Is morality based on some essential truth or is it defined by society? In this highly original critique of American social mores and popular culture, David Klinghoffer argues that the Ten Commandments are essential to maintaining a morally healthy society. With the meticulousness of a scholar, he begins by excavating the meaning of the Commandments. Drawing on the millennia-old rabbinical work Mechilta , he explains that the Decalogue was written on two tablets to show that when a country neglects the Commandments written on the first tablet—those having to do with the relationship between God and people—the interpersonal relationships described on the second tablet suffer irreparable damage as well.
Addressing such timely topics as the controversy over public displays of the Commandments and the battles over intelligent design, Klinghoffer demonstrates that Christians and Jews are united in their opposition to the pagan aspects of our culture. In the tradition of Hebrew prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah, he describes our failings with humor and compassion but also with anger and disappointment. An unusual, incisive perspective on the role of religion in society, Shattered Tablets is sure to spark debate. In the end Klinghoffer argues that by shrugging off the Bible as a guide and turning toward secularism, America has created a crude, cruel, and dishonest national life.
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|Title of eBook: Shattered Tablets|
|Release Date: 08-21-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
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I am the Lord your God,
who has taken you out of the land of Egypt,
from the house of slavery.
On a damp winter night in Seattle, I attended a protest rally against the first commandment. The Oxford biologist and best–selling author Richard Dawkins had come to address a crowd at Town Hall, a cavernous defunct church now used for cultural events. The suave Brit, a type for which Americans swoon, roused and delighted his listeners. Ostensibly, Dawkins’s subject was Darwinian evolution, of which he is the English–speaking world’s boldest and most charming advocate. But the mostly middle–aged, flannel–bundled Seattlites, packed tightly in the curving wooden pews of the old vaulted sanctuary, seemed less fired up by scientific details than by what the author had to say about modern life and values.
Dawkins set the evening’s tone by declaring himself “hostile to all forms of religion.” Over and over, he stuck his thumb in the eye of religionists by referring to the Darwinist belief that, far from being God’s children, humans are no more than animals. “We are all glorified lungfish,” he said with relish, exhaling contempt for any contrary opinion, “cousins of kangaroos and bacteria,” “fellow apes.”
He warned that with an evangelical Christian like George W. Bush in the White House, “People need to understand what they are up against in a society which is ruled by religious bigotry.” The audience clapped and guffawed. When Dawkins reflected on the fact that “My publishers are