And it came to pass that countless illiterate, sanctimonious, bible-whomping wankers got into the annoying habit of suggesting that we desperately need the guidance of the Judeo-Christian God -- and, more specifically, the Ten Commandments -- to show us the proper path, morality-wise. For without such guidance, we would be lost like, well, like Moses who took 40 goddamned years to cross a freaking desert because, being a guy, there was no freakin' way he was going to stop and ask for directions. But I digress. Onward, to where we can peruse carefully and appreciate the wisdom that should be imparted to our young'uns, so that they may know right from wrong:
1 The LORD said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3 No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain."
4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.
OK, OK, yadda yadda yadda, movin' on ...
10 Then the LORD said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.
OK, then: God -- totally awesome. God roolz! Got it. Next?
11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
Glad to hear that, what with those Amorites and Canaanites and the rest of them being such total pains in the asses, but you'll handle all that. Excellent. One less thing to worry about. But can we pick things up here? I'm kinda nodding off. OK, here we go ...
14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Um ... OK, so ... the first major rule of Christian morality is to ... be really, really, exclusively Christian? I'm kinda missing the morality there but, no matter, let's move on. I'm sure it gets better.
15 "Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.
All right ... no treaties and avoid their dinner parties. Gotcha.
16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
Arranged marriages? Check.
17 "Do not make cast idols.
No cast idols, then. Check.
18 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt.
Um ... all right, something about unleavened bread during the month of Abib. We'll see what we can do about that. Anything else?
19 "The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. 20 Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons.
Sorry, come again? Can you clarify that bit about redeeming versus breaking necks? I'd hate to get confused and mix them up with it comes to my firstborn son. I'm sure you can appreciate my concern.
"No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
OK, I'll see what I can do. Maybe a little something from the flock or the herd?
21 "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
All right, that I can handle -- plowing season does get a bit tiring, I'm sure we all understand that.
22 "Celebrate the Feast of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. 23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.
Um ... not sure what all that "firstfruits" and "Ingathering" stuff is about, but I like the part about driving out nations and protecting my turf. Yeah, that totally rocks. Next?
25 "Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.
OK, blood ... yeast ... sacrifice ... and polish it all off, no leftovers. God doesn't like leftovers. If you insist. Anything else?
26 "Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God. Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk."
OK, there's that "firstfruits" thing again. And ... something about cooking a goat. I'll see what I can do. We just about done here?
27 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel." 28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.
All right, then, I think we have the basis for some seriously kick-ass morality here, so you damned kids can just, um, well, do that firstfruits thing, and something about an "Ingathering," and deal with that goat, and break a few necks, and something something whatever during the month of Abib. And get the hell off of my lawn while you're at it.
The Ten Commandments: When life is complicated, and morality can be confusing, and you're just not sure how to cook that fucking goat.