Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Thou shalt not what again?

If you work in a church, it doesn't seem like the Ten Commandments would be all that hard to follow. After all, it is only ten major laws that you should know and keep yourself from violating if you want to prove to the Great Employer in the Sky that you deserve a promotion when your current assignment ends. This would go double if part of your chosen job is to tell others about these laws, to that they can also get a good pension.

Of course, we live in a world where we see police officers in trouble for breaking the laws that they have chosen to uphold, so it shouldn't come as a major shock that a man of the cloth would violate any of the ten laws set down on a couple of carved tablets, if you believe the stories. Somehow, though, it does. It might be because of the crimes committed.

Today's story is actually a good example of things getting a little too far out of hand, and adding more problems onto the pile. According to the jury's findings, a preacher had been embezzling money from a rancher, to the tune of over $1 million. Now, we're no Biblical scholars, but we're fairly certain that there's something about theft being listed in that group of ten rules. So it only makes sense that the preacher might have tried to conceal his illicit doings. While others might have tried to hide the money within an organization (possibly one that accepts free-will donations to maintain operation), he took a different course.

His course was to kill the old rancher. Again, not scholars, but we KNOW that those rules don't look kindly on killing.

Maybe he was suffering from a lapse in reason, or maybe he'd simply forgotten about the universal laws that he was supposed to follow. Maybe he was looking for a way to turn this situation into an anecdote for his sermons. Or maybe he felt that, having a more direct pipeline to the hereafter, he would get a pass.

Ultimately, this does present a lesson that we can all learn from. And that lesson? Don't believe that you're above the law, especially if you're supposed to be keeping them fresh in people's minds.

Sometimes simply being an example is the worst example you can be.

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