Articles 056892737_What_Are_The_Ten_Commandments_xlarge

Published on March 7th, 2013 | by Dr. Gary North


The Ten Commandments According to the U.S. Government

056892737_What_Are_The_Ten_Commandments_xlargeEvery year when Easter rolls around, some TV network shows C. B. DeMille’s 1956 movie, The Ten Commandments.

Sometimes, I wonder if the network decision-makers are more theologically astute than we might imagine. The story of Israel’s exodus from Egypt is a story about God’s deliverance of His people. So is the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.

Furthermore, the Old Testament refers to Moses as a prophet. “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10). The New Testament teaches that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy: “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear” (Acts 7:37).

But, I suspect that the annual coordination of the two events has more to do with action scenes and audience share than with theology. With the exception of The Passion of the Christ, there have not been a lot of successful Easter movies, unless we count Ben Hur as one of them.

So, in honor of the season, I include an up-to-date, politically correct presentation of the Ten Commandments.


And God spake all these words, saying:

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me, other than We the People.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth, except the annual grammar school maypole: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, although any violation of multicultural respect for all non-Christian faiths is a hate crime.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain, which does not include the obligatory “God bless America” at the end of every televised Presidential speech.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but time-and-a-half must be paid on day six. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates, except for the National Football League, golf, and Nascar. For in six days, metaphorically speaking, the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it especially for the National Football League, golf, and Nascar.

Honour thy father and thy mother through the FICA tax: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill, apart from believable official reasons at the time a war breaks out.

Thou shalt not commit adultery and still remain Constitutionally guaranteed of a no-fault divorce.

Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour, except with absence of malice.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s, unless he is in a higher income tax bracket than you are.


For those of you who still prefer the older version, you may console yourselves with this fact: The old liberalism that interpreted the Ten Commandments as basically antiquated rules for an ancient rural society, and saw Jesus as a socialist revolutionary, or close to it, is pretty much on its last legs.

Yes, they still sing the old songs. Back in 2006 I received an unsolicited call for a new political vision. It was signed by Rabbi Michael Lerner, better known as Hillary Clinton’s favorite rabbi. He called for the creation of a new politics, indicating that something has gone wrong with the old politics. This new politics must, he says;

challenge the religio-phobia and hostility toward religious and spiritual people that appears in some sections of liberal and progressive culture, and to help the Left distinguish between reactionary forms of religion and the progressives forms that it took with Martin Luther King, Jr., William Sloan Coffin, Abraham Joshua Heschel and many others, and to build a new spiritual progressive politics not only for religious people, but also for those who do not believe in God but are “spiritual but NOT religious.”

It must also

seek a New Bottom Line in the Western world so that institutions get judged efficient, rational or productive not only to the extent that they maximize money or power, but also to the extent that they maximize love and caring, kindness and generosity, ethically and ecologically sensitive behavior, and enhance our capacities to respond to other human beings as manifestations of the sacred and inherently valuable and to be respected, and enhance our capacities to respond to the universe with awe, wonder and radical amazement at the grandeur of all that is.

That Rabbi Lerner should speak of a New Bottom Line (capitalized) indicates the extent to which the new politics is suspiciously reminiscent to the old politics and the prevailing jargon of our era. Somehow, I cannot imagine Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai with the Bottom Line.

The market for this kind of thing is narrow. It has been for about a generation.


For people who are convinced that the Messianic State is the West’s primary incarnation of Mammon — the god that promises more — the Ten Commandments are the place to start the project of rolling it back.

For those of you who are convinced that “Thou shalt not steal” means what it says, as does “Thou shalt not covet,” my book on the Ten Commandments provides a lot of ammunition: The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments.

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About the Author

Gary North received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Riverside in 1972. Gary is the author of over 42 books including "The War on Mel Gibson: The Media versus The Passion," "Unconditional Surrender," "Conspiracy: A Biblical View," and "Crossed Fingers: How Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church." Gary is one of the most insightful and thought-provoking historians and economists in modern times.

11 Responses to The Ten Commandments According to the U.S. Government

  1. Interesting use of satire Dr. North.

    Hilary’s rabbi revealed some of the “illuminated ones” plans. Aside from the “chosen people” masquerade, Mike might just as well hang up his skull cap and serve the Bahá’í Faith in The Universal House of Justice from what he stated.

    Rev 3:9 ‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.’

