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A Primer For GWB On The Ten Commandments

A Primer For GWB On The Ten Commandments

Nicholas Minns

It is wonderful to have a U.S. president who reveres so highly the teaching of the Bible, especially with the responsibility he carries for international peace and security. No attempt to understand the president’s approval ratings within the U.S. would be complete without at least a glancing knowledge of the basis of these teachings, the Ten Commandments. To refresh my memory, I looked them up on a Web site ( called The Christian Place For Kids (CPFK), written in language anyone including the president could understand. I include here the last five commandments, as I am sure a true Christian commander would embody these in his tackling of the complex problems facing humanity at the beginning of the 21st century.

The Sixth Commandment (Thou shalt not kill) doesn’t seem to need an explanation, but CPFK breaks it down into simple terms: “God gave us life. He gave each of us this special gift and we should treat our lives and the lives of others with care and respect. When we fight or do other disrespectful things, we are killing the special joy and peace that is given to us by God. Their life is precious, as ours is, and we must remember to honor that life.”

What a great starting point for dialogue with all those contentious, quasi-irrelevant statesmen the president has to cooperate with on international agreements. As governor of Texas, I am sure the president pondered deeply on the nature of life as he signed the execution warrants of death row prisoners. And when he said he wanted Osama Bin Laden ‘dead or alive’, of course he preferred the latter, which is why Osama is still broadcasting. Sometimes accidents do happen, and lives are tragically lost. This is called ‘collateral damage’ and should not be confused with killing.

The Seventh Commandment (Thou shall not commit adultery) seems inappropriate, as the president is happily married with two lovely daughters. But, as CPFK explains, “when people aren't married, this commandment reminds us to honor ourselves and be sincere with our friends. We should be a true friend and not break promises and not lead our friends to break their promises.”

I guess campaign promises and international treaties must be precluded, in particular campaign promises of a "humble" US foreign policy. Is that what is meant by the separation of church and state?

Why would the president need The Eighth Commandment (Thou shall not steal)? “We all have things that are special to us. Perhaps we have worked hard and earned it or perhaps it was a gift for Christmas or a birthday. Whatever the reason, we would never want what is ours to be taken from us. To just take what is not ours is wrong. It is selfish and harmful.”

By enforcing this commandment, the president was able to tackle all that corporate cheating, where executives were able to take money out of their respective companies, leaving the employees holding the (empty) can when the company went under. Some of this money was funneled quite legally into a fund to get the president into office. Luckily, he was already in office when the crackdown began. Another issue he will have to face is the Pentagon’s proclivity to take away by force the cultural, religious and political rights of another country . As CPFK points out, “ Everyone has a right to what belongs to them.” The problem with Iraq is that the ingredients of most of Saddam’s weapons once belonged to the U.S. and the president wants them back.

“The truth makes us happy and lies make us so sad,” explains The Ninth Commandment (Thou shall not lie). “Lies hurt other people and they hurt us. There are times when we lie to get out of trouble. There are times when a lie seems to help. That isn't true. A lie always hurts the respect we have of ourselves and it usually hurts another person. A lie brings shame on us.”

Lying would be as unthinkable as killing (see the sixth). But God, in His wisdom, seems to have left some wiggle room here, since He doesn’t prohibit prevarication, no doubt as an antidote to those pesky reporters’ questions. A Christian commander of the Free World would never, however, want to hurt another person, or leader of another country, by lying. I didn’t know North Korea’s leader was a pygmy.

Which brings me to The Tenth Commandment (Honor your neighbors’ goods and all that belongs to them): “Many times, other people have really neat things. We might even wish that it was ours. Many people are good in sports or have really wonderful clothes. To want nice things for ourselves is okay. When we become mean or nasty to others that have what we would like to have, that's wrong. When we are unhappy and sulk because the other person is better in sports or wears better clothes than we wear, that's wrong. We need to admire the things that other people have. We need to admire their special talents. We need to be happy for them. We need to thank God for the special gifts He has given us.”

Well, since the U.S. is a superpower, this one doesn’t really apply to the president of the United States, as he has enough of everything – except oil. Wait a minute. Is that included in this commandment?

Hello, God?


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