The Ten Commandments have been updated for the new age by author Bernard J. Taylor, author of The House of Correction and other BDSM novels see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The-novels-of-Bernard_J_Taylor).
(There are many mentions of Jesus in the following, while not a Christian,I can respect the belief system while abhorring the atrocities committed by human beings in the name of their God
1. DO NOT TOLERATE INTOLERANCE. Intolerance of cultures, religions, lifestyles, sexuality and relationships different from ours is, and always will be, one of the greatest causes of human conflict. The only thing that should not be tolerated by any humane and civilized human being is intolerance itself. All people should be free to believe what they want, to pursue any goals they care to, and to behave in any way they want - provided it does not involve harm to or oppression of others.
2. RESPECT ALL PROPHETS AND RELIGIONS. The great prophets of the world all had valuable things to say, and they should all be respected. All spoke against the kind of violence and divisions we see – much of it being done in the name of religion. It should be remembered that most of the great prophets practiced humility and were against idolatry – including the kind of idolatry that focuses on a prophet as an individual and "godhead", rather than on the prophet's message. Mohammed taught his followers to respect the prophets that preceded him, and this is still practiced by the Sufi Muslims - even though the more fanatical breed of Muslim fundamentalists continue to ignore this tenet, just as many fundamentalist Christians ignore the spirit of what Jesus taught.
3. DO NOT USE RELIGION FOR NEGATIVE PURPOSES. Many people use religion as a tool of discrimination and an excuse for hatred. Anyone who "condemns" or "rebukes"another in the name of Jesus, Moses, Mohammed or any other prophet or religion,is abusing the original message of the great prophets. Moses' Ten Commandments continue to offer firm moral values in an uncertain and threatening world. Jesus' teachings of loving one's fellow man, "turning the other cheek", and the virtues of a non-aggressive lifestyle are more relevant now than ever. The self-discipline and gentle spiritual values of Buddhism are much needed. There are many common values running through all religions, and we should concentrate on the commonality rather than the differences.
4. RESPECT THE EARTH. Enough has been said elsewhere; we all understand the dangers of violating the earth, upsetting the balance of nature, and reducing the our planet's capacity to sustain life.
5. RESPECT GENDER AND PERSONALITY DIFFERENCES, BUT DON'T STEREOTYPE THEM. Very few people actually conform to the rigid stereotypes that men and woman are often assigned to. Most men are not exclusively the macho, take-charge, dominant people they are often expected to be. Likewise, most women are not exclusively the compliant, maternal, nurturing people they are often expected to be. Society's rigid expectations can be a very heavy burden for many. It is not uncommon to find women living in men's bodies and vise versa. In some cultures, a woman in a man's body has been considered a sacred entity. Many societies celebrate gentleness among men. There are many who believe that everyone is bisexual to some degree, and there is much evidence to support this belief. Many are born with a propensity to love people of the same sex, and have no control over their nature. Homosexuals themselves have been heavily stereotyped, and many seem happy to conform to these stereotypes, but there are also many homosexual men and women who do not conform to the stereotypes. What is important is that everyone is unique, and the differences between people should be respected.
6. RESPECT OTHERS' LIFESTYLES AND RELATIONSHIP CHOICES. People should be free to live their lives freely and to form whatever relationships they like, in whatever groupings they like, provided they do it responsibly and it not does not cause harm or oppression to others. No lifestyle or belief system has the monopoly on morality or virtue. Any respectful consensual activity or arrangement between adults should not be interfered with or penalized by others. It should be remembered that some of the revered social and marital customs of society are neither universal nor permanent.
7. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. Unless you are true to your inner nature, you will go through life living a lie. Unless instincts are a threat to others, you should hold with your inner voice and do and be what you feel is the right thing for you. If you do not feel comfortable with the person other people want and expect you to be, or if you don't go along inwardly with what people want and expect you to do, then resist. Too many people allow themselves to be swayed by the opinions of others, or by the dictates of fashion. Fashion is by its nature impermanent and cannot sustain the inner person. Those who put style before substance, and blindly follow the latest trends, will not find their own reality or spiritual satisfaction that way. Far too often, trivial things are invested with an importance far beyond their natural merits.
8. DO NOT WORSHIP AGGRESSION. Over the past century, violence and aggression have become institutionalized in our culture and reflected in the arts and in sport. In music, disharmony and aggression became increasingly fashionable, while the visual arts became increasingly obscure and inaccessible. Architecture became increasingly inhuman (even brutal) and often as pretentious as much of the "cutting edge" art and fashions. Sports stars became increasingly idolized for their aggression and – in some cases – for their sheer brutality. Jesus said: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (presumably when all the more aggressive people have killed each other off). As others have said, meekness does not mean weakness. It is a mark of strength to practice restraint under provocation.
9. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. Don't blame others when things go wrong. Don't use adversity as an excuse for self-pity. Like jealousy and avarice, self-pity is a corrosive disease of the soul.
10. FIND THE BEST IN OTHERS. Jesus said: "Love thy neighbor", and this is more important now than ever. Peace and progress can only be achieved through the spirit of respect, courtesy and cooperation. Aggression and conflict simply generate more aggression and conflict. However, there are some people, some organizations and some governments, which see such sentiments simply as weaknesses to be exploited. There is little that can be done with such people, organizations or governments, and there is no alternative but to forcefully oppose them and ensure that they do not prosper from aggressive oppression (which takes us back to the need for not tolerating intolerance).
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