A long, long time ago, the Bible says, God appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and laid down the law to the Israelites, in the form of ten commandments. These commandments listed all the behaviors that believers (not yet called Christians, because Christ hadn't arrived yet) should NOT exhibit.
These commandments are pretty all-encompassing and I have never met anyone who successfully followed all ten every day of their lives. Well, there was reportedly one exception, but they hung him on a cross. Of course, his allowing this to happen meant eternal salvation for all who believed in him, so there you go. And the great thing is that if all of us sinners truly believe in him, our many transgressions of the ten commandments will be forgiven.
A lot of people have successfully believed, practiced and lived the tenets of Christianity over the last 2000-plus years, but lately the examples being set by some of our public figures have caused me to wonder what has happened to the Ten Commandments?
I won't go into all ten commandments in this column, but there a few I'd like to address. How about this one? "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Basically, that's saying that we should not curse. Most of us have let go with an occasional "cuss word" from time to time, but we've also probably heard some people for whom every other word takes the name of the Lord in vain - and in some cases, they don't even realize they are doing it. Such talk is certainly one of the behaviors which seems to pass from one generation to the next, too.
Another commandment is "Thou shalt not commit adultery." In other words, don't cheat on your spouse and/or don't have a relationship with someone else who is cheating on their spouse. This one seems to get broken a lot, too, sometimes by well-known celebrities, but other times by just "common folk," whose behavior "only" affects their spouse, children, and other family and friends. The adultery commandment is also usually interpreted as not having a sexual relationship before marriage, either, and, unfortunately (I believe) having sex outside of marriage, sometimes resulting in the birth of a child, seems to be pretty commonplace these days - both on tv and in the movies as well as in "real life."
And lastly - "thou shalt not lie." No, there isn't actually a commandment which states that per se. It is certainly covered, though, in the commandments, including "thou shalt not bear false witness..." and "thou shalt not covet they neighbor's property..."
The reason I bring all of this up at this time is because of a few recent incidents where celebrities lied about something, then later recanted, confessing to the earlier lie. The first one I recall was baseball legend Pete Rose, who initially swore up-and-down that he hadn't gambled on baseball, then later in his book, "My Life Behind Bars," admitted to betting on his own team to win, when he was a major league manager.
More recently, Mark McQwire "came out" about using performance-enhancing drugs off and on for ten years, ending five year of "stonewalling" the subject, first before a Congressional committee, then by five years of virtual disappearance from the public eye.
Apparently taking the lead from "Big Mac," former Senator, Vice Presidential and Presidential candidate John Edwards has changed his tune about being the biological father of a now-22-month-old girl. Edwards long ago admitted to having had a relationship with the girl's mother, but up until now had steadfastly disavowed paternity. Now, he has acknowledged his paternity, through his spokespeople, of course. And we can now add former NFL analyst Sean Salisbury to the list, as he recently withdrew his previous denial of a "rumored" act of sexual misconduct on his part.
With "coming clean" now seemingly the rage, my only question is, "Are you listening, Orenthal James Simpson?"