  2. Eddie G. says:

    Never have figured out why every Easter a TV station shows the Ten Commandments when Easter has nothing to do with Exodus in the Old Testament. The Crucifixion of Christ exists in the New Testament of the bible thus the movie “King of Kings” with Jeffrey Hunter portraying Jesus or “The Robe” with Richard Burton as Jesus’ executioner,would be more suitable Easter viewing on the tube.

    • JZ says:

      The answer to your anomaly might have something to do with the people who run Hollywood and who have been for at least the last 50 years. Most of them aren’t Christians and don’t want to legitimize the life of Christ in film unless it’s some kind of blasphemous rendition like Sorcese’s _Last Temptation of Christ_. Mel Gibson’s _Passion of the Christ_ was produced independently at Gibson’s own expense. Otherwise, it never would have seen the light of day. I was told of movie critics who stormed down to the front of the theater when they were previewing _Passion_ and literally spit on the screen at Christ in the middle of the preview. Now that’s real hatred. _The Ten Commandments_ is acceptable during Easter precisely because it is not about Christ (or at least not directly). If you care to research more specifically the backgrounds of Hollywood producers, you will understand this issue clearly.

      • Wolf-Spider says:

        If you remember, Christ’s crusifixion happened very close to Passover. Passover was the last straw that convinced Pharaoh to release the Israelites, which lead to the Exodus.
        I had no idea that kind of vitriol occured during the preview of “The Passion”!
        I pray God opens their hearts and minds. Californians have been saying it’ll fall into the ocean. It almost seems prophetic. Maybe they should change San Francisco’s name to Soddom, and Los Angeles to Gomorrah.


  3. Pamela says:

    Thou shalt not kill, except to deal with the “mistake” made by the daughters of the land which creates an unnecessary burden for them.

  4. Alex Alexander says:

    When Hillary Clinton’s favourite (British spelling) rabbi canvasses the suport of Gary North… well, there is hope, afterall.
    Dr North: sign up… join them… and show them the error of their ways!
    Alex A

  5. Mark says:

    Good article except for the sabbath remark. Watching football or Nascar on Sunday is not a violation of keeping the sabbath holy. Jesus is our sabbath and we rest in what he did for us. To violate the sabbath in our age is to reject Christ (grace) and depend or trust in works. Meaning that we trust more in man than in God…

    Having said that, do we spend way too much time watching football and racing or a list of other pleasurable activities on sunday? Sure…

    • Robert Koomans says:

      Jesus called ALL people wanting His and His Father’s blessing, to “Come OUT of Babylon” – meaning out of confusion. Have you ever wondered how Jesus spoke about KEEPING God’s Commandments, and supporting the Prophets in Matthew 5-17 onward, while He also said that if anyone LOVES God, he must surely Love the Son of God (and vice versa)… that anyone who says otherwise is not of either! John wrote that God does not recognise anyone refusing to try and keep the Commandments of God, that “I AM” handed to Moses on Sinai, and gave Adam in the Garden of Eden. In fact God does not even listen to their prayers! WHY? – Simply put, they refuse to keep the “Constitutional Laws” and are not seen as His people, and as such can expect NO HELP from The Creator, as a bunch of OUTLAWS. So, the reference to Sunday as a “sabbath”not being holy, is quite correct in scripture… as only Saturday is the SABBATH of God and His people, and the Jews are testimony to keeping that intact for millennia… despite people like Hitler and Stalin trying to kill it. (Or now Obama too?) – And YET, Jesus still calls us all to REPENT and turn BACK to what He taught, and give up that man’s idea which il papa killed his own people for! – Read further into The Bible, and you will fint The Truth…. meanwhile “Kamaut Longbabilon” on Facebook can help with pointers as well!

      • Mark says:


        The jews do not keep the sabbath!! They do not believe in Jesus, who IS the sabbath……

  6. Wesley says:

    the Cecille B DeMille Ten Commandment movie I enjoy more is the 1923 Silent film for it shows how it was not just for 2400 years ago, but still for today. this film starts with a legalistic mother teaching her two sons the law. one rejects it all and the other focuses more on being like Christ than dwelling on the law, but still obey the ten commandments. they both like this one girl. in the end the disobedient son reaps what he sowed while the obedient one helps the girl in the end the love of Christ. both are good though.

  7. Great! I know some people I have to send this to.

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