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The Ten Commandments Rewritten for Our Modern, Perilous Times

Chances are, you're already following them.

by Sam Weiner
Oct 15 2016, 4:45am

​ Actor Charlton Heston starring as Moses in the movie 'The Ten Commandments.' Perhaps you've heard of it? Image via Paramount Pictures.

Actor Charlton Heston starring as Moses in the movie 'The Ten Commandments.' Perhaps you've heard of it? Image via Paramount Pictures

The Ten Commandments are God's most essential laws. They are perfect and immutable. They are also a complete goddamned mess and can and should be changed. The original ten are a self-serving jumble of the Almighty's insecurities ("Thou shall have no other gods before me") and oddly specific rules about who you can and can't bear false witness against. (Your neighbor? Thou shall NOT lie about him. But a stranger? DRAG HIM.)

In the essential doc, God doesn't even get around to "Thou shall not kill," a pretty key rule in any list of rules, until commandment number six! In today's climate of moral uncertainty, we need a Ten Commandments we can actually use. Here, on the stone tablets of today—the internet—are the New Ten Commandments. (Plus a bonus, all-in-one commandment, for those with bad memories!)

I. THOU SHALL NOT KILL

There's a reason it's number one: As a foundational law of ethical conduct, not killing people is as basic as you can get. It's like how baseball has a lot of rules, but the first rule is, "Don't kill the baseball players."

II. THOU SHALL BE SO WOKE THAT YOU DON'T NEED TO CONSTANTLY SHOW OFF HOW WOKE THOU ART

• Being woke = good.

• Posting a shirtless Instagram of you reading the New Jim Crow with the caption, "Had to get a second copy because I ruined the first one by crying on it" = bad.

Being a visible ally is awesome. Just don't do it for the likes.

Even to this guy. Photo of Office Space via 20th Century Fox

III. BE NICE TO RETAIL EMPLOYEES AND WAITSTAFF

God could never have imagined this one, because in his day any job that wasn't building pyramids while being whipped by shirtless Egyptians was a dream job. Today, anyone who raises his or her voice at a Gap employee making minimum wage because they can't find the perfect cable-knit notch-collar cardigan in oatmeal heather should be tortured for all eternity by demons wearing casual, American-style denim. Same goes for anyone who is a dick to a server. Your water won't be refilled in Hell.

IV. THOU SHALL NOT SAY THINGS ONLINE YOU WOULDN'T SAY IN REAL LIFE

In a single hour playing Xbox Live, you will be called the N-word more times than Martin Luther King Jr. was in his whole life. If you tweet about Hillary Clinton, your mentions will be filled with death threats from "Heil Hitler"–ing frog cartoons. And if you're a lady on Tinder, you will be called a "bitch" just for existing. If you're the type of maniac who would walk up to a stranger on the street and scream, "I will burn your house down and then rape the house's ashes," then, by all means, interact with people online the same way. But if you're a normal, courteous, non-rapey person in real life, act the same way on the internet.

V. ONCE EVERY 100 YEARS, GOD GETS TO DESTROY A SINFUL COUNTRY

In the Old Testament, God is furiously smiting nations left and right and even drowned everyone on the planet once. What changed? God's moral standards are absolute, and all the sins Sodom and Gomorrah were committing, like blowjobs and mixing fabrics, are still going down all the time! So this commandment is really about giving a God a chance to flex his muscles every once in awhile. His gleaming, heavenly muscles.

VI. FREE WIFI

Whatever, it would be nice.

VII. AS SOON AS ELLEN DOES A SEGMENT ABOUT WHY SOMETHING IS BAD, THOU SHALL NOT DO THAT THING ANYMORE

There's a lot of evil shit in the world—sexual assault, bullying, police officers who refuse to dance while directing traffic—so Commandment Number VII is sort of a catchall.

Infamous cheater Tiger Woods. Photo via Wiki Commons

VIII. THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY

God's original list of ten had two separate commandments about not cheating on your wife. (Don't commit adultery and don't covet your neighbor's wife.) Was God going through a breakup when he was writing these? And who was he married to? A mountain? The Big Dipper? (The North Star is its clitoris.) Remember, "don't murder people" only got one commandment, so if cheating on your spouse makes God twice as sad as homicide, we should probably still avoid it.

IX. BE HONEST OCCASIONALLY

Honesty is extremely important... sometimes. Other times, honesty is as useful as a 70-inch plasma TV that only gets CMT and the Dog Diarrhea Channel. If your significant other asks, "Do you love me?" you should be honest. But if the 250-pound psychopath who lives above you knocks on your door and says, "Hey, is it cool if I lift weights and scream while blasting Doobie Brothers B-sides all morning?" you can say, "Not only is it cool, that's exactly what I was about to do down here!"

X. THOU SHALL NOT GO INTO FINANCE

At this point, people who become bankers kinda enjoy making money but really love destroying society. Don't do it.

BONUS ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL COMMANDMENT: BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING, ASK YOURSELF, "IS THIS GOING TO FUCK SOMEBODY OVER?" IF SO, DON'T DO IT

As far as absolute moral laws, that's really all you need. Just be a decent person.

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Ten Commandments
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adultery
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