jim-finger-pointing

For a very long time, the United States was a culturally Christian country.

Kinda.

Yes, there was a dividing line between good and evil—except when there wasn’t.

The way we treated Native Americans.

Slavery.

Racism.

Lawlessness. Think the Mafia. The drug trade.

And others.

We have eaten and will eat the fruit of these sins. Remember that Lincoln thought the Civil War was God’s judgment for slavery.

However, the U.S. has done some very good things, of which we are aware.

But I don’t want to lose the point here.

Tradition—any tradition—possesses a small degree of power to maintain stability, family, and community in a culture. Think Fiddler on the Roof.

Think the United States.

The power of that Christian-culture tradition began to unravel further in the 20th Century. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we are now a post-Christian culture.

It happened quickly.

Christians shouldn’t be surprised and probably aren’t. Without individuals becoming new creations, nothing really will improve in society. It will eventually degrade. Of course.

And here we are.

Into this moral vacuum, American society produced its own moral law—with a vengeance.

With law comes a knowledge of right and wrong. A judgment follows. Either you’re behaving lawfully or you’re not. Often accompanying this knowledge and judgment is legalism. I have the list of correct behaviors and beliefs. You don’t. You deserve condemnation. I don’t. It’s something like the Old Covenant. If you do the right thing, you’ll be blessed. If you do the wrong thing, you’ll be cursed. The present “blessings” and “cursings,” however, are not from God. They are from human nature with a healthy dose of devilish “wisdom.”

The American culture has tossed the Christian God out and has become a god itself.

However, this god offers no forgiveness. No grace. No compassion for moral weakness, unless the sin that has been committed is on the accepted list. The American society has entered a time of brutal legalism without the hope of the God who loves and forgives.

This is not a happy development.

Below, I’ve written a semi-humorous list of current American commandments. Some are funny, and some are not because they are horrendous. Let me quickly add that some of these commandments find agreement with me. My wife and I have lived in China, Papua New Guinea, Israel, India, and Mexico. When one is in a foreign culture, one attempts to honor that culture and be sensitive to its mores. One doesn’t go around disrespectfully bashing its people because they look different than you. Some aspects of a culture may annoy you, but people are people. Christians are to love everyone, as difficult as that may be.

Anyway, here are the “twenty-four or so” America-without-God commandments. It’s “twenty-four or so” because the reader may have some to add. In addition, this list is fluid. Who knows? By next month, new ones may arise.

  1. You shall not say anything racially insensitive. Ever. You will be judged, hated, and vilified.
  2. You shall not say anything gender insensitive. Ever. You will be judged, hated, and vilified.
  3. You shall not say homosexuality is a sin. Ever. You will be judged, hated, and vilified. (See Commandment 2 above.)
  4. You shall not use offensive speech. Ever. You will be judged, hated, and vilified (See Commandments 1, 2, and 3 above.)
  5. You shall have sex before marriage because you must get to know each other better. What? Do you want people to make fun of you?
  6. You shall not commit adultery unless you totally fall in love with someone you meet in a coffee shop or, well, anywhere. (Then see Commandment 5).
  7. You shall not worry about honoring your parents, especially when they have done really stupid things.
  8. You shall not hold onto old religious traditions based upon ancient myths, especially Christian myths. All other religious traditions are acceptable, especially ones that treat the earth kindly.
  9. You shall love the earth.
  10. You shall not doubt macro-evolution. We all came from stardust and that murky, primordial pool. What? Are you anti-science?
  11. You shall not use the Big Bang in a discussion about the existence of a Creator. What? Are you anti-science?
  12. You shall not commit murder. Except in the case of innocent babies. They can be murdered.
  13. You shall not steal unless you’re really angry about something that happened in your neighborhood. Then looting is permitted.
  14. You shall not commit pedophilia. Most of the time. In certain cases, it is all right, if you’re a famous actor or singer.
  15. You shall take only the name of the Christian God in vain. Avoid negative references to other gods like Buddha, Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, and Allah. It’s offensive. (See Commandment 4).
  16. You shall not worry about the worship of idols. Those old religions are kinda cool and culturally educational. (See commandment #15).
  17. You shall not call Christmas, Christmas. It’s a winter holiday. (See Commandments 4 and 8)
  18. You shall not lie unless it advances your business or political agenda. Or if you’re trying to help your friends stay out of trouble with the cops. Those lies are okay. I understand.
  19. You shall not use your pointed finger to pretend it’s a gun. Or any other object, like a stick. Don’t even think about a gun. Guns kill people. But guns don’t kill babies. (See Commandment 12.)
  20. You shall use the f-word if you really want to make a point. If you don’t use the f-word, no one will think you’re serious.
  21. Women shall reveal their bodies in a great variety of ways. Yes, it objectifies women, but it makes you popular, more date-able, sometimes more hire-able, and maybe wealthy. Who doesn’t want that?
  22. Men shall not wear Speedos to reveal their bodies. Who wants that?
  23. You shall believe that all genders are equal, except in the above two commandments. Thus, you shall allow all genders to use any bathroom, locker room, shower, bathtub, or dorm room of their choice and to compete on any sports team of the gender of which they say they are a member. Sorry. That’s a long commandment.
  24. You shall call anyone a bigot, fascist, Nazi, or racist if they do not follow these commandments.
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