Jesus H, that is one fine looking man. And so kind and gregarious. Oh, he’s wearing a ring. Yowza.

Oops, broke two commandments in one shot. Lord’s name in vain and the one that frowns upon coveting.

Of course I didn’t go to church yesterday either. Unless you count brunch where the Irish soda bread was so good I may have spoken to God.

And I just wrote about Taylor Swift, and some people find her divine, so does that count as serving another god?

Maybe I need The Ten Commandments hanging on my wall to keep me in line. Any extra posters floating around the Louisiana school district that is now mandating that?

Glory be, is this really happening?

My favorite of the bunch – found in the Catholic version of the Commandments – are the ones that forbid coveting. Because while one definition of covet is to “desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably” there’s another that says, “to wish for earnestly.”

I wish for a lot of things earnestly. Pizza in Naples. For journalism to be a thriving career option again. A radiant man who gets me and vice versa. A presidential election where I’m not scared out of my wits.

This one really is about policing our thoughts, isn’t it? How do you advocate that level of suppression?

Plus, I had no idea until I saw this story breaking out of Louisiana that different Christian denominations have different versions of The Ten Commandments. So now we’re beyond Christian nationalism; we’re parsing groups within Christianity.

Sounds healthy and inclusive.

In my dabbling on this topic, I found the Native American Ten Commandments and was awakened to what happens when we seek to unite instead of divide. Look at this list:

Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well-being of mind and body.
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions.

Call it confirmation bias if you want, but the fact that these seem easy to abide makes me feel like a productive and compassionate human. There’s always room to improve, but these are a basis for a rich life.

Maybe that’s why I was so impressed by a teacher who made a video suggesting some ideas that would comply with the Louisiana law but also make it a teaching moment. One is to give equal time to other religions right next to it. Second is a timed activity where the students must learn a commandment each day and list as many political figures as they can who have broken that commandment.

I mean …

Creative people are my jam.

As I get on with my day, I’ll try to sidestep any stealing or lying or killing anyone. I’m already pretty good to my mother.

I’m darned near a holy roller. Jesus H.

[Editorial Note: This is my 20th installment in a series I began in order to give my writing some flow after being in a healing phase from knee surgeries for a year (2023-24).]