|Religious Observations of George Carlin:|
The Ten Commandments
We're gonna start with the first three... and I'm gonna use the Roman Catholic version cuz that's what I was taught as a little boy:
I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath.
Right off the bat, the first three: pure bullshit. ... Sabbath Day, Lord's name, strange gods. Spooky language! Spooky language! Designed to scare and control primitive people. In no way does superstitious nonsense like this apply to the lives of intelligent, civilized humans in the 21st century.
You throw out the first three commandments... you're down to seven. Next:
Honor thy father and mother.
Obedience; respect for authority. Just another name for controlling people. The truth is, obedience and respect should not be automatic: they should be earned, they should be based on the parents' performance. Parents' performance! Some parents deserve respect; most of them don't. Period!
You're down to six. Now, in the interest of logic—something religion is very uncomfortable with—we're gonna jump around the list a little bit.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Stealing and lying. Well, actually, these two both prohibit the same kind of behavior: dishonesty. Stealing and lying! So you don't need two of them; instead, you combine them and you call it Thou shalt not be dishonest, and suddenly... you're down to five.
And as long as we're combining, I have two others that belong together:
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
Once again, these two prohibit the same kind of behavior; in this case, marital infidelity. The difference is, coveting takes place in the mind—and I don't think you should outlaw fantasizing about someone else's wife; otherwise, what's a guy gonna think about when he's waxing his carrot? ... But marital fidelity is a good idea, so we're gonna keep the idea and call this one Thou shalt not be unfaithful... and suddenly, we're down to four.
But when you think about it, honesty and fidelity are really part of the same overall value—so in truth, you could combine the two honesty commandments with the two fidelity commandments and give them simpler language, positive language instead of negative, and call the whole thing Thou shalt always be honest and faithful... and we're down to three.
...They're goin' away fast!
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
This one is just plain fuckin' stupid. Coveting your neighbor's goods is what keeps the economy going! ... Your neighbor gets a vibrator that plays "O Come All Ye Faithful"; you wanna get one too! Coveting creates jobs; leave it alone. You throw out coveting, you're down to two now: the big honesty and fidelity commandment, and the one we haven't talked about yet.
Thou shalt not kill.
Murder. The fifth commandment.
But when you think about it ... religion has never really had a big problem with murder. Not really. More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason. ... All you have to do is look at Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Kashmir, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious folks take Thou shalt not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable. It's negotiable! You know, it depends. It depends. It depends on who's doing the killing and who's getting killed.
So with all of this in mind, I leave you with my revised list of the Two Commandments:
Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.
Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone... unless, of course, they pray to a different invisible man from the one you pray to.
Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket. And if they had a list like that, I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama putting it up on the courthouse wall... as long as they included one additional commandment:
Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.