(Heaven, July 1999) Exhausted, Moses approached the pearly gates wary of his reception. It was going to be a long night. Congress was debating a plan to post the Ten Commandments in all public schools in the country and Moses had been sent back to earth by God himself to lobby for passage. Things hadn’t gone well and Moses knew he’d have to deliver the bad news on arrival. Clearing the gates he was immediately escorted into the inner sanctum where the Big Guy was waiting. “How’d it go?” the Almighty thundered, “you didn’t let them mess with them, did you? You got all ten passed?”
“Well, truth be told, I made out a helluva lot better with Pharaoh” Moses stammered.
“You’re kidding! You mean to tell me they couldn’t accept only ten laws?” the question thundered, “of all the species I’ve made humans are the dumbest morons in creation. They kill each other, fowl their own nest and then ask me to fix everything. A little hellfire and brimstone is what they need!” The Creator roared.
Moses kind of shuffled around as he stammered: “well they didn’t pass any of the commandments but they had good human reasons for not passing them.” The Deity pondered the question and said, “give me just one good one and I’ll spare them a plague or two.”
“Well on the first two, you and graven images I think that’s your problem. They don’t know if you are you. See no other God means that you have to be Christian, Jew, Muslim or Buddhist or one of thousands of other religions on that sorry planet. So they can’t figure it out in Congress and want everybody to find their own beliefs.” Moses worried that he was crossing the line but went on anyway, “so one human’s God is another human’s graven image. See what I mean?”
God closed his eyes for a long minute and then looked down at him, “I was experimenting with diversity on that planet when I made it, maybe I got carried away.” Inwardly Moses sighed with relief as he went on: “Same goes with the name, their money says ‘in God we trust’ and their theme is ‘one nation under God’ now you get too specific with 240 million people and you’re going to have some problems when you tell people not to use your name in vain.”
God shook his head slowly, “Damn, I didn’t give them the smarts to figure that out, did I?”
“Apparently not” Moses replied and saw his break through on the next two. “Four and five were working as a blend but that got caught-up in partisan politics. See Democrats think that honoring mother and father is to let the government take more money from them to build more child care centers, Republicans believe that if the government didn’t take half of the parents’ paychecks more mothers could stay at home. As for the Sabbath day, well when two parents have to work the rest of the days get caught up in laundry and house keeping and that stuff, so four and five went down on partisan lines.”
Moses went on, “Six, seven and eight were pretty much the same thing. When the real Charleton Heston showed up thou shalt not kill became thou shalt have the right to protect your home, number seven, adultery, was destined to go down on a Presidential veto and well, in Washington thou shalt not steal and the IRS, well, God, you see how confusing it is?” Moses looked on as God took a deep breath and thought it over.
“What part of thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor didn’t they understand?” the Creator asked. “Well,” Moses said, “there’s this Judge Starr, who is like the old frog plague, he just won’t quit. He hops from one person to the next claiming that they all are bearing false witness. And that ties into number ten because a whole other bunch of people think Starr is just trying to covet political power.”
“Hmm,” God said, “those humans aren’t much smarter now than when you parted the Red Sea.”
“No, they’re not,” Moses replied, “but we got something through committee that might fly. Its nowhere near the big ten but it might work and it’s their own invention.”
“How’s it go?” God asked
“Well they crafted a compromise bill. In their schools they might put up posters that say: ‘treat others as you would like to be treated.”
“They came up with that, all by themselves?” The Deity was incredulous. “Yea God, its their own thing, they call it the golden rule” Moses replied. “That’s not bad” God said, “some day there may be hope for those morons.”