Revising biblical law by executive order
WASHINGTON — Seems Roy Moore, the Ten Commandments Judge and very likely the next U.S. senator from the state of Alabama, has been playing a bit fast and loose with the whole thou-shalt-not-bear-false-witness thing.
My Post colleagues Shawn Boburg and Robert O’Harrow Jr. reported this last week that Moore, who claimed he did not take a “regular salary” from the Christian-values charity he founded, in fact received $180,000 a year — more than $1 million from 2007 to 2012 — in compensation, much of which the charity did not disclose.
Still, Moore is in better shape, in terms of biblical injunctions, than Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., who is giving up his seat in Congress after admitting to an adulterous affair with a woman half his age. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the married congressman, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, appeared to have asked his mistress to have an abortion.
Then there’s Steve Scalise, the House majority whip, coming up a bit short in the love-thy-neighbor category. After his shooting at a congressional baseball practice stunned the nation, he graciously praised Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner — a lesbian who is married to a woman — and the other officer who saved his life as “heroes” and “part of our family.” But on Friday, Scalise was scheduled to speak at the Family Research Council, which proudly proclaims that “homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.”
And, on the topic of double standards, let us not forget the president. During the Harvey Weinstein fallout, Donald Trump Jr. and Kellyanne Conway have gleefully attacked private-citizen Hillary Clinton for failing to denounce Weinstein more quickly than she did — even though they vigorously defended the elder Trump when he was found to have boasted of sexual assault.
Such behavior seems uncharitable, if not downright hypocritical. But maybe I am using the wrong standard. The Bible is, after all, foreign law; none of it was written in America. It would, therefore, be in order for President Trump to revise biblical law by executive order — much as he used one this last week to dismantle Obamacare without an act of Congress. He could place a copy of the order, etched in a 2 1/2-ton stone monument, in the White House Entrance Hall.
Some proposed revisions:
In Luke 6:31, strike “as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise,” and substitute: “Do ye unto men as ye would like.”
In Mark 12:31, after the phrase “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” insert: “Thou shalt not interpret anything in Section 12:31 as applying to residents of Puerto Rico.”
In Matthew 5:5, after the phrase “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth,” insert the phrase: “The meek shalt not necessarily inherit health insurance.”
In Exodus 20: 1-17, popularly known as “The Ten Commandments,” the following deletions, revisions and additions are to be made:
After the phrase, in 20:4, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,” insert the language: “Exempt from the term ‘graven image’ will be: (a) Time magazine covers, actual or simulated; and, (b) life-size portraits of the president purchased at auction with charitable funds.”
The phrase, in Exodus 20:8-11, is hereby revised to state the following: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Acceptable remembrances of the sabbath include (a) any golf played in Bedminster, N.J., (hereafter referred to as The Land of Milk and Honey); (b) any golf played at Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Fla. (hereafter referred to as the Garden of Eden).”
In Exodus 20:12, in the phrase “Honor thy father and thy mother,” insert: “Inasmuch as they hath given thee a very, very small loan of $14 million.”
In Exodus 20:13, after the phrase “Thou shalt not kill,” insert the following: “Thou mayest, however, totally destroy North Korea, which thou shalt accomplish by expanding thy nuclear arsenal tenfold.”
In Exodus 20:14, following the phrase “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” insert: “What thou has done with thine previous wives is thine own business.”
In Exodus 20:16, the phrase “Thou shalt not bear false witness” is to be amended with the following: “No Pinocchios, nor Pants-on-Fire, nor any other description of false witness by the Fake News Media shall be judged as evidence thou violated clause 20:16.”
In Exodus 20:17, after the phrase “Thou shalt not covet,” insert: “but thou canst grabbest whomsoever by whatsoever part, if thou art a star.”
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group