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The 10 Commandments (GOP Modified)
November 2, 2002
Maureen Farrell

Ever since George Bush cited Jesus as his most admired philosopher (while miraculously dodging DUI and AWOL would-be campaign killers), some have wondered if he hasn't found a shortcut to salvation. After all, most of us would have been in jail after pulling such stunts, but as the first president to simultaneously serve as leader of the free world and de facto leader of the religious right, he appears to be divinely protected.

Those of us who don't possess Bush's moral clarity, however, may find his path to redemption confusing. While we might answer the question, "What would Jesus do?" with pedestrian responses like "feed the poor," or "heal the sick," our sly leader and his holy henchmen seem convinced Jesus would wage a brutal door-to-door war in Baghdad. Historically, they're right, of course, as religious and political leaders have always counted upon God's endorsement for everything from the genocide of Native Americans to slavery to Pat Boone's career. Given that, why wouldn't He want America to bomb the crap out of Third World countries? Jerry Falwell sure does.

Today's hobbled moral midgets can't comprehend a plethora of mysteries, from why men of God lustfully endorse war to why insider trading is acceptable for the president, but oh-so-wrong for Martha Stewart. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's wife Janet, for example, while commenting on her grueling campaign as the Republican candidate for Arkansas' secretary of state, recently amplified how little liberals understand Jesus' nature. "I'd be lying if I said [the campaign nastiness] didn't bother me," she said in an interview. "If it wasn't for the grace of God, I'd have shot a few people already." "Jesus wasn't liked, either," she added. "And Jesus was mistreated, and called names."

Granted, few among us may identify with Huckabee's homicidal tendencies, and even fewer might associate them with Jesus, but we're lost in other ways, as well. It wasn't too long ago, remember, when our faith was based upon secular matters - and we believed our children faced futures of endless possibility. If that doesn't prove we were misguided, what does?

And so, as our TV sets "countdown to Iraq," and our only remaining certainty is Bush Inc.'s obsessive oil-drenched mission from God, we might need to rethink things. After all, as Dick Cheney reminded, "the good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States."

Our consciences are communists, you see, and maybe we should silence those yelping inner voices once and for all. By embracing these GOP-modified commandments, we too can have everlasting peace and redemption. And, like Bush and Cheney, we can attain the kind of arrogance that screams "who cares what you think?" even when we're disgustingly and immorally wrong. So here, in no particular order, are the new and improved commandments, courtesy of God's Own Party:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Except for mammon. Because, while the meek may inherit the earth, Poppy's defense contracts insure G.W. inherits the cash. When Prescott Bush was nabbed doing business with the Nazis in World War II, he was penalized under the Trading with the Enemy Act. When Dick Cheney did the same in Iraq, he became vice president. More proof that the GOP has a direct pipeline to GOD.

2. Thou shall not misuse the name of the Lord, your God. Unless, of course, you're justifying the horrors of perpetual war. In which case, assure that you're good and they're evil and invoke God's name regularly. Make references to "God and country" and infer that "GOP" stands for "God's Only Party." Instruct CNN to link Senate Democrats to Satan, Barbra Streisand and Larry Flynt.

3. Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy. If you start a War on Terror on, oh, say Sunday, October 7, for example, fool people into believing you're on a crusade to capture Osama "dead or alive." At all times, restrain from giggling at their gullibility. Instead, focus on how controlling the gateway to Caspian Sea oil will be downright heavenly.

4. Honor thy father and mother -- especially when someone tries to kill your dad with some of the very same weapons your dad gave him to kill other people with.

5. Thou shalt not kill. Unless it involves profit, revenge and/or oil. Who, besides Jimmy Carter, believes that whole "blessed be the peacemakers" thing anyway?

6. Thou shall not commit adultery. Although Newt Gingrich or Tim Hutchinson have received special finger-pointing dispensation, this one sticks. Adultery reminds folks of budget surpluses and millions upon millions of wasted tax dollars.

7. Thou shalt not steal. Unless you're pilfering land for the Texas Rangers or dabbling in insider trading or are a righteous Captain of Industry and need the oil.

8. Thou shalt not give false testimony against they neighbor. Except in cases where you're waging war for profit. In which case, make up stories about babies in incubators and nuclear capabilities and magical drones and mystical aircraft carriers.

9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. Which isn't a problem, because who cares about sex when you've got your war on?

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods. Unless they have oil. Or unless Dick Cheney's underground bunker is better than yours, in which case, you should start wondering why Dick always gets to preside over the shadow government and hang out in that cool, undisclosed location and all you get is this lousy tee-shirt.

As you can see, the new and improved 10 Commandments are easier to follow. And, as a member of the GOP, you get to be on the right side of God and county - no matter what! Although don't look too closely at the fine print. Or at Cheney's or Limbaugh's or Gingrich's eyes. Because, if you do, sooner or later you'll see that though belonging to God's Oil Party may enhance your piousness, in the end, it can cost you your soul.

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