"Hey, have either of you seen Zebulun? I heard he was setting up some sort of wine press, and-"
"Ssh. Not now. Look, Moses is back."
"Moses? Where did he go?"
"Up Mount Sinai, you clod. To talk with Y*W*H."
"Really? Y*W*H? Our Y*W*H?"
"Of course our Y*W*H you idiot. How many of them do you know?"
"Well, it's hard to tell, what with those missing vowels-"
"SHHH! He's speaking."
"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."
"Right nice of Him it was, too."
"Will you shut up?"
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
"Wait... before Him? But I've already had other gods. Egyptian ones. Do I have to take them back? How can I do that?"
"No, cretin, He means you shan't have any other gods that you consider more important than Him."
"Oh, okay. But can I have other gods that are less important? I mean, Lancet, god of boil removal, is pretty important out here in the desert. And I'm sure he's fine with being a lesser god. And I've always been a big fan of Aphrodite-"
"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:"
"But I'm an artist..."
"Looks like it's time for a career change. Now be quiet."
"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"
"Wait, was that part of it? I mean, is it okay to make images as long as I don't bow down to them? HEY, MO-"
"SHUT UP! Just listen, damn it! Didn't you hear that part about being a jealous God? Do you think He is particularly forgiving of stupid interruptions?"
"But I don't want to have my great-grandchildren visited by my iniquity just because I didn't know I needed to get some vocational training."
"Look, you can ask later, okay?"
"And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
"How exactly does the inquity get visited, anyone? I mean, does He just swing by and show it off, to remind people? Like vacation souveniers?"
"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."
"I think he needs to be a little more explicit there, too."
"What are you talking about? It's crystal clear - don't take His name in vain."
"Yeah, but what if I use His name when I hit my thumb with a hammer? Because I really mean it then. Does vehemence count for anything?"
"Do shut up."
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."
"That's an easy one."
"I thought he was going to make us do something on the sabbath."
"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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:"
"Wait, do I have to work all six days?"
"Though one guaranteed day off is nice. Wait - did he mention my wife? Because I like her to fix my shirts on the sabbath."
"I'm not speaking to you any more."
"For in six days 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."
"I hope he's not holding us up to those standards. It took me three weeks to get the portrait of Nebuchezzar's daughter right."
"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."
"Are those related? And my father's gone senile, and keeps running off and trying to bugger gopher holes. How am I supposed to honor that? He couldn't mean..."
"Be quiet or I'm going to kill you. Seriously."
"Thou shalt not kill."
"Thou shalt not commit adultery."
"Wait... at all? But... what if she's really hot? What if your wife says it's okay?"
"I'm pretty sure that Callisthena did not say it was okay."
"She would have, I'm sure. Lancet had no problem with it at all. But now He's spoken against it! Blast! I bet she got to Him somehow."
"Thou shalt not steal."
"... that's it? No 'unless you're starving', or 'unless the guy has more than he could possibly use'?"
"Doesn't look like it."
"I think I liked the earlier commandments more. Not much wiggle room in these."
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."
"Hmm. I guess I'll have to be extra careful when picking my neighbors. I'm in court a lot, and false witness is a big part of that."
"I think He means against people in general."
"Then He should have said so, shouldn't He?"
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."
"Again with the neighbors. Oooh - but I live in a tent. If I feel the beginnings of covetousness, all I have to do is move! Then I can covet to my heart's content."
"Just be sure not to move near me, please."
"Why? Are you coveting some of my things? Are you coveting my ass?"
"Not at all. It's just that lightning strikes tend to cause fires."
- Sun Ra
Columns by Sun Ra