Reader's View: In idolatry to God, we've raped the earth
"Thou shall not murder the innocent unborn," which was mentioned in the Sept. 8 letter, "Consequences result from ignoring commandments," is not one of the 10 Commandments.
What did the letter mean by "God's" commandments? All our God language is an attempt to talk about a mystery that is beyond our knowing how to express, the mystery which encompasses and makes life meaningful.
Yes, most people have believed in gods, evolving from the many gods of early peoples to the Greek gods to the Hebrew idea of one god. Today, this understanding has been expanded by secularism and the modern sciences that emerged directly out of Christianity.
The particular idea of God put forth by the letter was as an idol, as described in the Second Commandment (in the Old Testament book of Exodus) and is thus condemned by religious laws. We create idols of our rigid idea of a God, or the Bible, money, status, etc., to provide us with a sense of safety and security in an uncertain world. But they turn out to be forms of self-deception. Idols have the capacity to blind and imprison our minds and take away our freedom to think for ourselves. Idolatry prevents us from becoming the full person each of us has the capacity to become. Idolatry leads to dehumanizing others and too often to fanaticism and the destruction of life itself.
The spiritual expression of a God is that "in which/whom we live and move and have our being," as has been stated. This spirit is the earth or the web of life and the human community from which we and our forebears emerged, which sustains us and to which we eventually return.
Yet, in blind idolatry to a rigid God, we've been raping the earth, destroying this web, and denigrating our own human communities.