31 May 2006

...for the letter kills, but the spirit giveth life.

To: letters@nytimes.com

To the Editor,

Re "Moses' Top Ten
Published: July 16, 2005


Aside the greater question of keeping Caesars and Gods in separate corners, Christians intent to affix "Ten Commandments" in American government venues (or anywhere else) should reread its second command which proscribes "graven images" (Exodus 20.4). Twenty ton granite monuments featuring the Ten Commandments would certainly qualify as "graven images" as well as "lithographs" (stone writings) hung on walls - in homes or in court houses. (The point was that any image is forbidden which substitutes attention, to any degree, from the invisible Divinity! - do we need to draw you a picture? or will WORDS suffice? [trick question])

The prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 31.31ff, cf: Heb. 8.6-13) stated that "the days will come that (the Lord) will make a NEW COVENANT, not according to the covenant...made with their Fathers...out of Egypt, but a covenant (He) will...write in their hearts." Well, this has not happened yet - in 2900 years.

This echoed by the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 3.6,2 NRSV)that "God has made us competent to be ministers of a NEW COVENANT - written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone, but on tablets of human hearts - for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." Still, not happening yet - 1960 years later.

As water is to fish, WORDS (yes, words!) themselves are the very invisible "graven idols" of bigots. (One does well to read ones own Book!)

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