Although I am disgusted by the actions of the House, I must admit that I'm not any more pleased by the UTism evident in this little piece of work. (below)
It might be a more useful experiment to analyse the 10 Commandment in memetic terms: Looking at the items that serve the purpose of protecting the memeplex from threats by outside memes (# 1, 2, 4, 10), that keep the primary meme from being subjected to memetic change (# 3), that confer genetic advantage on their hosts (# 5, 6), and those which serve to stablize the social enviornment of the host population (# 5, 7, 8, 9, & 10) and thereby create a better environment for the host's (and their memes) success.
From: The <The@Hermit.net>
To: 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thursday, June 17, 1999 6:12 PM
Subject: virus: Holy Shit! Lawmakers Say Yes to Ten Commandments...
>Now why not try to do something useful with the memetic engineering that
>is being discussed. Like establishing a meme suggesting that people
>lobby for a law allowing the salary of Congressmen and Senators who vote
>in favour of unconstitutional laws to be docked for the cost of having
>them declared unconstitutional. Especially the second time around.
>Imagine how much taxpayer's money that could save. They call this waste
>of time and money moral?
>Perhaps we should call on them to attend a remedial education class as
>well. This would make a good starting point. "Neither a state nor the
>Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs
>of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of
>Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was
>intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State." " The
>U.S. Supreme Court, 1947
>All of them took oaths of office, which aside from contravening
>Commandment 3, also had them swearing to uphold the constitution.
>Perhaps they have forgotten.
>Don't these idiots realise that 10% to 22% of the population is either
>atheist or "not religious"? And don't let me get going on Pat bloody
>See also http://www.aclu.org/congress/congress.html
>Let's look more closely at this nonsense:
>1. You shall have no other gods before Me. [Crap] This implies, as does
>Genesis 3:22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become as one of
>us, to know good and evil. and Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make
>man in our image that there is more than one god. So which God are we
>intended to choose? The one of the smoking mountain or some other?
>2. You shall not make yourself any graven image, or any likeness of
>anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath,
>or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down yourself
>to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,
>visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and
>fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy and steadfast
>love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My
>commandments. [More crap]. What an example for people to follow]. Exodus
>25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt
>thou make them. I Kings 7:15,16,23,25 "For he [Solomon] cast two pillars
>of brass . . . and two chapiters of molten brass . . . And he made a
>molten sea . . . it stood upon twelve oxen . . . [and so on]" Ezekiel
>18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the
>iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of
>the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the
>wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. John 5:22 For the Father
>judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.
>3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the
>Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. [Still more
>crap]. Genesis 21:22-24,31 . . . swear unto me here by God that thou
>wilt not deal falsely with me . . . And Abraham said, I will swear. . .
>. Wherefore he called that place Beersheba ["well of the oath"]; because
>there they sware both of them.
>4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor
>and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your
>God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, your daughter,
>your manservant, your maid-servant, your domestic animals, or the
>sojourner within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heavens and
>earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
>That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. [Yet more
>crap]. John 5:16 "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus and sought
>to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day."
>Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth
>every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
>5. Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land
>the Lord your God gives you. [Depends on your parents I guess. Often
>crap]. Matthew 8*:21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord,
>suffer me first to go and bury my father. Mat 8:22 But Jesus said unto
>him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. This is honor? Or
>this? John 2:4 "Woman, what have I to do with thee?"
>6. You shall not commit murder. [NB This is about unlawful killing.
>Which there are laws against anyway] Hosea 13:16 "they shall fall by the
>sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with
>children shall be ripped up."
>7. You shall not commit adultery. [What is adultery? More fun than
>infancy.... and definitely better than senility. The same people voting
>for this crap decided that it wasn't an indictable offense only 6 months
>ago - Yet more crap] Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever
>shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth
>her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced
>8. You shall not steal. [Unless you are a government. Still, there are
>laws against this] Exodus 12:35-36 "And they plundered [NRSV] the
>Egyptians." Luke 19:29-34 "[Jesus] sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go
>ye into the village . . . ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never
>man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do
>ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of
>him. . . . And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said
>unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of
>9. You shall not witness falsely against your neighbor. [It tends to
>make you unpopular, and unless you are a president, it gets you locked
>up for contempt of court.] I Kings 22:23 "The Lord hath put a lying
>spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken
>evil concerning thee."
