Saturday, March 25, 2006

40 Days of Lent - Day Twenty-Five


Guess who might be in trouble? I was looking for biblical quotes to take out of context and mock and ran across the following:

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. – Leviticus 19:28

I've never cut myself over the dead or due to great angst, and printing any marks upon me? Oh...yeah...tattoos. Uhm, yeah, I got one of those. It's of the same tarot card this journal is named after. Yes, it looks great.

The above passage is why tattoos are taboo if you're a jew, which sounds like something Dr. Seuss might have written. (If you do go to the link, make sure you check out the Tattoos May be Addicting article).

Of course, it gets worse. There was the short-lived fad in college for tackling your friends, holding them down and writing "TURD" on their forehead in big letters. There was the time my sister Julie brought her newborn son TJ to the house, and I drew a smiley face on his belly and then discovered we couldn't remove the smiley face. I thought I was safe because I wasn't using a permanent marker, but as it turns out, regular ball point pens are also pretty permanent on human skin. I remember the confused look on TJ's face as his mother and I kept rubbing his belly trying to get the ink off. "I really don't want to get a divorce when my husband sees you drew on his son, John" was how my sister admonished me.

Trying to calm the "Uh-oh" sensation, I thought I would review the 10 Commandments to see how I'm doing. As this website points out, there are actually multiple versions of the commandments. Even more surprising? The simplest and most direct version of the commandments is the Catholic version. Imagine that. The church that has a ritual for everything, is ruled by an intricate hierarchy and follows the most twisted logic to justify its faith has managed to whittle down the decalogue into easy to remember topic sentences. Also of interest is that the Judaic and Protestant versions have a separate law against graven images which the Catholics do not. This is apparent to anyone who studies art history and is one of the best things about the Catholic church. To make up for this missing law, the Catholic decalogue adds "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife" -- thy neighbor's wife being just one item on the other versions' Do Not Covet" list (along with his ass -ha ha ha). I can remember as a child thinking it was redundant. Isn't "do not covet thy neighbor's wife" the same as "do not commit adultery?" I suppose one is a sin of thought whereas the other is a sin of action. Still, it's nice to see ladies considered as distinct from goods.

So which commandments have I broken?

1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
I can honestly say I've never worshipped any other gods. But accepting the God of Old and New Testaments? That depends on what day it is and what my mood is.

2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Oh, I've done this.

3. Remember thou keep the Sabbath Day.
I don't do this.

4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother.
I would have to say I've honored my mother and father.

5. Thou shalt not kill.
I have not killed anything. (Vegetarians, I know what you're saying and you can shut up.)

6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Not married so this one isn't a problem.

7. Thou shalt not steal.
Yeah, I guess I've stolen, if you define "stealing" as "taking something you haven't paid for and doesn't belong to you."

8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
I can't recall every lying about someone. When you're able to speak the truth in such a way that you can make your low opinion of someone obvious, why bother lying about them?

9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife.
Yeah, I've done this. (I don't mean "neighbour" literally. As much as I like Barb Wilson, no coveting was going on there.)

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods.
Yeah, I do this.

I'm 50/50 as far as the commandments are concernced. Conclusion: some time in Purgatory for this boy. On the other hand, while looking for fun scripture, I ran across the following:

The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! - Luke 7:34

Jesus, a gluttonous man and a winebibber?

Maybe I'm more like Christ than I thought...


Julie said...

Uh, John, just so you know, if you sleep with a married woman it's still adultery, I believe. Hopefully you're still on the good side of that one.

Mom said... Theologian daughter has pointed out the thing I was going to say. It is not just your marital status that counts, you know.
Second, coveting your "neighbour's" wife and/or goods only counts if you live in England or one of it's former Empire countries. In America, we are home free since we only have "neighbors."
Third, please, please tell me you are NOT addicted to tatooing. PLEASE!

Carol said...

Way to go, Julie. I was going to insist that he revisit that No. 6. The lawyer in me won't let him get away with Clintonesque wordplay.

the hanged man said...

I can't tell you how nostalgic I am for the days of Clintonesque wordplay...