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Aug 05 2013

Perkins: Simpler to Just Enforce the Ten Commandments

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which has nothing to do with either families or research, reveals his preference for theocracy in this clip from his radio show saying it would just be so much simpler and so much better if we replaced all our civil laws with the Ten Commandments.

But remember, he loves freedom. That’s why he wants it to be illegal to believe in any god other than his, to make a graven image or to work on his sabbath. Because when he says freedom he means the exact opposite.

26 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    Actually, it wouldn’t be that much simpler at all. You’d still end up having to develop an extensive Talmud to deal with all the real life complications that don’t fit into nice, neat categories. And if conservatives have trouble with precedence-based common law as practiced in the US now, hoo boy!

  2. 2
    timgueguen

    How would you prove someone was coveting their neighbour’s stuff? How obedient do you have to be to their desires and commands to honour your father and mother? Yeah, real simple, Tony.

  3. 3
    blf

    And, of course, as George Carlin pointed out, they reduce to just two:

    And so… I offer you my revised list of the Two Commandments:

    First:

      • THOU SHALT ALWAYS BE HONEST AND FAITHFUL, ESPECIALLY TO THE PROVIDER OF THY NOOKIE.

    And second:

      • THOU SHALT TRY REAL HARD NOT TO KILL ANYONE, UNLESS, OF COURSE, THEY PRAY TO A DIFFERENT INVISIBLE AVENGER THAN THE ONE YOU PRAY TO.

    Two is all you need, folks. Moses could have carried them down the hill in his pocket. And if we had a list like that, I wouldn’t mind that brilliant judge in Alabama displaying it prominently in his courthouse lobby. As long he included one additional commandment:

      • THOU SHALT KEEP THY RELIGION TO THYSELF!!!

  4. 4
    lowspark13

    Theres just too many rules!

  5. 5
    Modusoperandi

    Just the Ten Commandments? Why is Tony Perkins so soft on homosexuality?

  6. 6
    Alverant

    How does one enforce “honor thy father and mother” when you’re eager to shove Nana in a nursing home so you won’t have to bother with taking care of her?

  7. 7
    Nepenthe

    That would be awful. It would be legal for the drunken assholes living across from me to play the accordion outside my window at two bloody am, but illegal for me to go out and strangle them. Let’s keep the civil code, if only for noise ordinances!

  8. 8
    raven

    It sure would.

    It’s estimated that under biblical law, 99% of the US population would be stoned to death.

    No people left = No USA = No Problem.

    And who says fundies can’t think their way out of a paper bag?

  9. 9
    Abdul Alhazred

    Original Biblical methods of enforcement, too?

    They didn’t have police forces back then, so there had to be a definite accusation brought before a judge.

    Stealing? Rather liberal even by modern standards. Fines and indemnities.

    Murder? Death penalty in principle (carried out by an aggrieved relative), but a system of cities of refuge to offset that.

    Adultery? Trial by ordeal (poison) after an accusation by the husband (not wife). Death by stoning.

    etc.

  10. 10
    John Pieret

    Um, the Israelites not only needed the 10 Commandments but some 613 laws in Leviticus. And that was in a small society where the highest form of technology might have been the ox cart. Things are just a tad more complicated today.

    I think Perkins meant it would be more simple-minded … which is right down his alley.

  11. 11
    sigurd jorsalfar

    So Tony Perkins supports legalization of drugs? Awesome!

  12. 12
    Area Man

    It’s strange that this never occurred to anyone before. Not even those kings in the Middle Ages who were extremely observant, or the Catholic church, or Puritan communities, or ultra-orthodox Jews, or any major denomination. It’s almost as if you couldn’t possibly govern a community like that, as if you’d need laws and stuff that deal with real life.

  13. 13
    cptdoom

    It’s estimated that under biblical law, 99% of the US population would be stoned to death.

    Including that Satan-worshipping, blaspheming, fornicating heretic, Mr. Tony Perkins of the FRC.

