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As a child attending catechism classes in the Azores, I learned the Ten Commandments. Somehow, however, that did not prevent me from being occasionally violent, or from getting into fights. It did not prevent me from lying, either. In fact, I lied the first time I went to confession prior to my First Holy Communion. As a matter of fact, knowing the Commandments by heart did not even prevent me from admiring some of my neighbors' wives' rear ends, or coveting their asses.

When I came to this country a few years later and discovered that the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library had a mural with the English Version of the Ten Commandments, I sort of rejoiced, for that posting added some words to my then-meager English vocabulary. Since most of my friends, however, as well as most of the residents of the City of Cambridge, had never been to a library, I look back now and wonder who that posting on the wall had additionally helped, except for the designers and painters who put them there. Whether the posting is still there, I can not affirm. On the other hand, it's interesting to note that, just last week, Congress decided on the possibility of having those ten rules stand like a John Wayne figure in public schools as a sort of cure for many of our faults. It mattered little to those who voted for the bill that the whole thing is an exercise in futility - and hypocrisy - and that, if it ever gets to the president's desk for signing, it will eventually be challenged in the courts and declared unconstitutional. In the meantime, work will be temporarily created for those who will paint the walls, etc., to be followed by additional work for those who will have to erase them.
"Oh, what fools these mortals be..."

Naturally, now that Congress has cynically acted for home consumption and re-election, it's only natural that other idiots with political ambitions imitate the temporary success of that useless bill. As proof, we have State Representative, Rich Christmer, from St. Peters, who next year plans to introduce in the Missouri Legislature a bill requiring that the same Ten Commandments be posted in all state buildings and that schools require that prayer time be a part of its schedule.

Just think... And for that we pay Christmer a salary. ... Really, we do.

Manuel L. Ponte
St. Louis, Missouri.
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