Here's the Nonsense: We can define common values for the world and move into the future with great hope.
Here's the Horse Sense: Everything man comes up with ultimately fails. Not only is the idea of common values short-sighted, it's foolish. That's not how we assure ourselves of a great future.
Poland's Lech Walesa is calling for the creation of a secular Ten Commandments to be used to build the world of tomorrow. I've got news for him. It won't work. It can't work. Man has tried over and over again to create everything from organizations to guidelines that will bring us to a new and better future and they never work. Whether they are international or domestic efforts, they always fail. In the U. S. Barack Obama is trying to fundamentally change our nation and, while his planned transformation may succeed, what the U. S. would be transformed in to would fail. But Barack Obama, like so many think, they have answers when all they have are tired old ideas that fail miserably in the end, leaving in their wake destruction and death. No matter how noble the idea, they always fail.
Walesa is known for his leadership of the trade union in Poland that successfully negotiated a peaceful end to communism there. Quite a good and noble feat. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for it (I know, I know. So did Barack Obama, which says more about the lack of common sense of the Nobel committee than it does about anything else). But even with those credentials Walesa, as is typical of world leaders, is still missing something. Let's take a look at what his proposal boils down to and why it would fail.
As reported by France24.com, Walesa opened a 3 day conference in Warsaw by saying, "We need to agree on common values for all religions as soon as possible, a kind of secular Ten Commandments on which we will build the world of tomorrow." Just that short statement shows the misunderstanding he has of values.
You can't make an agreement about values. Values exist and you either embrace them or reject them. It's not about coming up with agreeable values. Look at the Ten Commandments and see if you notice what I'm going to explain:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
So, the first 4 commandments deal with man's relationship to God. All 10 of them deal with accountability to God. None of them mean a thing if God isn't involved. You could remove the first 4 and replace them with something else, but the last 6 are worthless without the first. Why? Because if God isn't involved, there's no accountability.
We must understand that if there is not an ultimate accountability beyond our human selves, then there really is no accountability. If I don't understand that one day I will be accountable for my life down to the smallest detail, then there is no reason for me to care how I live. If I'm not accountable, then there's no reason to embrace a moral life. Rather, I might as well do as I please because I'll never have to pay a price for whatever I do.
That's the problem with Walesa's call for a secular Ten Commandments. It can't work. It can't be an agreement among men because there is no one to hold them accountable. Our values must come from something higher and bigger than us. That's what the real Ten Commandments are. They are a gift from God, the creator of the universe, to us to help us remember that we will be accountable one day. They are foundation stones of Judeo-Christian values. And it's those values that influenced both directly and indirectly the founders of the United States and the laws upon which our nation was founded. They're the basis for America's greatness in the world.
We often hear people challenge the greatness of America. And they go berserk when credit for the claimed greatness has anything to do with religion. But whether they accept the facts or not, truth is truth. And the truth is that no nation has done as much good, freed as many people, and prospered more of humanity throughout all of history than the United States of America. I'd venture to say that the U. S. has probably done more good than the rest of the world combined throughout history.
America's greatness is declining under the leadership of the people we have in Washington these days. America's greatness can be revived, but only if American citizens will, in their personal lives, embrace the values upon which we were founded. It takes more than lip service. It takes sincere effort and rejection of anything less than those values.