  14. 14
    machintelligence

    drunken assholes living across from me to play the accordion outside my window at two bloody am

    Look on the bright side, it could have been bagpipes. ;-)

  15. 15
    D. C. Sessions

    I’ve been looking the Decalogue over and over, but just can’t see how to apply it to the estate of my brother who died without issue. Does it get divided between the nieces and nephews? His surviving full brothers? Does his half-sister get a full share or a partial share?

    It’s almost as though there needs to be more than ten laws.

  16. 16
    busterggi

    I’m going to continue to boil baby goats in their mother’s milk – its my Constitutional right, screw the Ten Commandments!

  17. 17
    jimf

    You don’t need 10 commandments, you only need one:

    http://chimprefuge.com/2012/05/19/one-commandment-better-than-ten/

  18. 18
    Olav

    John Pieret #10:

    Um, the Israelites not only needed the 10 Commandments but some 613 laws in Leviticus. And that was in a small society where the highest form of technology might have been the ox cart.

    Don’t you underestimate ox carts. Most car drivers of today would not know how to get a team of oxen moving in the right direction. Or how to stop them when needed.

  19. 19
    Childermass

    1. Thou shalt no God but me adore;
    ‘Twere too expensive to have more.

    2. No images nor idols make
    For P.Z. Myers to break.

    3. Take not God’s name in vain; select
    A time when it will have effect.

    4. Work not on Sabbath days at all,
    But go to see the teams play ball.

    5. Honor thy parents. That creates
    For life insurance lower rates.

    6. Kill not, abet not those who kill;
    Thou shalt not pay thy butcher’s bill.

    7. Kiss not thy neighbor’s wife, unless
    Thine own thy neighbor doth caress.

    8. Don’t steal; thoul’t never thus compete
    Successfully in business. Cheat.

    9. Bear not false witness–that is low–
    But “hear ’tis rumored so and so.”

    10. Covet thou naught that thou hast not
    By hook or crook, or somehow, got.

    Taken from Ambrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary” entry for Decalogue with one minor change. It was Robert Ingersoll in the original version of the second commandment.

  20. 20
    d.c.wilson

    Just the Ten Commandments? Why is Tony Perkins so soft on homosexuality?

    What do you think is meant by “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ass”?

  21. 21
    martinc

    Nepenthe @ 7:

    That would be awful. It would be legal for the drunken assholes living across from me to play the accordion outside my window at two bloody am, but illegal for me to go out and strangle them.

    But not illegal for you to go out and RAPE them. Rape isn’t mentioned in the Ten Commandments. As long as neither you nor they are married, of course.

  22. 22
    Marcus Ranum

    Look on the bright side, it could have been bagpipes. ;-)

    Anyone else here read George MacDonald Fraser’s story “Johnny Cope in the Morning”??

  23. 23
    John Pieret

    Olav @ 18:

    Most car drivers of today would not know how to get a team of oxen moving in the right direction. Or how to stop them when needed.

    Quite true. I’m not sure I’d know which end to hook up and which end to be careful walking behind … any more than I could fix a carborator (do cars even have those any more?).

    Which, of course, just goes to show we live in a very different society with different social needs than bronze-age sheperds.

  24. 24
    Marcus Ranum

    which end to hook up and which end to be careful walking behind

    Actually, you lead from in front, using a stick resting on the forehead of the lead ox. It’s generally safe because oxen don’t exactly “bolt” the way a horse might. On the other hand, it’s your job to stay out of their way.

  25. 25
    democommie

    @17;

    “Don’t be an asshole.” (from your link).

    Great idea for most of us. It would leave Perkins and his ilk in a bad spot. Being an asshole is pretty much all they’ve got.

  26. 26
    colnago80

    Re John Pieret @ #23

    Quite true. I’m not sure I’d know which end to hook up and which end to be careful walking behind … any more than I could fix a carborator (do cars even have those any more?).

    I can’t vouch for all models of all car companies but certainly the biggies have all gone over to fuel injection because of emission requirements, as well as fuel efficiency standards. Generally, modern multiport fuel injection system put out twice as much power per liter of displacement as the carborated cars of the 50s and 60s.

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