Reading The Fine Print, I’m Screwed.

Posted by admin on March 14, 2012 in Religion |

I was blissfully unaware until recently that the 10 Commandments have a lot of fine print. Archeologists recently unearthed a second copy of the Commandments, one that was still intact. In a nod to the future computer age, it seems that God chose to back up his files.

And boy, were there some real surprises on this tablet. While we all know the 10 Commandments that appear on the front of the tablet, what we didn’t know is that there is a lot of fine print on the back side, clauses that explain the commandments.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. What contract doesn’t include the requisite fine print?

Over the course of my life I thought I had been doing pretty job with the front side edicts. I haven’t killed anyone (at least that I know of), I haven’t done much coveting of anything and I’ve never worshipped false gods, except perhaps Steve Jobs.

But as I read through the fine print, it occurred to me that I am pretty screwed when it comes to the whole heaven and hell thing. In fact, I would think most of us are.

It all starts out innocent enough. The first three or four commandments about not worshipping false gods, using God’s name in vain and going to church on Sundays are really no-brainers when it comes to Commandments.

But once you get to the fine print of the 5th Commandment, things get pretty murky. You’d think that “You shall not kill” would be pretty basic. But in the fine print, it says that abortion, suicide and euthanasia (which I used to think referred to young people in Asia) are also major league sins of the shalt not kill variety. I guess I can live with that. But then the following sins against God are included under this clause too: Scandals (where your actions lead another to do evil), drug and alcohol abuse, terrorism, extreme anger, hatred and surprise – gluttony. I’m not sure exactly what these have to do with killing but I am again, screwed!

Still, I continued to hold out hope. That was until I hit the quicksand of sin contained in the 6th Commandment. I guess adultery is pretty wide open when it comes to interpretation. Cheating on your wife is child’s play compared to the rest of the sins covered in the fine print. These include divorce, fornication, pornography, prostitution, homosexuality, and yes, masturbation. If my mother was correct in the latter case, the blind will definitely be leading the blind to eternal damnation. I was lucky. Only my left eye ended up being blurry.

I know I’ve stolen some things over the years. But did you know that even if you haven’t stolen a thing, you could still get tagged for “You shall not steal?” If you’ve been late paying your workers, made shady wagers in a game of chance, cheated or took advantage of those less fortunate – BAM! – your transgressions are covered in the teeny-tiny print of the 7th Commandment.

It should come as no surprise that lust is a biggy in the addendums. It’s not only covered under the adultery section, but also the part about not coveting your neighbor’s wife. It’s a very narrow definition, too. Think you’re clean? Check this out – “I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jimmy Carter was right and man, I am in big trouble!

Did you know that there are some other sins that didn’t even make the Top 10 that sins against God? For instance, it’s a sin to doubt your faith, lose hope, presume that you can save yourself without God’s help, neglect those in need, being lukewarm about anything God does for you, hating God and my personal favorite, acedia. This is spiritual sloth, i.e., refusing the joy that comes from God.

If this sounds like a lot to remember, it is. Certainly more than would fit on a one-sided tablet. If Moses only had an iPad, we’d have known the whole story from the get-go. He could have just swiped his fingers and kept scrolling. As you can see, there are a lot of “oh, and one more thing’s” on the back side of the tablet. Can someone tell me why Charlton Heston never turned the damed thing over (sorry, I guess that was Moses!).

I can’t really blame anyone for using having to use two sides. I know that the stone masons probably had a lot of layout and design changes that came from their all-knowing and all-seeing client. If they had tried to put it all on the front, it would have been pretty daunting, so they just ended up bullet pointing and adding a lot of asterisks.

Eventually, you have no choice but to go with “continued on reverse.” I bet the Mayans also had design issues when they did their 2012 calendar (did anyone bother looking on the back of it, by the way?).

I’m sorry to be the bearer of such unglad tidings here. But I didn’t make any of this up. St. Equinas outlined it all for us, whoever St. Equinas is. I can’t quibble with him. After all, he’s a saint and saints have all done amazing things to get where they are. Just look at his drinking buddy, St. Patrick.

And while we will all be toasting St. Patrick this Saturday, I don’t think we will be doing the same for St. Equinas any time soon. He seems to be a bit of a party pooper. And as we know, party poopers never get their own holiday. Besides, he took my very slim chance of making it to heaven and turned it into a sure thing that I’m going where the weather suits my clothes. I really am screwed, because I don’t tan worth a damn.

Out on the Treasure Coast, in paradise until my sins are all tallied up in a landside victory for eternal damnation,

– Robb

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