I’m not a religious kind of guy; god and I are not on speaking terms. Yet every now and then I feel there may be a grain of truth in the stray odd religious concept. Take the Ten Commandments, for example. A good idea, but lacking in execution. Everyone seems to pay them lip service, but nobody actually follows them. The commandments offer guidelines intent on making us better people but, admit it, you do covet your neighbor’s wife, you work on Sundays and you steal boatloads of office supplies from work. Yes, morally and spiritually, you are a train wreck.

But maybe it’s not all your fault. The current bunch of edicts is hopelessly out of date and, according to my research (which consists of a quick look at Wikipedia and several George Carlin performances), there seems to be a butt-load more than 10 commandments. Furthermore, dudes like that Exodus guy and Deuteronomy are slipping in some really weird confusing ones, such as “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” … Duuuude!? Boiling a neighbor kid in his Mom’s milk??? That is totally weird no matter how you slice it. And, more important, why? What in the hell can you do with a soggy, boiled child for Chrissakes?

The old mandates are lost in the terminology of the ancients; a lot of talk about lambs, donkeys, tablets, unleavened bread and false idols … who has these things anymore? (Well, we do genuflect to “American Idle.”) We need new and improved practical commandments that speak directly to today’s youth such as, “Thou shalt not screw up the microwave by cooking the toothpaste tube.”

Here are a few commandments that I simply don’t understand and are in urgent need of updating.

A) The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. OK, WTF??? Just where in the hell do you redeem a donkey for lamb these days, the livestock dept. at Macy’s? And if unredeemable, do you know how hard it is to break a donkey’s neck?

B)  And you will take wives from among their daughters for your sons, and their daughters who prostitute themselves to their gods will make your sons also prostitute themselves to their gods. – OK, I don’t really understand this one, but it sounds illegal to me and just a tad gross.

C)  Do not have any other gods before me. – This indicates that god thinks there are other gods, and he’s just a tad resentful. Clearly sounds like biblical red-lining if you ask me. I feel the “one god” concept may be in serious jeopardy here. And if there are other gods running around, do I owe them money too?

D)  But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. – I think this means illegal aliens, slaves and all cows are supposed to get Sundays off. Republicans don’t like this one much because illegal aliens and slaves do their lawns on Sundays. The only one obeying this Sunday commandment is Chick-Fil-A. (Of course the rest of the week is really, really hard on the chickens.)

E)   All that first opens the womb is mine, all your male livestock, the firstborn of cow and sheep. –Apparently god has a “Livestock Shakedown Racket” operation going on outside of his regular church gig.

F)  Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. – I don’t know about you but I never set foot in Egypt and I’ve never been a slave … unless you consider living in New Jersey slavery. But no one prays in Jersey except when the Giants are playing.

G)  No one shall appear before me empty-handed. – Jeeesh! Sounds a bit like a Congressman lookin’ fer an Insurance lobbyist.  You’d think he could lighten up a bit with this recession going on?

H)  Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. – And just where the hell are we supposed to visit this god three times a year? Since he lives in Israel and I live in Georgia maybe he won’t notice that I don’t show. And why don’t wives have to go to this boring god convention?

I)  You shall not commit adultery. – Oh yeah, leave it to religion to get rid of the one fun one. Well, if this were to actually happen, hell would empty out and freeze over, requiring a whole new set of commandments. But I wouldn’t count on this happenin’, cuz adultery is more popular than beer and football.

J) You shall not murder. – I know, I know, it seems unreasonable, but this one you should actually obey …

So, with the old ones being outdated and incomprehensible, I’m going to suggest “A New Ten” for today’s environment.

1)  Thou shalt not Text, IM, Twitter, Tweet, FaceBlog, Link-Me-In or Hook-Me-Up. Ye shall not Yammer, MySpace or Digg on the Sabbath or any other goddamn day! That shit is really annoying!

2)  Thou shalt not useth a cell-ith phone whil-ith driving. In fact, get rid of that thing altogether.

3)  Thou shall not commit adultery too often. Coveting thy neighbor’s hot wife can result in getting your ass severely kick-ithed (or beaten with a nine iron) If you do covet-ith your neighbors wife, for god’s sake, do not tell-ith anyone. (Tiger can bring you up to speed on this one)

4)  You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor… in other words just stay the hell away from all your neighbor’s shit!  In fact, if your neighbor owns an ox, a donkey or a slave, you really should move to a better neighborhood.

5)  Thou shall not blow-ith your leaves onto-ith your neighbor’s property.

6) Thou shalt not watch American Idol, Dynasty or hopeless, crying fat people getting onto truck scales. That shit will turn you and a thousand generations of your offspring stupid.

7) Thou shalt stop wearing those little American flag pins on your lapel! Christ Almightily, we get it already, you’re American, so are the rest of us!

8) Thou shallest rest-ith on the 7th day, which is necessary after partying all day Saturday, drinking 12 mojitos and doing all that coveting. Also rest most of Wednesday and Friday, but do not tell-ith your boss.

9) Thou shalt not shoot-ith, stab-ith or “bust a cap” in anyone! People, you really shouldn’t need a commandment to tell you this!

10) Thou shall observe-ith NFL Sundays and keep beer and all smoked meats holy.

There, if you just follow those 10 you are going to be a lot better person.

If you want to become a truly stellar individual, here are a few (optional, non-mandatory) X-tra Commandments to follow:

11)  Thou shall not rent Tom Cruise movies; man, do they suck.

12)  Thou shalt not wear spandex unless you are breathtaking … spandex is a privilege, not a right.

13)  Thou shalt not take golf seriously; it is a game, not a sport and a truly moronic waste of time.

14)  Thou shalt learn how to properly yield the right of way and negotiate a 4-way stop.

15)  Thou shalt not “Friend Me” on Facebook.  If I haven’t talked to you since 1968, I’m probably not your friend.

Good luck with the new and improved, simple-to-follow, heat-and-serve commandments – fresh from the mountaintop.

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Trevor Stone Irvin

Trevor Stone Irvin

Illustrator and Designer living in the Candler Park area...At one time I worked at the Atlanta Constitution and then for CNN at the startup...it all seemed too much like real work so I went freelance...which my father defined as "being unemployed for a real long time".