Rationality Now Rotating Header Image

The Ten Commandments: Why most of them aren’t even good suggestions (Part 2)

The source for the following essay is Deuteronomy 5:6-5:21.

Well, here we are with commandment two.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Let’s set the record straight, God damn it. Simply saying, “God damn it” is not a violation of the second commandment. Swearing has nothing to do with the original intent of this commandment. The meaning of the second commandment has been “updated” by relatively contemporary Christians to include swearing. The original intent was, as in part defined in the Catechism of the Catholic church, to ensure that…

Promises made to others in God’s name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God’s name and in some way to make God out to be a liar.

The second commandment was used to make certain that any promises made in the name of God would be kept. It was, simply put, a way to keep folks honest. It certainly would be easy to keep people in line if the uneducated peasants that Christianity was originally bamboozled upon were made to believe that their mortal soul hung precariously in the balance.

The Catechism continues in part, to define the second commandment as follows:

Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God – inwardly or outwardly – words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. St. James condemns those “who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called.” The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God’s name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.

This commandment, just like the first one, relates directly to God’s tyrannical and panic-stricken attempt to control humanity. It would be impossible to raise a voice of dissent if the very mention of the notion of God being less than divine was a violation. Free will is again right out the window (see part 1). How can man be considered to have free will if the very mention of anything less than complete obedience is uttered?

God sure is touchy. Even as a child I was taught, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Obviously “God” never spent much time on the playground.

Next up, commandment three! This one is sort of like the golden rule. You know, do unto your slave as you would have done unto you. At least God wants your God damn slaves well taken care of!

Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.