Friday, July 3, 2015

Fess up!

Why do I feel the need to point out my hypocrisy in a public forum?

I don't have an answer - not a good one anyway.

Perhaps it is to dispel any vestiges of "holier than thou".

Perhaps to maintain some semblance of humility.

Perhaps because dirty laundry needs taking to the cleaners.

Or perhaps I think it'll put you at ease about considering your own double standards.

Because, in some way or another, we are all hypocrites.


I spent much of the last week arguing for the Separation of Church and State. Gay marriage cannot be denied, I said, because almost every argument I heard against it was rooted in Biblical teachings, and Biblical teachings, I proudly upheld, had no business blocking civil liberties.

I believe I was/am right on this.

I stand by this.

And for the record? I stand by the Bible too.

But friends, here's where my hypocrisy comes in.

A monument of the 10 Commandments stands outside the state capitol in Oklahoma.

A push has been made to remove the monument, as it can be argued - probably rightfully so - that the monument constitutes a violation of the Separation of Church and State.

I see this. My logical brain sees that having a monument to a Judeo-Christian code of conduct on state grounds professes a commitment to that code of conduct - and therefore a sponsorship of that code of conduct - and therefore, a statement, aloud or implied, that the state of Oklahoma stands on Judeo-Christian teachings.

Which the state of Oklahoma is not allowed to do.


Here's the thing though - I like the 10 Commandments.

I think they represent a "right" and "good" way to live one's life.

I believe if we all lived by the 10 Commandments, the world would be a more civil place.

But then again, I'm a Jew.

So...I'm a bit biased on the topic.

I realize that Commandments 1 - 5 (while I personally believe in them), isolate many.

I realize they violate the Separation of Church and State.

I realize that, by my own reasoning with regard to gay marriage, the monument should be taken down.

And my inner two-year-old doesn't care.

I like them.

I want them to stay.

And I'm tempted to pout about it.


But this ain't "Tombstone", and I ain't Doc Holliday.

It appears my hypocrisy DOES know some bounds.

Because there are those times when the heart and the head are gonna fight.

There are times when the heart can and should and will be the winner.

And in my heart, the 10 Commandments will reside. If I'm lucky, they'll even govern the way I live my life.

But my head's gotta take the upper hand on this one.

It knows the 10 Commandments cannot and - grudgingly - should not govern those who do not acknowledge their power.

My head knows that mandating morality is not the job of the government (but "thou shalt not kill" is gonna remain on the government books I'm pretty sure).

So, in the case of Erin's head versus Erin's heart, I must declare Erin's head the winner - though I am not requiring the heart to pay reparations.

I hope my heart hasn't wronged anybody.

I cannot help how I feel.

But I can control what I do about it.

I can choose to do unto others as I would have them do unto me - and that's a religious teaching on which my head and my heart can readily agree.

And the 10 Commandments can remain proudly displayed - in my heart and in my household.

Where they belong.

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