This was going to be Part 2 of my Fuck Catholicism series but the thing I want to discuss is the ten commandments. So it can’t be a fuck catholicism entry because all three of the major world religions (and presumably a vast majority of their sub-sects as well) hold the commandments in high esteem. So while I’m not quite ready to say fuck judaism and fuck islam, I am certainly ready to say fuck the ten commandments (well, partially, some of them are ok, maybe).
So without further ado…
(there is some scholarly disagreement on the exact verbiage for the 10 commandments but I’m no scholar and so I’m just gonna list what I feel is a fair representation of the ten)
(also, I’m no goddamn logician or philosopher so I’m sure I’m making all kinds of logical errors and shit but this blog is just to amuse me so I’m not really interested in that kind of feedback. I’m just an asshole speaking his peace. And I’m fully aware that I’m taking cheap shots by favoring a literal interpretation of the prohibitions but if you’re more pissed about my cheap, juvenile shots than all of the insanely evil things religions have done to people, than we just gotta agree to disagree)
1. Thou shalt have no others gods before me
So later on in the 10, this god says don’t be jealous. But it sure seems like this prohibition is pretty jealous. I mean is this god banning all other gods because they are all other really big assholes and he doesn’t want humanity to get fucked over? Is this god banning all other gods because they are way cooler and nicer and better than this god? I think that’s not an entirely unreasonable scenario because if you read the shit this god pulls throughout the old testament, you can present a really strong case that this god is pretty shitty.
Let’s say it’s neither. If god is omniscient and omnipotent (and I don’t think there’s too much disagreement on these characteristics but if there is, please feel free to educate me) then why is this god so worried about other gods? I mean it’s cool that this god seems to know that it has imbued humanity with free will so it has to make sure to tell humanity what is kosher and what is not. But if it’s all powerful, why even allow other gods to exist to tempt it’s precious human worshippers? Is it that you have to let something go and if it comes back to you, it really loves you? But this god isn’t exactly saying that, is it? It’s saying quite explicitly that if you step out on it, you are gonna face consequences (and here’s where things start to wildly vary – it depends on which religion and/or sub-sect as to what the consequence is – it can range from a spiritual stink eye to eternal damnation). This dynamic feels like an abusive relationship. If partner A misbehaves, than Partner B is going to bitchslap them. Seems like Partner A (this god) is treating his precious humanity like they’re children. So while it’s obvious that humans are not all powerful, treating humans like children doesn’t seem to be the best foundation for a fulfilling relationship for both sides.
So my take on this is that this god, if it is all powerful and all knowing, is a weird, jealous, game playing prick.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
So basically this is another prohibition against cozying up to other gods. But instead of just forbidding humanity from seeing other gods, this one specifically doesn’t want humanity to make representations of other gods. So it’s like when a possessive partner doesn’t want his possessed partner to keep photos of their side piece on their phone? Seems kinda redundant to me. But I guess this god is so insecure, it has to make sure it’s clear that it is the ONLY one for you.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Not only does this super self-assured god demand a monogamous relationship, it specifically does not want you to abuse its name. Again there is some disagreement between the religions as to what that means. Some say you can’t use god’s name at all. Some say you can’t use it in a bad way like if you find out you got the clap from that one night stand and you wanna vent. Either way, this god’s pretty sensitive. Again, isn’t this god all powerful and all knowing? So this god really cares if some wholly insignificant species uses its name badly? Or in a mean way?
So far, with the first 3 commandments, I’m seeing a picture of a giant crybaby.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
Now this one is just plain batshit crazy. So here’s the deal (again I’m not presuming any knowledge of old testament god). This god created the universe and the world and man and everything in 6 days. You may ask yourself: why would it take an all powerful and all knowing being 6 days to do anything? Why couldn’t this being just snap its tentacles (I like to think of god as a space octopus) and just have everything be poofed into existence? And why the fuck does an all powerful and all knowing being need to rest? Maybe they just don’t make all powerful and all knowing beings like they used to?
So because this god needs further validation (see commandments 1-3), this god wants his subjects to rest on every 7th day (just rest, mind you, it doesn’t say any bullshit about going to boring ass mass or not using your cell phone – that is all shit brilliant fucking humanity decided to add on to this already insane request). So this god’s gonna chill on Sunday and wants you to chill also. I guess compared to the first 3 commandments, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. Human beings, unlike all powerful beings, need to rest. Or at least they certainly benefit from rest.
So I’m going to give this one a D- because even though it’s based in fucking craziness, it isn’t an awful request. I guess.
5. Honour your father and your mother (so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.— Exodus 20:12 -NIV)
This might be my favorite. In 2004 I worked for the Department of Children and Families in Miami, Florida. My job was to review child welfare cases, which included detailed descriptions of the physical and mental abuse perpetrated on children by their parents, to see if the state could get some financial help from the federal government. It was a boring job. And as I’m largely missing the empathy part of the brain, the horrible stories I read rarely bothered me. And even when it came to some coworkers who weren’t broken like me, even though they might have started out being horrified, reading file after file of familial horrors eventually lost all of initial shock and awe.
