All opinions expressed herein are those of George Carlin. If you have a problem with any of them, please contact him. Oh wait. He's dead. Nevermind.
In 2001 during a stand-up bit in Complaints & Grievances, George Carlin suggested that the Ten Commandments was a padded list, some of them added to get the list up to 10 because 10 was a "psychologically satisfying number" and made the list sound more official. Blasphemous as this might be to some folk, it makes sense in that when certain high-ranking governmental and religious officials about 5,000 years ago were making up the Commandments, the list was padded to get it up to 10. It was, as he put it, a "marketing decision." Carlin said that if the list had been 9, or 11, nobody would have taken it seriously. This argument, however, breaks down when one discovers that there actually were more than 10 commandments, considering the variations of it in the differing religious texts, but it was still quite a funny bit and Carlin did as he usually does, got you to laugh as well as think.
Before we list them, let's show you how he got to the list of merely two commandments from the original 10. By the way, he used the Roman Catholic version, "because those were the ones (he) was taught as a little boy."
#1 Thou Shalt Not Have Strange Gods Before Me,
#2 Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain,
#3 Thou Shalt Keep Holy the Sabbath:
Carlin considers these first three Commandments "Pure bullshit;" He says they are filled with "Spooky language...SPOOKY LANGUAGE!... designed to scare and control primitive people."
#4 Honor thy Father and Mother: "Obedience. Respect for authority. Just another name for controlling people." Carlin suggested that parents should earn respect, based on their performance.
"In the interest of logic, something religion is very uncomfortable with, we're going to jump around the list a little bit..."
- #7 Thou shalt not steal; #8 Thou shalt not bear false witness: Combined together into "Thou shalt not be dishonest" because Carlin thought that both were prohibitive of the same type of behavior: dishonesty (stealing and lying). Then later both of these were combined with a fidelity Commandment combo (see ahead).
- #6 Thou shalt not commit adultery; #9 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife: Combined together into "Thou shalt not be unfaithful" because Carlin thought, again, these two prohibited the same behavior. He also thought that coveting was fantasizing (which is obviously necessary for "waxing" your "carrot") and, although he did not use the exact term, he considered that a thought crime and therefore ridiculous to include.
Then Carlin combined "Thou shalt not be unfaithful" with "Thou shalt not be dishonest" because he felt that, again, they were both part of the same overall value so he combined and reworded it with positive language and called it "Thou shalt always be honest and faithful."
#10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods: "This one is just plain fucking stupid!" (coveting neighbor's goods keeps the economy going)
- #5 Thou shalt not kill: "Religion has never really had a big problem with murder. More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason (The Spanish Inquisition, The Crusades, Northern Ireland, Middle East, Kashmir, World Trade Center." This got rousing applause from the audience. Apparently they agreed wholeheartedly with that in addition to his assertion that the more devout religious folks are the more they will see murder as "negotiable." He did not get rid of this Commandment, but he did revise it slightly (see the final list below).
And now... here it is...
Geroge Carlin's Revised List of the Two Commandments
- Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.
- Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone... unless they pray to a different invisible man than the one you pray to.
"Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin pocket!"