>10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, or
>his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or
>anything that is your neighbor's. [That means that the Smith and Jones
>crowd are in deep trouble! Just another heap of crap.] 1 Corinthians
>12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more
>So ten out of ten are contradicted directly by the babble itself, and
>all but 3 are unconstitutional and would be illegal to enforce. So how
>do these nincompoops imagine they are contributing to "morality"?
>Perhaps somebody will highlight their own words... As President, I will
>oppose the political agenda of the organized "gay rights" movement,
>including same-sex marriage and "special rights" legislation, permit
>voluntary prayer in public schools, protect religious freedoms and pass
>federal legislation to permit state facilities to post the Ten
>Commandments. Gary Bauer on his presidential campaign 2000 website. I
>guess he is out to keep his promises. Are the religious right not a
>wonderful bunch? Here are some quotes from his fellow travellers.
>"When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring
>Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you
>mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into
>the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the
>Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than
>Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.'" Pat
>Robertson, in his book The New World Order
>"Those who practice homosexuality should swiftly be put to death by the
>government. God emphatically condemns the practice of exchanging proper
>gender characteristics among men and women. God justly calls for the
>death-penalty for anyone who practices homosexuality. " Citizens for
>the Ten Commandments
>"The perversion that follows homosexuality is bestiality and then human
>sacrifice and cannibalism." (Barbara Blewster, a member of the Church of
>Latter-Day Saints and the Arizona State Legislature)
>These are "moral" people?
>In any case, for the true beeeliever this should be irrelevant - Acts
>5:29 "We ought to obey God rather then men." The Bible's God, ruler of
>the universe, runs counter to the American Constitution. He does not
>support democracy (He rules;Psalms 2,89,110: the King is Yawweh's son),
>freedom of religion (no other gods allowed) or freedom of speech (no
>blasphemy). The Bible's god, many believe, will throw the majority into
>a lake of fire. I wonder if this is really what they are advocating?
>Along with a return to slavery perhaps?
>"The national government ... will maintain and defend the foundations on
>which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to
>Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality." No, this is
>not Pat Robertson or any of the current motley mob in Washington, this
>is Adolf Hitler. But it is admitedly easy to become confused, "They have
>kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of
>church and state. There is no such thing in the Constitution. It's a lie
>of the left, and we're not going to take it anymore." was Pat Robertson
>speaking. His knowledge of History is flakey:
>"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine. "
>"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between
>man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his
>worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions
>only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act
>of the whole American people which declared that their legislature
>should `make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
>prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of
>separation between church and State." Thomas Jefferson, in his historic
>Danbury letter, January 1, 1802
>TheHermit <Muttering into his soup>
>Would it be constitutional to refuse to enter a courthouse that posted
>this crap on the grounds that it offends one's "religious sensibility"?
>"For surely it is folly to preach to children who will be riding rockets
>to the moon a morality and cosmology based on concepts of the Good
>Society and of man's place in nature that were coined before the
>harnessing of the horse! And the world is now far too small, and men's
>stake in sanity too great, for any more of those old games of Chosen
>Folk (whether of Jehovah, Allah, Wotan, Manu, or the Devil) by which
>tribesmen sustained themselves against their enemies in the days when
>the serpent could still talk."
>-- Joseph Campbell, from "The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology"
>Morality in the House - Lawmakers Say Yes to Ten Commandments
>Republican Tom DeLay, the House Majority Whip and a driving force for
>cultural conservative issues, was one of the House lawmakers today that
>approved a measure to allow schools and government buildings to post the
>Ten Commandments. (AP Photo)
>By J. Jennings Moss ABCNEWS.com
>W A S H I N G T O N, June 17 - As the House debates its juvenile justice
>bill, lawmakers seem determined to go beyond creating a "more perfect
>union," to creating a more "moral" one.
>After hours of rhetoric about bringing religion into public life and
>increasing the nation's morality, House lawmakers today approved a
>measure that would allow schools and government buildings to post the
>"The focus must be returned to God," said Rep. Tom DeLay, the House
>Republican whip and a driving force for cultural conservative issues.
