Moses' Top Ten - New York Times: "I am picking on Texas and its State Capitol only because of the specifics of this Supreme Court ruling. The fact is, any state government in the U.S. is going to look a little phony tacking up Mosaic Law on its lawn next to statues of whatever Puritans or Hawaiian-queen-kidnappers are responsible for any given state's eventual statehood. Maybe phony is not the right word. Maybe the right word is sad.
The other night I was flipping channels and stopped for a minute to watch Jim Jarmusch's documentary 'Year of the Horse,' about Neil Young and his band Crazy Horse. The band was on a tour bus somewhere in America, and Jarmusch and Young were discussing the difference between the Old Testament and the New. Young admits that he sometimes gets the two confused. Jarmusch replies that in the Old Testament, God is angry. Young wonders if this is because man 'turned out to be man.'
I'm guessing that my fellow citizens who want government employees drinking out of taxpayer-supported Ten Commandments coffee cups and using Ten Commandments ballpoints to take While You Were Out messages on Ten Commandments notepads hope and believe that daily reminders of biblical edicts will stave off the supposedly newfangled moral decay brought on by crummy TV shows and nontraditional marriage. But Neil Young had a point: man turned out to be man and has been ever since.
The Israelites Moses himself led out of Egypt apparently witnessed the rather unprecedented parting of a sea by their deity to save their lives. Yet about 10 minutes go by and the ungrateful sinners start melting their earrings to make a cow they can pray to. That's what I find so reassuring about the Ten Commandments: the fact that they were necessary in the first place."