Losing Moses on the Freeway
The 10 Commandments in America
The 10 Commandments -- the laws given to Moses by God -- are beyond the scope of human law. They are rules meant to hold us together but, when dishonored, they lead to discord and violence.
In this fierce, articulate narrative, Hedges, who graduated from seminary at Harvard Divinity School, looks through the lens of each commandment to examine the moral ruin of American society. With urgency and passion, he challenges readers to take a hard look at the disconnect between their supposed values and the shallow, self-absorbed lives many people actually lead.
Taking examples from his personal life and twenty years of reporting, Hedges explores one commandment at a time, each through a particular social group. With each story, he reveals the universal nature of personal suffering, discovery, and redemption -- and explores the laws that we have tried to follow, often unsuccessfully, for the past 6,000 years.
Hedges, a correspondent at the New York Times, first made a name in the book world with his remarkable study War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. Now Hedges, the son of a Presbyterian minister, brings together ruminations on the 10 Commandments. Inspired by Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Decalogue (a series of 10 films, each based on one of the commandments) each of these pieces profiles someone who has "struggled on a deep and visceral level with one of the commandments." Some of the chapters like Hedges's meditation on how consumerism becomes a way of taking the Lord's name in vain are quite profound. And some of the connections he makes are refreshingly creative; his chapter on idolatry, for example, tells the story of a young woman who makes an idol out of the rock band Phish. But sometimes, he's banal ("Time is short. Life is brief"), and sometimes Hedges's very creativity drains his profiles of impact. The chapter on greed, for example, portrays a woman named Karen Adey, who dreams about becoming a multimillionaire and has hemorrhaged thousands of dollars attending self-help seminars in an effort to make her dream come true. This chapter could have resonated more if he had written about someone whose covetousness was just as pervasive, but a little more run-of-the-mill, like the college kid who goes into credit card debt buying clothes and CDs he doesn't need. Although this exploration of the 10 Commandments is uneven, much of it is provocative.
Good god, Hedges, you know better than this. From a man with enough courage and honesty to stand up publicly against the corrupt insanity of the Bush administration, or expose Obama for the fraud that he is, to write a ridiculous book like this only shows that you are still clinging to your religious delusions and defending your unreasonable beliefs in the madness that is Christianity.
Indeed sir, you propose that the root of the supposed moral decline in our culture has something to do with the insane babblings of bronze age lunatics who were driven even further into insanity by religious teachings? Get a grip dude, you cannot be taken seriously as a serious critic of the world's shortcomings and then prescribe to us as a solution, the Ten Commandments. Please do your history