon with Commandment Number Three!


I thought you all would like a few more pet pics for the weekend...

Magnus is wondering why Moose gets his own blanket. Moose knows it's because he's a dog.

Moose tells me to be quiet and not wake his baby sister, Casey.

Speaking of babies! I have one on the way. Mrs. X23 is now 29 weeks along with our child and she is doing mostly great. I say mostly because she can't find a comfortable position to sleep and she needs special care and feeding right about now. We've seen a few ultrasounds and 4D doppler scans of the baby and, if you haven't seen what technology can do these days in regards to pregancy, you're really missing out. We have an actual picture of our child's face. He (BabyX23 is a boy...he will go by the name of Eliot Louis X23) is healthy and growing and is apparently heading for a career as either a flamenco dancer or an ultimate fighter by the way he pounds on Mrs. X23's belly. The doctor says he should be coming along about the middle of July, which is right after I begin my new gig teaching high school English. My screenplay has been well received, but Hollywood takes a long time to make movies, so I need to do something meaningful while I await my fame and fortune. I've also been accepted into a graduate program to study for a M.A. in English Literature (which I will begin in late August).

That's all for now on the X23 homefront...


Monday, April 25, 2005


I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
This is a fairly straightforward directive. The God of the Hebrews announces who he is, what he's done and what he expects. I've always rather liked the phrasing because so many people misinterpret it to say that there are no other gods at all. That, however, is not what this says. The God of the Hebrews recognizes that there are other gods. He's just saying that because he's done such a nice thing for the Hebrews, they should, you know, recognize him as number one. He's not even saying give up your other gods. He's just saying when the sacrifices are made, he gets the best part of the goat.

Now this commandment presents some problems for those who would display it in government buildings. Ours is a government supposedly of laws. We have this document, not related to any bible, called the Constitution of the United States of America. Now I know that many people out there seem to think that the only part of it that is important is the 2nd Amendment, but this is not the case. In fact, the 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Now here's the problem for the folks who want to stick the 10 C's all over government buildings. While posting them does not explicitly say that the laws sent down from Mount Sinai by the Hebrew God are legal and binding nor does it specifically create a law establishing a state religion, it does give official favor towards a specific belief system at the expense of others. If the 10 Commandments being posted is an example of the free exercise of religion, then the following groups should also have the right to post their moral codes next to the 10 Commandments:

  • Baha'i Faith
  • Buddhism
  • Confucianism
  • Hinduism
  • Islam
  • Jainism
  • Shinto
  • Sikhism
  • Taoism
  • Vodun (Voodoo)
  • Asatru (Norse Paganism)
  • Druidism
  • Goddess Worship
  • Wicca
  • Witchcraft
  • Caodaism
  • Damanhur Community
  • Druse
  • Eckankar
  • Elian Gonzalez Religious Movement
  • Gnosticism
  • Gypsies
  • Hare Krishna
  • Lukumi
  • Macumba
  • Mowahhidoon
  • Native American Spirituality
  • New Age
  • Osho (followers of Rajneesh
  • Santeria
  • Satanism
  • Scientology
  • Thelema
  • Unitarian-Universalism
  • The Creativity Movement
  • Zoastrianism
  • Atheism, Agnosticism and Humanism
  • Teachings of Dadaji
  • Deism
  • Falun Dafa and Falun Gong
  • Goths
  • Universism
Wow! What a list! So many religions in the world and, I'll bet, in this country. Each, according to the 1st Amendment, has the right to express themselves just as publically as Christians (and Jews?). They are all allowed to have their gods before the Hebrew god. So if people are allowed to put the 1st Commandment up in a courthouse, by law there has to be room for each of these many many other religions to do the same.

Be back tomorrow for Commandment #2!


Chris Brown (of Chris "Lefty" Brown's Corner has put together an interesting experiment this past week with a bunch of bloggers making mix CD's for one another. My CD will consist of the following tracks:

(Note: I just kind of went with songs I really like that, with a couple of minor exceptions, might not be on everyone's Ipods...occasionally minor themes pop up in the organization.)

1. “See America” - Grant-Lee Phillips
2. “Opus 40” - Mercury Rev
3. “Queen Of The Surface Streets” – Devotchka
4. “Eres” - Café Tacuba
5. “Twentysomething” - Jamie Cullum
6. “They See Rocks” - Aloha
7. “Carry The Zero” - Built To Spill
8. “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” - The Arcade Fire
9. “A Distorted Reality is Now Necessary to be Free“ -
Elliott Smith
10. “Lightning Strikes the Postman” - The Flaming Lips
11. “A Wolf At The Door - Radiohead
12. “Chicago” - Home
13. “King of the Road” - Giant Sand
14. “El Caminos In The West” – Grandaddy
15. “Ghost” - Neutral Milk Hotel
16. “Hideaway” - The Olivia Tremor Control
17. “Common People” - William Shatner (with Joe Jackson)
18. “Do It All Over Again” – Spiritualized


So the soulless religio-maniacs spend a lot of their time talking about how their religious freedom has been curtailed by the inability of public buildings to display 10 biblical rules. Well, in honor of Passover (which these soulless religio-maniacs do not honor except to watch Charleton Heston take care of some damn dirty Egyptians), over the next few days, I'm going to take a look at the 10 laws and how they may apply to modern American society.

For those who need refreshing:

1. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

3. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything 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.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

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

10. 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.


Friday, April 22, 2005


I am a voting, involved American, but I am being denied my right to have proper representation by soulless religio-maniacs.

I am not a Christian, but I have a strong faith. I respect the rights of others to believe as they will so long as they respect my rights to believe as I will. This includes my right to differ with them as I see fit (which I often do). I know many Christians who feel as I do and who do not appreciate having their religion usurped by soulless religio-maniacs.

I am from one of the largest, most populated states in the union. Although my congressional district has been gerrymandered Republican (I live at the southernmost tip of a weird district that is surrounded on most sides by Democrats), most of the representatives of my state in congress are Democrats (and we have the most representatives in congress). Yet, for some reason, the rights and interests of my state in the House of Representatives have been catagorically denied by soulless religio-maniacs.

My state has two Democratic senators (both women). Because ten of the president's judicial nominees have been blocked, the Republicans believe my senators should no longer play any role in the selection of judges. Fairly soon, my senators will be denied the ability to participate in any of the senate's business by these fascist soulless religio-maniacs.

I am a liberal (or progressive if you will) and proud of it. There is nothing un-American about my political beliefs. I was born in this country and raised to believe that I could hold any kind of belief and still be an American so long as I respected that every other American has the same rights. I, along with my fore-fathers, hold these truths to be self-evident: that all people are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How have we come to a place and time in our country when our unalienable rights are about to be taken from us by these fascist, un-American soulless religio-maniacs?


Thursday, April 21, 2005


Meet Moose's new friend, Casey! She's a Collie girl (which means at 14 weeks, she already outwitting Moose).


Monday, April 18, 2005


My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Spikey Mace of The Short Path.

Get yours.


Sunday, April 17, 2005


"Nothing will satisfy us but a broad victory, a knockout which will...prove that America is founded on liberty and not on narrow, mean, intolerable and brainless prejudice of soulless religio-maniacs."

Who said this?
(answer in comments)


Sunday, April 03, 2005



So...what'd I miss while I was sleeping?

Oh! Shit! It's April already.


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