I say this because this god back then apparently didn’t care if your parents were assholes or monsters or worse. In fact, back in the old testament days, apparently if someone struck or even cursed out their parents, the penalty could include death. That’s right, death. If that isn’t insanely fucked up I don’t know what is.
The child welfare case is just an extreme example of the kind of human feces that should never be honored just because they happened to luck into creating another human being. Parental abuse comes in all shapes and sizes and there is a large spectrum that ranges from absolute evil to just annoying. No one who is being an asshole to you deserves your deference.
This is an especially fucked up one if you ask me but it does jibe with the overall theme of the first 4 of a deity who is super insecure and wants to make sure humanity stays in line.
6. Thou shalt not kill
A reasonable prohibition. You should not kill people. Except unless if it’s this god’s will. This god on many occasions has been cool with his worshippers going to war and killing loads of non-believers. Or if this god wants to do it. I mean this god killed a dude for pulling out of his wife because he didn’t want to get her pregnant because this god felt that was disrespectful. Not to mention this god levels entire cities (because presumably every single member of the city’s population is completely irredeemable – wait, if this god is all powerful, how come this god can’t help these irredeemable people turn their lives around? I know I’m belaboring the all powerful being angle but frankly, I want to emphasize, not that it’s not already incredibly clear, that this is a house of cards built on utter bullshit.)
I think killing in self-defense is cool. But again, there’s not a lot of context given with these commandments. That just lets people run wild with interpretations and that has never been good for anyone.
7. Thou shalt not steal
Pretty reasonable. According to some scholars, this actually really meant don’t kidnap people, or steal people, or participate in slavery. I can get behind this interpretation. Only complete pieces of shit like Roy Moore like slavery. But the common modern day interpretation is don’t steal things. Again, this is where shit gets hairy.
See, the punishments for stealing things range from, again, spiritual stink eye, to chopping off hands, to, hold on for it, BEING SOLD INTO SLAVERY.
Now if the Jewish scholars are correct about this really being a prohibition against slavery, then why in the literal fuck would one of the potential consequences for violating this be MORE SLAVERY?
I’ll answer that for you. Because this god is a psychotic douchebag.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
So the scholarship goes that this encompasses perjury and non-perjury lying. The latter is ok in several cases, especially in the case of white lies. Like when I ask my hooker if I’m attractive and she says yes. But if you lie under oath, then your ass is grass.
I guess I’m all for a fair trial so perjury isn’t good for that goal. So I’m actually gonna let this one pass. So far it’s the only commandment I can really wholly get behind. It’s a fucking miracle.
9. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife
So if I’m being literal, all this says is I can’t lust after a married woman. So now this god is into thought crime? First of all if I see a gorgeous woman, I’m going to lust after her. It’s a 100% percent natural response to that kind of stimuli. This god might as well be telling you to not laugh when someone tickles you. How can you not laugh if you’re tickled? It’s fucking impossible.
But of course the modern interpretation (thanks Roman Catholicism and all other strains of socially conservative religion) is that you can not only not lust but you can’t engage in the following (though of course the following was never mentioned in the original prohibition. Leave it to humanity to make shit even more crazy and more difficult to follow.): (oh and before you even start I have no issue with adding pedophilia, bestiality and rape to the list of horrible things you should not do – my line is consenting adult human beings. If you’re an adult and you can consent and you wanna do crazy shit with another adult who can consent, go for it.)
Oh right, here’s the other shit you can’t do that’s been attributed to this commandment:
fornication, which is sex between unmarried people, prostitution, pornography, homosexual activity, masturbation, group sex, rape, incest (if you are two adult people and you happen to be siblings and you want to bang each other, that’s pretty fucked up but I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business), pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia (this is a grey area for me too because they’re dead; they obviously don’t care. But it’s likely upsetting to their surviving loved ones and a dead body can’t give consent but it obviously isn’t an animate object so that isn’t even a reasonable standard.
But fornication, jerking off, group sex, prostitution, pornography, homosexual activity are all forbidden, too? Fuck that shit.
Do whomever (adult) you want to do in whatever manner you want to do them (again, consent, adults, etc). This commandment is bananas.
10. Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s goods
I’m all for resisting the cult of materialism in the modern world so on it’s face I’m pretty ok with this one. Though again, if my neighbor has a sweet 80 inch HD TV, I’m gonna covet it just naturally a little bit. There shouldn’t be any harm in that.
So I’ll let this one pass.
So in summary, 80% of the ten commandments are either insane or hypocritical or rife with loopholes. Yet most of the religious world (which is most of the world period) thinks they are the way to go. Well, as a lifelong cynic, I’m comfortable saying this to the wide swaths of humanity: fuck you all the way to hell.