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T. GAMBLE: Congress carves the Ten Amendments

OPINION: The Ten Commandments might look different after Congress got through with them

T. Gamble

T. Gamble

I once read where Ronald Reagan said he was glad the Ten Commandments did not have to go through Congress before they became law. That got me to thinking what would happen if Congress were to consider the Ten Commandments as new law.

“Mr. Speaker, we have a bill before the Congress labeled ‘The Ten Commandments’ and I guess we need a vote on it,” said the representative from California.

“Well, who is the sponsor of the bill?”

“Sir, I believe it says some fellow named God. Anyone here ever heard of such a fellow? Well I see no response. Seems our fellow congressmen are not familiar with this fellow but let’s take them one at a time.

“Number one, thou shalt not commit adultery.”

“Sir I move to strike that from the list as we cannot legislate morality.”

“OK, all in favor of striking say ‘aye.’ All opposed, ‘nay.’ It is unanimous. Remove adultery. Next, thou shalt not steal.”

“Sir before you go further we have a thank-you card from former President Clinton for removing adultery.”

“So noted. I have a motion to amend not steal to add the following: ‘except in the case of taking from the taxpayer, which we shall be allowed to take from their income, possessions, all they own, even take from them when they die and tax them if they live too long … you know, the ‘you did not die soon’ enough tax.

“Excellent. Also add sitting congressman can siphon off taxpayer funds without violating the clause. It is added and approved.”

“Shalt not bear false witness. Say what? Is that the same as lying?”

“Sir, we have a thank-you note from the estate of John F. Kennedy for removing adultery.”

“So noted, but this no-lying … doesn’t that infringe on freedom of speech, not to mention it would pretty much shut us down? How about we amend to state ‘no false witness unless necessary to protect national security, state secrets, or to further our own political careers or save our rear end from scandal, personal trauma or the like’?

“Shalt not covet.”

“Sir we have a thank you note from the Richard Nixon estate for removing the false witness language.”

“So noted, but what do you mean I can’t covet? Keeping up with the Joneses built this country. Besides the government covets every damn thing a man owns until the day he dies and then we get it when he does die, if anything is left. Let’s change it to say ‘thou shalt not covet unless you are a member of any protected, oppressed, disadvantaged, disabled, or class of people who make less than the fellow who lives next door to you, in which case you can covet and try to take as much from the guy as possible ‘cause he ought not have all that stuff to begin with.’

“Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. Hey we already legalized the sale of alcohol and marijuana on Sunday what more could they want? But to make ‘em happy we’ll schedule every big sporting event known to man on Sunday — Super Bowl, NASCAR races, you know the whole kit and kabootle.

“Shalt not kill. Well, OK but need to amend ‘except in case of war, national security, death penalty cases involving unpopular folks, and mistakes by congressmen.’

“Thou shalt have no other God before thee. Say what again? What is he talking about? What about me? And money and power and Donald Trump and hero worship.”

“Sir, we just got a thank-you note from the Ted Kennedy estate for the amendment to thou shalt not kill.”

“So noted. We don’t have time for worshipping non-things and non-people. Strike this one.

“Thou shalt have no graven images. I dare say they are crazy. I have a bust going up in the Capitol in two weeks. What about the Lincoln Memorial and all those others? Strike this one, too.

“Honor thou Father and Mother. Come on, that is old-school drivel. They are the ones that created this horrible oppressive country we live in. Forget those folks let’s honor me, me, me.

“Shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain. Wait a minute … First Amendment, First Amendment. We already allow the F-word and every other crude word. We are not about to ban my favorite G.D. word.

“That should about do it. Hope this God fellow is happy we passed his stuff on through.”

Email columnist T. Gamble at wtg@colliergamble.com.