By Craig Funston
After ten or twelve or fourteen years (I’ve run out of fingers counting) of writing this column, I think you, my beloved reader, will have a sense of where I am coming from. You can label me, or libel me, loathe me or love me, and I’m good with that.
So long as you pay for the coffee, it’s all good.
One week, I can be political; the next, personal. Sometimes, I can be soft and gushy; other times, I can be a bit of a hardliner. There are topics that really grab me, so I run with them for a few columns; other are one-hit wonders (as in I wonder where that came from?)
Very few are planned out in any detailed form, and that is intentional. I am not writing a treatise or a document. This is not a paper for my doctorate. I am writing as one fellow human to other fellow humans. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I certainly raise a lot of questions.
I work hard at writing well, trying to use the right word in the right spot, and I trust that if there are any other writers or grammarians out there in newspaperland, I will pass the test. But I also write to those who don’t have that bent, but enjoy reading and writing, and being entertained. Believe me, it is a fine line that I am trying to maintain. Whether I keep that balance, I cannot say. You, beloved reader, will be the judge of that.
You will see that I come from a background where right was right, absolutes ruled the day, and everything significant was governed by the Good Book. No, let’s call it what it is: The Bible.
That background formed my worldview, as you know. It colours my values, my morality, and my choices. It factors into how I view education, ethics, environment, and economics.
You will have your worldview, only your sources may be different from mine, so the results are likewise different.
And I’m okay with that. But I am not okay with that if those who oppose me choose to cram their religion or irreligion (not a word, I don’t think) down my throat. I think that’s a reasonable response on my part, and I trust you feel the same.
That is where I get really, really concerned about the state of our state, if you will. We are constantly being bombarded by invectives to make people like me look and sound like bigots, homophobes, imbeciles, and jerks, simply because we see things a different way.
Thus, I am very saddened by the direction of many systems today; take your pick: every level of government, financial and educational institutions, the media and the arts, and yes, even the church. That last category really hurts, because I am an active and participating member of a local gospel church, and I like to think that if anyone should has it right, the church should.
The church should, but often, it doesn’t. And I suppose I can be as guilty as every other church person at times.
On the basis of the above–my longest, rambling introduction on record, I think—I am going to introduce a series of columns, starting next week at the earliest, based on the Ten Commandments. Please do not stop reading, roll your eyes, and go have another beer. Read on, if you will.
I want to take the tact that we would be better off in a myriad of ways if we as a free society would practise, or at least attempt to practise the Ten Commandments. If any compliance with any set of suggestions or rules would make life longer, safer, cheaper, happier, and fuller, wouldn’t it be worth a try?
Of course, I believe they are commands with consequences (positive and negative), and history bears that out. I am saying “suggestions,” or “ideas,” or “hints,” in essence, to be a little funny, a little sensitive, and a little softer for the reader. But they are called “commandments,” so let’s go with that from now on.
I dare you to go find a Bible and look up the second entry (Exodus) and read chapter 20. If the Book itself is written by mere man or is a fairy tale, there is nothing to fear; but if it is what it claims to be, I posit that it will be the most productive investment of your time ever.
I claim without any exaggeration that if the Ten Commandments were practised, there would be such a radical change in our culture, you wouldn’t even recognize it as the same world you live in now.