Humanist Perspectives: issue 188: Christoslovakia: A Thought Experiment

Christoslovakia: A Thought Experiment
by Michael Paulkovich


ny rational person who has actually read the Ten Commandments and pondered them for ten seconds realizes that over half are morally reprehensible – even unconstitutional in Canada and the United States. Yet U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga), devout Baptist, once co-sponsored a bill declaring the Ten Commandments “the cornerstones of a fair and just society,” requiring they be displayed in the U.S. Capitol. As you might imagine, the bill did not pass.1

Incidentally, Westmoreland was able to name only three of the commandments when asked by Stephen Colbert.

“If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.”

Robert G. Ingersoll

Can you imagine a nation founded on those calcified and theocratic notions of ethics and morality? Decades ago while listening to a C-SPAN call-in show I was forced to consider such a scenario. I cannot pretend to remember the prime subject at hand, but one caller in particular declared that America is a “Christian Nation” because – he said – the U.S. Constitution “was based on the Ten Commandments.” Would that not make it a Hebrew nation? But no matter. The caller made his brief and misguided point, then the hosts simply proceeded to the next phone-in. Had I not been driving I would have dialed the number on the screen, first to make a fool of the ill-informed caller and next to reprimand the announcers for not taking him to task: the U.S. Constitution, as well as Canada’s was founded on the Magna Carta and not on that vile piece of desert-forged claptrap, the Bible.

Most people simply do not have a grasp on the immoral nature of the commandments. I propose to run a thought experiment and model a nation founded on those commandments to see how it might play out.

Let us name our experimental theocracy Christoslavakia. In general order of the Commandments we may gut, clean, skewer and roast the hell out of those mythical “laws” brought down from On High.

No Other Gods

Our synthetic state under construction would quickly roil in terror and violence if laws were enacted in support of any ban on polytheism, atheism or worshiping the “wrong” deity. By way of example we have real life theocracies in Iran, Iraq and Sudan where Islam infests deeply and sharia reigns brutally. Things are progressing quite splendidly in Shariatopia, if you consider “splendid” to be beheading for blasphemy – an offense with no legitimate offendee. Not to mention death to apostates.23

In the First Commandment, Exodus 20:3, Jesus’ dad declares “Thou shalt have no gods before me.” Yahweh is clearly in fear of the dozens of other gods admitted by the Bible: Ashtoreth, Diana, Molech, Nehushtan, Remphan, Tartak, Nisroch, Rahab, just to name a few.4

But what about worshiping Jesus? After very few years our Christoslavakian Congress would have to amend their constitution to allow people to also worship other triune nobility. It might be worded as follows:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And we believe his son is also god; and so also the Holy Ghost, for they are most good and virtuous and three-in-one, precisely like the most perfect shampoos on offer: they cleanse, they rinse, they condition our minds for faith and obedience. The conditioning should be administered daily: avow, rinse, repeat.

Is there not something about Mary? From Nicaea in 325 CE, nothing at all it seems. Mary gave birth to one of the gods; should not the Nicene Creed have mentioned her? In Christoslavakia the legislators would eventually recognize this oversight. I would thus envision a constitutional amendment as follows:

Congress shall make no law promoting any deity other than the only god and father, Yahweh, and the only god and son of Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost, and only goddess and mother, Mary. Peace be upon all of them, our One God.

While there are indeed at least three gods within Christianity, no reverent believer seems to be praying to that shadowy and seemingly extraneous step father of Jesus known as the “Holy Ghost” or “Spirit,” an uncelebrated also-ran – or, if you prefer, also-reigned – if that is indeed his station in the heavens. Lord knows. It seems the devout have little regard for that portion of the trinity. The Holy Ghost is perhaps most celebrated for being the one who impregnated Mary: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost” (Mt 1:18).

Evidently Mary had no say in the matter, and if Member of Parliament George Galloway is correct, having sex with a sleeping woman is “not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognize it.”5

Graven Images

This celestial injunction reads as follows: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water below” (Exodus 20:4). But what about the ubiquitous crucifix? Or quite recently, one particular sculpture of those very ten commandments that Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore was ordered to remove from his courthouse?6Here we discover a man of god who reveres a graven image that itself declares such graven images forbidden! I think William Shatner said it best in Airplane II, “I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.” []

Thus in Christoslavakia a ban must be placed on crucifixes and all manner of images, including any monument of the Ten Commandments.


