It’s clear that in this day and age the Ten Commandments as originally written are just not up to the task of dealing with all the nuances of modern life. So in order to make all our lives that bit easier and yet still guarantee us all a seat on the right hand of the Lord, here’s a re-draft:
1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. However if it or they are not strange to you, it’s fine. Crave all the false idols you need.
2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. But if it’s not in vain, that’s ok, I’d hate to hold you back.
3. Remember thou keep the Sabbath Day. As in keep it well hidden.
4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother. Assuming you know who they are. Putting them into a hideous ‘rest home’ and leaving them to die whilst visiting just once a year counts. Just because you honor them doesn’t mean you should have to pay for them – you didn’t ask to be born.
5. Thou shalt not kill. Unless the Pope says it’s ok. Unless your generals say they have to. Unless the other guy is a bad guy (you get to define ‘bad guys’). Unless the bad guys are foreign. Or funny. Or different. Or attack you first. Or unless you really, really want to.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery. More than once a week. I did not have sex with that woman. Or unless you really, really want to.
7. Thou shalt not steal. ‘Steal’ as defined by the courts. Or unless you really, really want to.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Unless they really deserve it. Unless it’s for the greater good (as defined by you). Or unless you really, really want to.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife. Have sex with, yes – covet, no. Or unless you really, really want to.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods. Unless you really, really want to.