10Cs for the Church of Tolerance

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I was raised a Catholic. But I was also encouraged to think, so I guess I turned out ok. As a kid, the concept of God was easy to understand. My childhood was peppered with movies and stories that had black and white concepts of good and bad. The hero was the kindhearted, strong-willed, family loving, responsible citizen who only wanders out of his shell of goodness to beat up armed local goons with his bare hands to save a heroine in distress. And the villain was always the ugly hearse-voiced misogynist crook who steals from orphans and shouts at his servants. The concept of God was easy to digest. God is the embodiment of all good. He likes you if you’re good. He doesn’t, if you are bad. Not too different from the heroes I knew, except God doesn’t beat up armed local goons with his bare hands to save heroines in distress.

God mode in Wolfenstein 3D doesn't count. Obviously.Wolfenstein 3d | Bethseda Softworks

God mode in Wolfenstein 3D doesn’t count. Obviously.

But with the introduction of the Ten Commandments, the black and whites started to fade. You can’t just be good. You need to be more. God has written out rules for you to follow. If your neighbor lives a life of goodness, but prays to… say Joe Pesci, as the late great George Carlin did, then God’s going to be displeased. If you work on Sundays, you’re toast… well, toasted in hell for eternity, at least. I don’t know if you ever come out crispy.

Eternity is a confusing thing. Learning about the Ten Commandments was a milestone in my life. For me, the 10C marked the beginning of red tape. Bureaucratic stumbling blocks on the path to God. And I could see God wasn’t a universal entity anymore. We had the Christian God, the Greek Gods, the Hindu God, the Islamic God, the guitar gods, and the like.

Or if you’re cool enough, the Pastafarian God

If you look into human history, mankind has excelled in the art of finding differences. In addition to religion, we have also split ourselves over race, color, caste, geography, country, belief, faith, age, gender, disabilities, thoughts, power, habits, fashion, language and community. And in the unlikely event that we run out of reasons, we’ll invent brand new ones. It’s human nature. We’re illimitable innovators in internal segmentation. And this applies even to the 10Cs.

I have come to believe in a modified set of the commandments. Something for every theist. And I’m going to call this the start of The Church of Tolerance. (I call it a church, but I’m open to calling it other names… temple, house, altar… I’m game.)

The Church of Tolerance

The tenets are basically what’s outlined by the following commandments. I wouldn’t claim that these are officially sanctioned by God, in the sense that he came down and shook my hand for it. But I’m quite certain any benevolent God worth his salt would agree to the principles.

The Ten Commandments

  1. I am your God. If you don’t think so, don’t sweat it. I’m not egoistic. And I’m definitely not petty.
  2. Thou shalt not kill. No, not on any count. Well, if you choose to whack mass murderers and child rapists, I’ll look the other way, but when in doubt, leave the knife at bay.
  3. Thou shalt tolerate. Different beliefs, different thoughts, ideals, race, color, gender, and anything else. It’d be ideal if you love each other, but at the very least, tolerate.
  4. Thou shalt not preach. If you feel someone needs to be educated, teach. Even I’m getting tired of preaches.
  5. Thou shalt not judge. Unless, of course, you’re a judge. Well, ok, you can judge some of the time, just don’t make a habit of it.
  6. Thou shalt not laugh so hard at other people’s beliefs and faiths unless you’re able to do that with your own faith as well. Ok, so maybe this doesn’t apply to Scientology or that other religion that believes in magic underwear.
  7. Thou shalt not steal. No, not even obscure songs. You know who I’m talking about, Pritam. Remember, I know where you live.
  8. Thou shalt respect thy elders by default… because thou shalt assume them deserving. If they offer proof that they are not, well, thou can change your position later on.
  9. Thou shalt not get upset that the 9th commandment is basically just a filler. Granted, 10 is a nice, round number, but we don’t always have to round to the nearest ten.
  10. Thou shalt NOT use the 10 commandments to dictate thy life, and DEFINITELY not to dictate someone else’s life. It’s just a guideline.

In short, “Live and let live”. Any takers for the Church of Tolerance?

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18 Responses

  1. Perez says:

    dude, what do i need to do to get baptised into this religion? hilarious as always but makes a hell lot of sense.

  2. mathew says:

    blasphemy…blasphemy!!! stone hamish!! stone hamish!!
    Joe Pesci is god..i agree!!;-D

    i think the ten can be added as an addendum to the existing ten…and ofcoz patented to you!!;-P

  3. Not a bad effort I must say

    I’m a person who is pissed off at the maximum by all these God thingys and I have reached a level where I cant stand a preacher. I must agree with YOUR 10 commandments and I’m sure even the Gods will agree to them as well. πŸ˜‰

    I’m almost certain that your points will be a harsh eye-opener for them preachers if they perform a self-appraisal. Well, the world is a total hypocritical one Hammy, as you’ve explained using the Pritam example.. Well I’m thinking of becoming a music director as well, only thing I have to attribute the quality “shamelessness” to myself.

  4. Plinkoo says:

    haah ! these are awesome, you should copyright them πŸ˜€

  5. Ashika says:

    He he – this one blog I LOVE :).
    And I like the positive approach – offering a part of the solution feels good, doesn’t it :).
    Thanks dude!

  6. /urgu says:

    Haha, good one. Loved the first bits about the good guy and God.

