Sunday, October 05, 2008

The N...nth Commandment



Fr. Dunbar gave today's sermon and used as his theme the 9th Commandment, you know the part about not bearing false witness. Narrowing the 10 commandments down and focusing on just one can be enlightening. As a nefarious, "in your face that's what he said" type of blogger, I have to always worry about the corollary command, "Thou shalt not be too honest." Or the other, "For heavens sake, don't write anything that might offend someone!"

Having discovered that it is impossible to not offend at least one person somewhere when expressing my personal opinions, I have been guilty of breaking both corollary 1and 2 on occasion.

The recent Vice-Presidential debate and the conflicting reports from the various news media pundits provided us with many challenges to the Ninth Commandment.

Isn't it interesting how different witnesses can present radically different stories about the same event, and none would be considered guilty of breaking Commandment #9 if they felt they were presenting the truth as they saw it.

The truth as we see it is that which is viewed through our unique lenses, presented to our unique individual brain wiring and chemistry, and interpreted through the filters of past experiences and preconceptions.

To focus on the truth of a subject is to do away with all the lenses, filters, memories, etc. This is something more likely to lead to inner peace than reading blogs or listening to politicians "debate" can ever do as blogging is wired into the www and it's infinite resources of truths and untruths, and politicians are... well, I can't write the words right now for fear of corollary 1 and 2, so listen instead,





She is forgiven.

p.s. I hope the letter was from her Auntie.

19 comments:

  1. Was that video truly necessary?

    ;)

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  2. This comment is directed at you, the person behind these blogs, and not at any particular blog.

    Here is my problem with what you are saying and doing: You do not have the courage to identify yourself.

    Because of that, I am left wondering, each time I'm at the church:

    Is this person, whom I like, the underground pewster?

    Is the person from whom I received the sacrament today the some person who is posting anonymously about my church?

    Are you the person next to me in Sunday School class?

    Are you the father of one of the kids in this church with whom I work, and whom I dearly love?

    Did I exchange the Peace with you today?

    You see, I despise you. If you are my friend, frankly, you do not deserve my friendship. I think you are a coward. I think you are no gentleman. I think you are dishonorable. I think people should have the courage of their convictions. I do not care for cowards, and I prize civility and honor.

    And it is utterly unfair of you to make me wonder if the person looking me in the eye with apparent frankness is you. Your tactic protects you at the cost of everyone else in the church.

    I don't know why you feel you need to be secretive. You have a right to your opinions. I do not despise you for thinking whatever you wish to think, whether I agree with you or not.

    But it is not fair of you to leave me and others wondering if the person standing next to us at coffee hour is the coward who expresses his opinions freely but secretly, the person who cares so little for our congregation that he has to sow seeds of doubt in our minds about our fellow parishioners.

    Diane Rudulph

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  3. The truth as we see it is that which is viewed through our unique lenses, presented to our unique individual brain wiring and chemistry, and interpreted through the filters of past experiences and preconceptions.

    If I may offer a differing view, while I agree the above statement applies to how we view a specific set of facts, truth, i.e. the facts themselves, exist independently from our interpretation. Alas, in our postmodern society, we are told that the facts themselves are dependent upon our own internal analysis. The moment that proposition was accepted as a guiding principle is the moment the Ninth Commandment became superfluous for most people.

    Cheers.

    P.S. I wanted to post a friendly aside to Ms. Rudulph, from an outside Baptist regular visitor here, but thought better of it.

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  4. It appears that Ms Rudolph is off her meds. Such ad hominem attacks do not add to the discourse.

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  5. Anonymous1:26 PM

    John,

    I agree with Ms. Rudolph and not you. However, I have an advantage - I know who the pewster is - which in many ways makes it even more troubling - because every time I am around the pewster I have to wonder if my actions and words or the actions and words of my family will become fodder for this blog. But not to worry - you see God also knows who the Pewster is. In that we may all take comfort.

    C2G

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  6. r. sherman,

    I agree with you completely.

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  7. Anonymous/C2G:

    I note for the record that you are practicing that very thing which Ms Rudolph decries (and with which you claim to agree), namely, posting without signing your name. That leaves your pithy comments somewhere between disingenuous and hypocritical.

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  8. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Dear John,
    If your real name is John.... I counted the number of men I know named John - ran out of fingers and toes!........ so lets look in the morror why don't we?

    C2G

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  9. I am issuing a call for decorum in the comment section.

    Psalm 131 v. 2

    "But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me."

    I would rather not institute "Comment Moderation" again.

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  10. Decorum? From a person without the courage and courtesy to sign his name? From someone determined to sow seeds of discord in the church I love?

    Right.

    I received an email from a dear friend, who pointed out that I should pray for you. That is very hard for me, but I have progressed to the point of praying for the ability to pray for you.

    Diane Rudulph

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  11. Comment Moderation has been enabled.

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  12. Thanks be to God.

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  13. The noise level has certainly dropped since enabling of comment moderation. How should one interpret that?

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  14. Pewter, if you perform the "Liar, Liar" song and dance at coffee hour, you get all the cheese doodles.

    I'm thinking there is some level of Hell that Dante left out, where someone has to watch that bit for eternity....

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  15. Anonymous2:11 PM

    Cato - just lack of interest!

    C2G

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  16. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Hi-de-ho there neighbors - fyi, Fr. Charlie knows the Pewster's identity, as do numerous vestry members. They decided to let the Pewster's free speech carry on without comment, lest there be a public lynching. It's said that public lynchings are bad for churches. So let the Pewster be....

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  17. Well, Anonymous, I don't know if the Pewster (not the "Pewter," Robert, although I did enjoy coming up with various metallurgical systems of allusions on which that could be based), but I know who he is now, too. I have told the Pewster (via this blog) that I know -- although I did not tell him who he is, because, of course, he already knows. And, of course, he did not publish it, because I'm being moderated.

    Anyway, whoopee, I'm in on the big secret now. And, sure enough, the Pewster turns out to be someone I like, someone whose wife I like, someone in whose home I've had dinner, someone who sometimes sits in on the Sunday school class I attend.

    I still don't like it that he does this from the shadows.

    But aside from a couple of fairly bland messages that the Pewster nonetheless quashed, I have, as it happens, let the Pewster be. I have said what I needed to say.

    Diane Rudulph (not "Rudolph")

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  18. Oh, and by the way, John, my attack could not possibly have been "ad hominem" when at the time I did not know who the homo was.

    (Pewster, please let this one go through -- it's only fair that I be able to answer John, whoever the heck he is . . .)

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