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Thread: The Ten Commandments - A Pagan Perspective

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    Post The Ten Commandments - A Pagan Perspective

    Another one from "Pagan Apologetics" and Tyler Roberson:

    Introduction
    When we hear of the Ten Commandments, we usually think of Charleton Heston and the Fundamentalist Christians who try to get us to legislate the Ten Commandments and post them in our public schools. This would be a clear violation of separation of Church and State. If you want the Church to run the government, you should be willing to have the government run the Church. If not, then you should not try to get the Church involved with State functions.

    However, this is not an argument as to the modern issues regarding the Ten Commandments but rather a look at the laws themselves. As a Pagan, I do not follow the Ten Commandments, per se, but rather the Wiccan Rede (``An it harm none, do as thou wilt'') and the Law of Three-Fold Return (``Any good which thou doest shall be given back to thee three-fold in this life; any harm which thou doest shall also be given back to thee three-fold in this life.'')

    My goal with this essay is not to push my beliefs over on to anyone else or to prove that the Ten Commandments are unnecessary, but rather to show that all people can conform to, at least, some parts of the Ten Commandments without being offended. I will look at how a Pagan (especially me as a Wiccan) would interpret each of the Commandments given by Moses (I do not believe that they were written directly by God) to the people of Israel.

    I will make this a quick essay. The first part shall be a direct copy of the 1611 King James translation of Exodus 20:3-17. The second shall be a quick rundown of each of the Ten Commandments. The third shall be my response to each Commandment as I see it. Finally, we shall conclude this little exercise into religious interpretation and go each our separate ways, the Jew to his Tabernacle, the Christian to his Church, and the Pagan to his Altars and Temples. May the peace of God be upon all peoples.

    Exodus 20:3-7 (KJV)
    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
    6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
    7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
    12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
    13 Thou shalt not kill.
    14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    15 Thou shalt not steal.
    16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
    17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
    The Ten Commandments in Modern Language
    Do not have any other Gods greater than me (Jehovah)
    Do not make an idol of any creature and worship it
    Do not speak ill of God
    Keep the seventh day holy and free from work
    Honor your father and mother
    Do not murder
    Do not commit adultery
    Do not steal
    Do not speak falsely of others
    Do not covet
    My Comments on the Ten Commandments
    Do not have any other Gods greater than me
    Obviously, those who see many Gods rather than just Jehovah would be inclined to ignore this commandment. However, it does require a closer examination and some extrapolation. Some Pagan religions see all the different Gods and Goddesses as being facets of the One. This is my view. Therefore, the commandment should read for us, ``Do not honor one God or Goddess above the All.''

    Do not make an idol of any creature and worship it
    This is somewhat similar to the above commandment with one major difference: it relates to the physical rather than the spiritual (for those with a dualistic view.) It tells us not to make an idol out of any one thing. Many Pagans revere certain plants and animals as sacred. We should recognize that these are only \emph{representatives} of Gods. ``No one thing is greater than another, for each is an image of the All.''

    Do not speak ill of God
    The original text actually says, ``thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.'' Which would mean not to invoke the name of God needlessly, as in a curse or in non-sacred speech. However, to do this would be to disrespect God and that is why I changed it to ``Do not speak ill of the Gods.''

    Keep the seventh day holy and free from work
    It is necessary for man to rest. The day is not arbitrary and relates to the Jewish holy day. Assumably, this would pertain to other holy days such as New Moon festivals (also celebrated by the Jews), Full Moon sabbats, and other holy days. Jesus noted that, ``The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.'' (Mark 2:27) Paul said, ``One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.'' (Romans 14:5) So, we change this commandment to ``Keep your holy days sacred.''

    Honor your father and mother
    This commandment basically transcends all religions. It is the belief that your elders (especially your parents) should be treated honorably. Elders are revered for their wisdom which has been collected throughout the ages. Wiccans often believe that a child needs to follow their parents commandments (assuming they aren't damaging) up until the State considers them of majority age. For example, a child may not usually join a coven under the age of 18 although if the parents are also Wiccans or give special permission to the child, he, or she, may be accepted. Elders are also held in high esteem for the wisdom about the world which they teach. In the Triple Goddess, wisdom and knowledge is symbolized in the Crone. So we will alter this to read, ``Honor your elders and the knowledge which they hold; follow the instructions of your parents and bring honor to the household.''