  7. Profile photo of hammy hammy says:

    @perez:
    Members of the Church of Tolerance get baptized with a healthy dose of laughter. But in case people do not get baptized, remember… we tolerate that around here. πŸ˜€

    @mathew:
    Of course, an addendum to the existing 10 might have problems, since there might be some contradictions here and there, but I’ll see what I can do. I’ll write to the pope and see if things can work out. And there’s no patent on this. Followers are applauded, non-followers are tolerated.

    @scorpiogenius:
    Absolutely. Preaching is not the way to put forward your point of view. Teaching is a different ballgame. Good luck on your music career. More fodder for me to munch on. πŸ˜‰

    @plinkoo:
    Hah, Plinks. No copyright for this entry. I’d be happy to see these in practice. And grabbing on to a copyright and a pay-per-peek strategy may not be the right mode of induction.

    @ashika:
    This ONE blog you love, eh? Thanks for keeping the critique of the other entries subtle, Ashy. And yes, it DOES feel good. As Steven Wright said, “If you’re not part of the soultion…. you’re part of the precipitate”

    @/urgu:
    Well, that’s the one thing that everybody agrees on. Well, every theist anyway… God = Good Guy. It’s just the definition of good that keeps varying. But at the black and white level, we have equanimity. B&W is good. πŸ˜€

  8. I am in . Can we call ourselves Tolerant-inoes , instead of members of the Church of Tolerance ? ( Big fan of Tarantino) .

  9. veera says:

    Hi, this is veera, perez’s mom. He forwarded me these ten commandments.. yes they are great

    the ninth comm which is a filler can be.. thou shall appoint hamish as an arbiterator in case of any differences!

    that should help!

    Anyway, great piece of ‘thinking’

  10. Profile photo of hammy hammy says:

    @kislay chandra:
    The Tolerantinoes? Hmm… Well, when you consider the fact that some of the director’s most poignant cinematic contributions include slicing off an ear with a razor blade, replacing an arm with a fountain of blood, and removing the human cornea without the aid of anaesthetic, Tarantino doesn’t immediately spring to mind as the poster boy for the Church of Tolerance.

    Besides, a pro-tolerance Tarantino may not be what the world is looking for. Imagine the black and white picture of the bride driving in her car, delivering the monologue – “…I roared. And I rampaged. I have only one more. The last one. The one I’m driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination, I am gonna kiss Bill. Yep, we’ll kiss and make up.” – I doubt if Kiss Bill Vol. 1 and 2 would have done as well with audience like us. So… Tarantino and tolerance?

    But then again, why not? In fact, I’ll go one step further. If, by the proactive process of keeping our fingers crossed, we manage to get the Church popular enough, you can head the chapter at Canton. And you can call yourselves the Canton Tolerantinoes.

    @veera:
    Hey, welcome to the BBYYs. Great to have you on board.

    A Hamishian arbitrator sounds like a great idea, but it seems like it’d probably involve a lot of work, and perhaps Perez hasn’t told you – I am the self appointed president of the LOL organization – The Legion Of Laze. So there would be a conflict of interest, specifically my interest in lazing on the couch watching sitcom reruns. πŸ™‚ So maybe we may have to elect an arbitrator.

  11. me says:

    This reminds me of Fulghum’s recommendations, the ones that lie somewhere between the ten commandments and Murphy’s law.. πŸ™‚

  12. silverine says:

    Hear! Hear!

    The 12th Commandment. (The 11th being “Thou shall not play thy iPod too loud)

    Thou shall not piss of thy fellow Christians off Christianity with thy fanaticism and hypocrisy!

  13. Profile photo of hammy hammy says:

    @me:
    I’m not altogether familiar with Murphy’s commandments, but anytime my writing reminds someone of Fulghum, I take that feather and put it in my cap. Thanks, mini-me.

    @silverine:
    11th commandment. What was that again? You’ll have to speak louder. πŸ˜‰
    And yes, some practitioners of religion pick up that habit of pissing their peers with fanaticism and hypocrisy. I do believe that trait is present for ALL the religions around the world. Some lot just give the rest a bad name.

  14. ‘Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.’ HL Mencken

    Thanks for the visit to my blog…I’ve visited here after a long time and enjoyed my ‘stay’ – the new look (if it’s still new) is wonderful….
    C

  15. Hatikvah says:

    Wow with a capital W…

  16. iKea says:

    Haha, this is awesome. I found this while looking to see if there actually WAS a Church of Tolerance, because if there wasn’t I was going to start one. πŸ˜€ Do you mind if I do? I mean… Facebook page, all that. I won’t use your commandments, but I think a Church of Tolerance could, in all seriousness, work. Maybe it would fix some of the problems with society today. πŸ˜‰

  17. Profile photo of hammy hammy says:

    @ikea:
    Thanks for the comments, Ikea… And welcome to my humble site.

    Of course I don’t mind you starting the Church of Tolerance. However, I DO oppose your refraining to use my commandments. Do you think the big Yehweh would have taken it lightly if Moses had said “Hey, cool idea, you burning bush, you… But maybe I’ll use some different commandments for this… you know, like ‘always tip your waiter 10 percent’, or ‘thou shalt not dye thy beards yellow’.”

    But yes, please go ahead and start the church. I’m behind you one hundred percent… unless you try evasive maneuvers, of course. Cheers.

  1. October 5, 2015

    […] a catholic, but I’m not a very religious person. You can argue that someone who founded the Church of Tolerance and issued Commandments willy-nilly is by definition, religious. You CAN argue that, but I’ll just ignore […]

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