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The Ten Commandments In the 21st Century
by Doug Hawley

A team of defense lawyers has given a modern interpretation of the Ten Commandments.

1. I am the Lord Your God. / You shall have no other gods before me.
Response – One of these is not even a commandment. Note that it says “before”, therefore having other gods equal is acceptable, so if you choose to have Morduk, Justin Bieber, money, a Corvette, Angelina Jolie, or the Portland Trailblazers as equal gods, you meet the letter of the law.

2. You shall not make yourself an idol. 
Response – We can’t imagine that applies to reality shows like “American Idol” or movie studios, the major producers of idols.

3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.
Response – “In vain”, what does that even mean? Other parts of the book imply that we can’t speak or know his/her name, and that there are many names for god, so how can we possibly apply this commandment? We don’t think that “Gosh” or “Golly” are offenses.

4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Response – If some say it is Saturday and some say it is Sunday, it would be completely unfair to apply this to either day. Anyway, how do we keep it holy? Does watching football and drinking beer count if football is a co-equal god?

5. Honor your father and mother.
Response – Visits on Christmas or Thanksgiving should be adequate.

6. You shall not kill/murder.
Response – If you are commanded by secular authority, such as the military, this commandment is rendered void. Police are exempt. If somebody threatens you in any way, say looking at you in an intimidating way, lethal response is considered self-defense.

7. You shall not steal.
Response – Office supplies should be considered de minimus. Borrowing and not returning does not constitute stealing.

8. You shall not commit adultery.
Response – If you did not enjoy it or agree to counseling afterwards, it should not be held against you.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Response – Your truth may not be his/her truth.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.  / You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Response – The first half is unenforceable because it is not gender neutral. Defining the difference between “liking” and “coveting” is a slippery slope no one is qualified to define.