”Thou shalt have no other gods before me .Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them : for I the lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me . And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ”
It has always puzzled me why, that for millennia the vast majority of the population of the world has allowed a small number of people, mainly men, to pass laws and generally tell the masses how to behave and what to do with their lives . In my country, the United Kingdom there is approximately a population of 60 million people and yet about 600 men and women are in control of the law – even less, as most MP’s vote how they are told . This happens all over the world from totalitarian regimes to so called democracies – a very small number tell 6 billion men and women what is right and what is wrong . How did this happen ?
The lines at the beginning of this post come from the Ten Commandments given to Moses – as far as I can tell, this is the first time that ‘ God ‘ gave detailed instructions to the human race how to behave . What really bugs me is that Moses got away with it – if Barack Obama climbed Mount Everest and returned with a tablet of stone saying that income tax should be increased by 3%, that everyone should undertake National Service and that God told him this, he would rightly be greeted with derision . But Moses was believed and from this time the role of governments have taken on a quasi-spiritual flavour.
My theory is that subconciously, we give ‘our leaders ‘ god like qualities and believe that their laws come from God himself. And as it says in the Ten Commandments he is a jealous god and will throw thunderbolts and punish us in all sorts of horrible ways if we disobey him . At first glance, George Bush’s and Tony Blair’s declarations that they prayed to God before launching the Iraq War seems laughable, but the answer seems to have been that the war was God’s Will . Subconciously, this sort of public declaration is very powerful implying God supports the war and is on our side , even if our ‘enemies’ also claim to have God’s support.
It seems absurd to me to believe that God takes sides and that he has a direct hot line to our leaders, telling them what to do and what is best for the rest for us . Do we have to do what our governments tell us – pay income tax, follow their laws, drop bombs on fellow human beings . The individuals in government are no different to you or me . Do they have the right to tell anybody what to do ? Do we have to obey their laws and proclamations, if we don’t want to ? This raises a further fundamental question – does anyone have the right to make decisions for others ?
‘God’ does not tell us what to do and we are making this up as we go along . A God of Free Will does not lay down the Law and it is we who restrict ourselves, as deep down we are frightened of true freedom . There is no Law apart from in our minds . We are free if we want to be .