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God to Alabama: not like

God to Alabama: not like

Fred Clark, writing at The Slactivist, finds it “beyond ironic to obscene” that the state who spent the most time trying to have the 10 Commandments in the state courthouse has just passed the most oppressive laws against caring for the stranger in their midst:

I suppose part of what gets to me about Alabama’s harsh new papers-please law and its crackdown on Sooners is that this is the same state that spent much of the past decade boasting of its fealty to the (Protestant formulation of the) Ten Commandments.

…extravagant claims of obedient submission to the Ten Commandments are at the core of the very same conservative movement in Alabama that pushed for, passed and signed into law the nation’s harshest statute for the harassment, persecution and prosecution of the stranger and the alien in our midst.

And that shoots past “ironic” to land squarely on “obscene.”

The Ten Commandments, like all of the many laws contained in the Books of Moses, cannot be divorced from the basis for those commandments — the constant and relentless refrain that always accompanies the commandments of the Pentateuch: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt.”


It is not simply, “Because I am your God,” but “Because I am your God.” You must not oppress the poor, this God says, because I am your God and this is what your God is like. You must welcome the stranger, this God says, because I am your God and this is what your God is like.

The commandments, in other words, are not merely edicts from God — inscrutable and ineffable rules to which we must submit. The commandments also teach us about God. They tell us what God is like. And what God likes and dislikes.

This Alabama law is not what God is like. And God does not like such laws.

Read more here.


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Joseph Mathews

I hope that our bishops in Alabama might make some statements like our United Methodist sisters and brothers:

Lois Keen


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