Monday, April 18, 2011

A Modest Proposal--Can Americans Stop Being Stupid And Just Get Along

Representative Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican wants to declare the first weekend of May "Ten Commandments Weekend" in order "to recognize the significant contributions the Ten Commandments have made in shaping the principles, institutions, and national character of the United States."

Perhaps, Gohmert  like Patrick J. Deneen believes, "Our return to a distinctively modern form of paganism is nearly complete."

it seems far more likely that this resolution could very well make it to the floor for a vote and maybe even father still."  Moore hopes for a day "when members of Congress finally come out and clearly state that we are 'One nation under God, A Christian God, Period. Amen.' instead of slowly creeping over to the microphone every few months to whisper it in our ears."  Chris Rodda also worries that the resolution will pass and goes through the resolution and gives some historical perspective.

I don't know if Moore and Rodda support "a Seattle school approved . . .'hunt' for round objects containing sweets and surprises on the condition that they be called “Spring Spheres."  If they do, I'm positive Moore, Rodda, and the teacher who tried to eliminate the use of the term "Easter egg" don't want to endorse ANY religion and tried to avoid using the term because the Easter has its roots in the worship of a pagan goddess.
Old English Ēostre (also Ēastre) and Old High German Ôstarâ are the names of a putative Germanic goddess whose Anglo-Saxon month, Ēostur-monath (Old English "Ēostre month"), has given its name to the festival of Easter. Eostre is attested only by Bede, in his 8th century work De temporum ratione, where he states that Ēostur-monath was the equivalent to the month of April, and that feasts held in her honour during Ēostur-monath had died out by the time of his writing, replaced by the "Paschal month". The possibility of a Common Germanic goddess called *Austrōn- was examined in detail in 19th century Germanic philology, by Jacob Grimm and others, without coming to a definite conclusion.
Linguists have identified the goddess as a Germanic form of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn, *Hausos, some scholars have debated whether or not Eostre is an invention of Bede's, and theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic Easter customs (including hares and eggs) have been proposed.
On the other hand, I'm a bit surprised any Republican supports the 10 Commandments.  That injunction: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, . . .nor any thing that is thy neighbour's" might alter Americans' materialistic attitudes and hurt the country's economic recovery (Exodus 20:17).

Maybe I'm projecting a bit here.  A 10 Commandments weekend might interfere with plans to hang out with @coralhei and observe "a Plato weekend."  Of course, I, selfishly might want to take some time celebrate Free Comic Book Day and watch The Kentucky Derby.  The first weekend in May is crowded with activities.

Of course, there's nothing in the 10 Commandments forbidding Plato, comic books, or horse racing.  Unfortunately, the commandments have no prohibitions against willful ignorance either.  As Deneen reminds us, "[t]he old paganism had the virtue of openness to Christian truth – the new paganism aims at destroying even that openness."

In an effort to promote a little openness and honest communication, I have the following modest proposal.  Let's not have have a 10 Commandments weekend.  The Republic has survived without it.  Let's keep calling those eggs kids look for every spring Easter Eggs.  Heck, let schools have kids get outside and look for Easter eggs.  Our Democracy seems to have checks so Americans won't start worshiping a pagan goddess, even thought Neil Gaiman's American Gods makes worshiping her sound like fun.  I don't think the jelly beans inside the eggs have the magic powers to make anyone a Christian either.

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