>"Our nation will only be healed through a rebirth of religious
>conviction and moral certitude."
>Democrats Go Along
>About 45 Democrats joined Republican lawmakers in the 248-180 vote to
>allow states to display the Ten Commandments on public property, despite
>objections that the measure was unconstitutional.
>"I understand that simply posting the Ten Commandments will not
>instantly change the moral character of our nation," said sponsor Rep.
>Robert Aderholt, R-Ala. "However, it is an important step to promote
>morality, and an end of children killing children."
>Opponents noted that in 1980, the Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky
>law that required the Ten Commandments to be posted in every classroom.
>Some also pointed out that the United States is a diverse religious
>nation. "Whose Ten Commandments? The Christian version, the Protestant
>version or the Jewish version?" asked Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
>"They're different, you know."
>The vote was a victory for conservatives in the debate over whether
>violent culture or the proliferation of guns is responsible for the
>recent outbreak of school shootings and other youth violence.
>Republicans generally favor a cultural solution and have taken aim at
>the entertainment industry, pushing legislation to limit violent and
>sexually explicit content in movies, video games, music and thus real
>life. Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing for more gun-control laws.
>Christian Coalition President Pat Robertson described lawmakers as being
>courageous for stressing morality. "Allowing the Ten Commandments to be
>posted on a schoolhouse wall is a commonsense measure that reaffirms the
>traditional moral values that our nation was built upon," Robertson
>Over at Americans United for Separation of Church and State - an
>organization at the opposite end of the spectrum from the Christian
>Coalition - Executive Director Barry W. Lynn said the House's action was
>outrageous, not courageous.
>"Government-forced religion is never the answer. Families need to be
>responsible for any religious education of their children, not
>government," Lynn said.
>As the House continues to debate its juvenile crime bill, it appears
>that Republicans have successfully separated popular cultural targets -
>such as media violence - from gun control. Those measures, contained in
>a separate bill, are to be taken up later today.
>The House started the day by debating and then accepting on a voice vote
>an amendment expressing the "sense of Congress" that the entertainment
>industry be condemned for its use of "pointless acts of brutality in
>movies, TV, music and video." Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., the sponsor of
>the amendment, said: "Anyone who thinks [school violence] has nothing to
>do with the media is an idiot."
>The entertainment industry mounted an aggressive lobbying campaign to
>thwart any restrictions on its products. Earlier this week, Gerald
>Levin, chairman of Time Warner, argued that his industry was not
>responsible for youth violence. "We have basically obscene politics at
>work drawing attention away from the issues that are really important,"
>In at least one vote, entertainment industry officials were victorious.
>The House voted 266-161 to reject an amendment that would have required
>violent video games to carry warning labels.
>The House also approved by voice vote a proposal by Rep. Ed Markey,
>D-Mass., commissioning a study of the firearms industry's marketing
>practices to children. A similar provision was passed by the Senate.
>The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
>Is It Unconstitutional?
>Legal experts say the recently passed House amendment to allow the
>public display of the Ten Commandments may not pass Constitutional
>Many cite the court's 1980 decision in Stone vs. Graham, in which
>justices decided that a Kentucky law that required the Ten Commandments
>to be displayed in classrooms was unconstitutional, as binding precedent
>that would overrule the measure.
>"This is clearly unconstitutional," says Michael Dorf, a constitutional
>law professor at Columbia University. "Recently the Court has allowed a
>little more leeway concerning the religion, in terms of what people can
>do in the own time or during the hours when schools are out, but this
>crosses the line."
>Richard Fallon, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University,
>"In some cases ... the court has decided that objects can be viewed as
>symbols of diversity if they are part of a larger holiday decoration,"
>he says. "However, the Ten Commandments standing alone on a wall would
>probably be seen as promoting Judeo-Christian beliefs, not diversity."
>"In a way this sounds to me like political grandstanding," he adds.
>"From the sound of it Congress is saying that states have the right to
>post the Ten Commandments in public places at their discretion. But
>states could always choose to do that, and then, like now, the courts
>would decide whether it was unconstitutional or not."
>Ayaz Nanji, ABCNEWS.com