Our devout and deluded citizens and legislators of Christoslavakia find themselves in quite the pious pickle with their god’s dictum not to blaspheme. The ancient Hebrews inserted the following words into their god’s golden mouth: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7). While cobbling legislation against an utterance such as ‘god damn it’ may present no immediate problems, they again must define what “the Lord” means – clearly not just “god” but also Jesus. And again they are met with the Mary Problem.

I have never heard anyone utter “Holy Ghost damn it!” So such an obscure blaspheme would seem to be of minor juridical concern.

Then we have the quandary Christopher Hitchens highlighted: Is it taking the Lord’s name in vain to shout “god is great” while blowing yourself up and killing innocent people?7

One wonders whether the phrase “holy crap” would be blasphemous. And if so, why? There is no Carlinesque tabulation of curses in the Bible such as “of the words ye shalt not utter, among them are: crap, piss...” The book would be a much more interesting, and no doubt better-selling if it did.

Of course the word piss is not proscribed; refer in the King James Version to 1 Samuel 25:22 and 25:22, 1 Kings 14:10, 1 Kings 21:21, 2 Kings 9:8, 2 Kings 18:27, etc. The Middle English term “he who pisseth against the wall,” used several times in the KJV, has been updated in later versions: it means “a man” or “all men.” What an intriguing way of expressing gender; no doubt one could find several minutes of comedic relief inventing witticisms for matronly toilet habits.

The Sabbath

Imagine you are a prayerful Bible acolyte and you awaken one grey and dizzying day on a cool uninhabited island after some sort of coma. Night approaches, and gathering firewood becomes essential. What day is it? How would you ever know on which diurnal traversing of the sun your god prohibits picking up sticks?

The Sabbath – and in fact each day of the week – is based on an arbitrary reference point. Try to define the word “Thursday” in unambiguous terms as you might explain it to an extraterrestrial. No fair using the words Wednesday or Friday, unless you are prepared to provide unequivocal definitions for those.

Note that this fictional god declared the punishment be utter and capital for violating this random and petty mandate. A twitter-esque version is elaborated upon in Exodus 31:15 indicating the consequences for transgressors:

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Certainly in Christoslavakia no ambulances run on the Sabbath day, and all hospitals are closed. Churches are open of course, but teaching and preaching and works of any kind are punishable by death.

Parental Veneration

This commandment comes from Exodus 20:12, to honor your Ma and Pa. Sounds fair so far. And what is the penalty for lawbreakers, dear Lord? The Old Testament says “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death” (Exodus 21:15).

Jesus, meek and mild and perfect in all ways agrees: For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death’ (Mark 7:10). If you can show me a devout Christian who agrees with Jesus on this account, you will also no doubt be designating a felon or psychopath.


Leviticus 20:10 decrees “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.” In the U.S. this is not even a crime, yet the Bible imposes the death penalty upon offenders. Should Christoslavakia execute all who pisseth against the wall having more than one wife – like wise King Solomon who had 700 wives and 300 concubines?


While alcohol use is not one of the Big Ten no-nos, overindulgence is indeed proscribed: “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags” (Proverbs 23:20-21).

Pressured by the religious group American Temperance Society, the United States enacted an anti-Bacchanalian blunder in 1919 with the eighteenth Amendment, banning alcohol for some 34 years. Various Canadian provinces also enacted prohibition, but most were quickly repealed. In our Christoslavakia experiment the legislators would likely commit the same error, only to be reminded years later by some scholarly citizen who has actually read the Bible that Jesus himself was quite the boozer (Mt 11:19, Lk 7:34):

The Son of man [Jesus] came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners.

One discovers that there are many Bible verses that are never preached on Sundays, and for good reason.

Almost every amendment to the U.S. constitution – the exception being the eighteenth – has involved expansion of citizens’ rights, not restriction. Yet in Christoslavakia the amendments all must further attenuate civil liberties and human rights. Yahweh would have been a very, very poor legislator, and the opposite of a Humanist.