    Do not murder
    This is somewhat of a controversy among the Christians. For example, the King James Version says ``Thou shalt not kill'', what about wars and self-defense, and other things? is it only people we shouldn't kill, or should we avoid destruction of all living things? Most Pagans revere the Earth and all creatures with great respect. For some this means complete pacifism and for others, including me, see this as idealistic and that limitations need to be set for self- (and other's) preservation. I would change this commandment to read, ``Respect Nature and do not destroy any part of it without just cause.''

    Do not commit adultery
    To most conservative Christians, this means that one must remain celebate outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage. However, many religious liberals find this to be either unrealistic or wrong. Pagans usually regard sexuality as sacred and to be practiced only by two people in a committed relationship. However, that relationship need not be between two people of opposite sexes or between a married (or handfasted) couple. Most Pagans are not hedonistic and do not engage in overly sexual activities. The rumors of ritualistic orgies are (unfortunately) unfounded. Some Pagans choose to become involved in polyamorous relationships that include a few people rather than just two. So, to fit our beliefs, we will change this to: ``Regard sexuality as sacred and do not defile it with abusive acts.''

    Do not steal
    Theft is regarded as nearly all religions as wrong. However, some people may be more lenient as to stealing food and thing which one needs to survive but cannot get any legal way. Of course, this leads to the question: what constitutes theft? Pierre-Joseph Proudhon said, ``property is theft''. Isaac Puente says, ``we cannot take more than what we need without robbing another.'' The origin of theft may be simply that the theif thinks himself more highly than the proprietor and believes he ``deserves'' the thing which he steals. So, we should change this commandment to ``Do not rob another of what is rightfully theirs and so set yourself up higher than another.''

    Do not speak falsely of others
    This also stems from disrespect of others. Some examples would be: the spreading of rumors and gossip, telling lies about another in order to get them in trouble, spreading misinformation about groups (such as other religions), etc. The best way to conform to this commandment is to simply look into the truth behind what you are saying. Instead of spreading rumors about another, ask them if what you heard is true (if it is worthy of repeating). Instead of spreading false rumors about other religons, ask believers what they believe and what is true. Also, do not be a fountain of falsity - do not create lies and spread what you know is false. So, the commandment now reads, ``Do not speak falsely of others.''

    Do not covet
    The original passage goes into a long list of things -- ``wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, ass, etc.:'' -- but I find that this shorter version is more appropriate as it does not imply that a man's wife actually \emph{belongs} to a man, and most people don't have servants (or in the original text, slaves) which also do not \emph{belong} to a man. Whether one can own part of Nature is also disputed. But you should not say to yourself, ``I would do anything to get that ox,'' because this will create animosity between yourself and the other person. I believe that this is an appropriate commandment if it is shortened to ``Do not covet.''

    A list of the Pagan Ten Commandments
    Do not honor one God or Goddess above the All
    No one thing is greater than another, for each is an image of the All
    Do not speak ill of the Gods
    Keep your holy days sacred
    Honor your elders and the knowledge which they hold; follow the instructions of your parents and bring honor to the household
    Honor Nature and do not destroy any part of it without just cause
    Regard sexuality as sacred and do not defile it with abusive acts
    Do not rob another of what is rightfully theirs and so set yourself up higher than another
    Do not speak falsely of others
    Do not covet


    Conclusion
    This is just one little Wiccan's interpretation of the Ten Commandments. But it is necessary to mention that the Wiccan Rede, ``An it harm none, do as thou wilt,'' provides for all of the commandments and more. The Christian ``Golden Rule'' -- which states that ``And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise,'' -- (Luke 6:31) also sums it up nicely.

    Please honor each other and the Gods, for that is the sum of all the laws and teachings. Do not simply tolerate one another, but rather embrace the contribution which each person gives to the community.

    Blessed Be,
    Tyler Roberson

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    This is a fluff piece and what alienated me from Wicca to begin with. It's nothing more than a Left-wing cult and ruining modern society like Scientology. There's nothing normal about Wiccan bias. It would not have been acceptable before Christianity. Any true adherent of the "old religion" would hold Wicca in as much contempt as they do Christianity.

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    Looks like these are actually the 2x7 commandments.

    Not the "Ten Commandments" .

    Since the Old Testament features the number "12+1" tribes of the Moon mainly,
    ten commandments were an invention of whom ?

    A crappy translation of an incomplete copy of the torah ?

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    Does numerology control everything?

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