Well, not all of them. But some of them are grossly outdated. That’s the result of a survey done in the UK by game publisher Electronic Arts. I think a bunch of people were anticipating a big stink here among the Christian right in the US over this survey. But since I only heard about this a couple of weeks ago, it must mean we don’t pay much attention to anything the British do.
But it really makes Charlton Heston mad.
The survey was done as part of a media campaign for The Sims 3. I don’t know what the 10 commandments have to do with sims other than it’s considered a ‘god-game.’ Here’s the basic breakdown of the survey:
1,000 people 11 years old and up were surveyed.
A quarter of those surveyed couldn’t name one commandment from memory.
Six of the commandments were deemed still relevant today and ranked according to importance: 1. Do not kill. 2. Do not steal. 3. Do not cheat on your partner with another person. 4. Do not envy others. 5. Respect your parents. 6. Do not accuse a person of something they did not do.
Four commandments were deemed irrelevant: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy; Thou shalt have no other gods before me; Thou shalt not make any graven image; Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.
Four entries were made up and voted on by respondents to update the commandments for today’s society: 7. Respect all people regardless of race, religion or sexuality. 8. Do not commit acts of terrorism. 9. Respect and protect the planet. 10. Do not be motivated by greed.
A quarter of respondents didn’t understand the wording of some of the original commandments…which would explain why two of the new commandments are totally redundant with the originals. How is terrorism not murder? How is greed not coveting? And really, what’s the point of making commandments against terrorism? Good job, there.
Terrorist 1: “Ah man, hey you guys, I just realized something. Yeah, it turns out that God doesn’t really want us killing masses of people. Yeah, instead, we should be celebrating our differences. Come on everyone, let’s sing together!”
Terrorist 2: “But, you just wanted to terrorize a bunch of people, like, 15 seconds ago.”
Terrorist 1: “Yeah, but that was before I read this new updated Bible. Come on guys, let’s sing a song!”
On the upside, most people said if they could be God, they would be benevolent. Only about 4 jerks said they’d be a jerk God.
Personally, I don’t find anything offensive about the survey. I think EA did us a favor by doing this survey, because it’s a telling sign of the state of traditional Judeo-Christian morals. Did you notice two of those new commandments use the word ‘respect?’ People sure like that word these days. But the Brits are going to wish they had a commandment against ‘graven images’ when Charles is king and orders his likeness be put on all their money.
It might be helpful if we really did help God update the Ten Commandments. But respecting the planet? Kind of goes without saying, right…right? If we were to put words in God’s mouth, we should do it with some real, relevant, important commands to rid society of some of its worst blights.
The Ten Commandments: A Suggestion Box
Thou shalt not say ‘let there be light’ in an amusing way whenever you flip on a light switch. That is the Lord’s intellectual property, and saying that is the same as pirating a DVD.
Thou shalt not respond to your husband when it is obvious something is wrong and he shows he cares by asking ‘what’s wrong’ with the answer of, “Oh, nothing…”
Thou shalt not refer to celebrity couples by mashing their names together in a revolting manner.
Thou shalt not say the word ‘irregardless.’ It is an abomination in the Lord’s sight.
If thou art a rapper, thou shalt not thank God whenever a shiny award is given. Everyone knows God didn’t help you.
Thou shalt always give 110%. That way it never needs to be said again.
Thou shalt not construct a bathroom with a mirror that forces you to look at yourself while using the toilet.
Thou shalt be properly trained by your world-wise children before using the self-checkout lane on your own and holding everyone up.
If thou art a celebrity, thou shalt keep your mouth shut about any and all topics of public interest including religion, politics, or the environment, because no one believe that you are sincere or are intelligent enough to form a genuine opinion about such issues.
Thou shalt stop cramming YouTube with videos of your friends imitating Saturday Night Live sketches.
Thou shalt not return to community college at age 60 and believe yourself to have a special connection with the teacher because of your agedness which justifies you in subjecting everyone else to your excessive and stupid questions which you believe shows you really care about classes on Medieval cartography methods.
I think the world would be a much better place if we could etch these in stone. What commandments would you add to the ten classics?