Exodus 20:17 decrees “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” A Venn Diagram of this law would result in redundant and unnecessary circles and ellipses –“thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s stuff” would have been sufficient.

The act of coveting, according to Merriam-Webster, is merely “to want (something that you do not have) very much” and is in fact declared to be thoughtcrime by the Bible. You will find no exhortation against thoughts in the U.S. or Canadian Constitutions.

Jesus similarly imposes Judeo-sharia law with his proclamation, “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Mt 5:28). And this was almost 2,000 years before Orwell would imagine such legislative perversions.

The Good Ones
Yet Jesus surely did not honor his own parents when he abandoned them as a young boy to “tarry” in Jerusalem.

The few – three, in fact – good and ethical commandments remaining include injunctions against murder, theft, and perjury. These make moral sense, and should be obvious and even innate within any reasonable person. But we have that other prickly “good” one, to honor your mother and father, with its obviously immoral punitive measures: Yahweh and Jesus demand execution for disobeying or disrespecting.

Yet Jesus surely did not honor his own parents when he abandoned them as a young boy to “tarry” in Jerusalem. (This is the place Jesus was circumcised, two turtledoves and two pigeons being sacrificed to God, and I wonder why Christians today do not follow this sacred model.) When his mother came looking for him, Jesus rebuked her: “But why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).

Moreover, the son of God clearly disrespected his parents when he repudiated all family ties in Mark 3:31-35. Jesus demoted his own flesh and blood to the status of common acquaintance, to the level of anyone at all who may “do the will of God” irrespective of familial status. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has read Jesus’ supposed words:

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26). And: If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch and shall wither: and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire: and he burneth. (John 15:6).

Of course, Jesus came not to bring peace, but “a sword” (Mt 10:34) and “fire” (Lk 12:49).


One discovers three good commandments, and seven that are either unambiguously immoral or demand iniquitous punishment. Well, Yahweh, three out of ten... is actually quite the failing grade.

It seems rather obvious why those ancient inventors of the Ten Commandments would place obedience to their “god” first and foremost, one of the earliest recorded incidents of the logical fallacy argumentum ab auctoritate, the argument from authority. In this case the authority was completely fictitious.

If these were the wisest of the judges and lawmakers among the Hebrews, one must wonder why their decrees and punishments were, for the most part, feeble-minded and draconian. One also may ask today why Chief Justice Roy Moore is unable to comprehend that the majority of his precious Commandments run counter to both the Canadian and U. S. Constitutions, which guarantee protection of worship (or no worship), as well as working any day of the week, and formation of any and all “graven images” we may wish.

Thus we see that the laws of both Moses and Jesus are every bit as barbaric and unjust as Islamic sharia. While you may say what you will about selective reasoning and cafeteria theology, it is generally a damn good thing most Christians are so adept at choosing their cherries. A country of Christian Fundamentalists would be as wicked and oppressive as Talibani Arabia today.

Michael Paulkovich is an inventor and freelance writer, Contributing Editor for The American Rationalist, columnist for American Atheist, contributing to Free Inquiry and other journals. His book, No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy is available at Amazon.>
  1. Allen, Bob. “Baptist Congressman Can’t Name Ten Commandments,”, June 22, 2006.
  2. Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn. Shari’a and Islamism in Sudan: Conflict, Law and Social Transformation. London: Macmillan, Tauris Academic Studies, 2012.
  3. Mirza, Syed Kamran. “Why Critical Scrutiny of Islam Is an Utmost Necessity.” Free Inquiry, Volume 22, No. 2 (Spring, 2002).
  4. Paulkovich, Michael. No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy. Annapolis: Spillix, 2012.
  5. Booth, Robert. “George Galloway wades into Julian Assange row – and creates a storm.” The Guardian, 20 August 2012.
  6. Stern, Mark Joseph. “Oh, Alabama. Not Roy Moore Again?” Slate, Jan 11 2013.
  7. Vanity Fair, “Christopher Hitchens’s Ten Commandments.” Video, Mar 4, 2010.