A controversy raged over the last few months in Bridgedesert, Oklahoma. This little hamlet of 600 demanded its local school have the 10 commandments placed in every classroom. Secular groups brought the community to court citing a classic church/state infringement. The two sides came to an agreement. A compromise entailed every one of the 613 commandments (Mitzvot) in the Bible be placed in every single classroom.
At first, the small community rejoiced at the “victory.” Once the new plaques were set up, a more sober realization took place.
613 Commandments in the Classroom – Is that in the Bible?
Little Bobby, age 9, rubbed his eyes and gazed at this Commandment: Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property. Exodus 21:20-21
“Is Jesus telling us we can own and hit people?” he asked his teacher.
“Oh, that’s the Old Testament. God said it was OK to abuse slaves, but Jesus never would.” his teacher replied.
“Isn’t Jesus God? Isn’t Jesus and God one?” the precocious 3rd grader retorted. “Why would Jesus say it was OK to hit someone and then say it isn’t right to do it later? Is it OK for me to hit Jimmy before lunch, but after lunch it isn’t OK? That doesn’t seem to make sense.”
Budding biblical literacy and skepticism swept through Bridgedesert’s students.
“That stuff’s not right,” stated 5th grader Keenan Brown, the only minority student in his class, as he looked at this Mitzvot:
Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly. Leviticus 25: 44-46
Residents quickly opened up their Bibles in vain hope that the school had somehow mistranslated the word of God. They quickly learned that they didn’t know the Bible, except for the few verses that they were spoon fed by their local ministers.
Local holy man, Reverend William Fabulist, was consulted, and it was decided to hold a full question and answer session in the high school auditorium about questionable verses in the Bible.
“I had high hopes for the meeting,” stated the minister.
Concerned parents and students packed the auditorium that night. Reverend Fabulist started answering questions, and the whole situation quickly degenerated into chaos.
“My thirteen-year-old daughter came home crying the other day. She said that Jesus would want here to marry a rapist? I looked up Deuteronomy 22:22: 28-29 and she was right! Now she doesn’t want to leave the house.” stated Thomas Jones.
“Um, that was the Old Testament; it doesn’t matter,” replied the minister.
“You just quoted the Old Testament in church last Sunday about gay marriage!” yelled the outraged father.
“I’m trying to raise two girls. I was doing a good job until they got the idea in their head that they are unclean during their period, and that they and their clothes can’t be touched. I asked them where they got that kind of crazy idea. They told me Leviticus 15: 19-24!” shouted another irate father.
The meeting quickly ended after a melee ensued in the crowd between a Mormon, who wanted verses from the Book of Mormon to be placed in classrooms, and a Baptist, who wanted to follow the biblical teaching of stoning heretics.
After the Dust Settled
In the days following the 613 Commandments were quietly taken down from the classrooms.
While the vast majority of people in Muldrow still say they are proud Christians, church attendance is much much lower.
*Yes, this is a Poe.
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