The Ten Commandments
by Jim Rosenberg, November 9, 1994
In today's political climate, the formulation of law does not follow a
heavenly model. To illustrate how low we've sunk, here's how the Ten
Commandments might have been developed if the process were governed by
current political rules.
* Chief heavenly pollster informs God of alarming findings: His flock
is hungry for moral guidance.
* G-d floats a trial balloon, leaking word to key town criers that he is
formulating a comprehensive policy statement on proscribed human
behavior to be called "The Ten Commandments."
* Opponents are sharply critical of the plan, asking, "Do you want the
same guy who runs the weather to tell you how to live your life?"
* Slipping in the polls, the Deity taps David Gergen, formerly
associated with the Party of Darkness, as "Counsel to the Creator."
Gergen sees "absolutely no problem" with his previous service under
* "All The Almighty's Men," a scathing insider view of celestial
politics is released, triggering a nose-dive in the Lord's approval
* National Big Heavy Stones Association demands recision of "Thou Shalt
Not Commit Murder" prohibition, claiming it infringes on the protected
Right to Bear Arms and noting that "Rocks Don't Smote People, People
* G-d appoints Moses, influential human being person, as his Morality
Spin Doctor. They brainstorm strategy: "What if we chiseled the thing
on a tablet or something, and you come down from a mountain holding it
up above your head looking like Charlton Heston. Would that not be an
awesome Photo Op, or what?"
* Pharaoh Cuomo tries to horn into the spotlight, declaring, "The Ten
Commandments do not go far enough." He agonizes publicly over a
possible run at divinity himself, deciding in the end that "the
Pharaohship is where I belong now."
* Moses presents the Ten Commandments (now renamed by Gergen "The
Guaranteed Pathway to The Rapture Security Act") as planned in a
dramatic ceremony at the Pearly Gates, featuring a hot "Rock n Roll
* Tsenturion Tsongas ridicules the plan, quipping, "I'm not Santa Claus
-- I can't promise you eternal life if you follow ten rules." Tsongas
suggests a $1.00 per grain Sand Tax to pay for the sins of the people.
He is stoned.
* The People oppose the plan upon learning of its strict rules,
including a uniform penalty for non-compliance: roasting in the
white-hot flames of hell for eternity. The L-rd backpedals, saying, "I
have never said that all of the Commandments are written in stone. All
I want is righteousness as a whole. If we can approve "No Cussing" this
year, we'll phase in the others over a ten-year period.
* "Adulterers of the Euphrates" puts considerable pressure on the King
of Kings through their powerful lobbying group. God agrees to an
amendment stating, "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, Unless Thou Art
* One week before the vote, G-d gets tough, saying to Abraham: "Unless
you vote for the package as proposed, I will take your first-born son."
Abraham responds, "Okay, but you've got to come down to Mesopotamia and
stand next to me on the podium at the Shepherd's of Distinction
* A formal vote is held up in Congress, when greedy representatives
saddle the bill with the most useless make-work pork barrel project in
history -- The Pyramids.
* Centurion Helms filibusters over failure to add Eleventh Commandment
forbidding man to lie down with man.
* G-d goes directly to the people in a "Fireside Chat" -- his head
appears in their fireplaces, surrounded by flames. Ratings are
* Gergen advises the L-rd, "You are coming across as too High and
Mighty." The L-rd snaps back at Gergen "I am high and mighty." You
need to loosen up your image. Perhaps you can take up a musical
instrument. See if Gabriel can teach you how to use that horn.
* Perot appears on the "King Larry" show to debate. He is humiliated,
causing an upsurge in support for the Ten Commandments, but not
enough to win the votes.
* After a flurry of amendments and broad changes in the package as
originally proposed, the bill is passed.
* The L-rd signs the bill into law in a ceremony in the Cloud Garden.
As passed, the law contains no commandments, but authorizes new aqueduct
projects in the home districts of five key Centurions.