Had the Ten Commandments been revealed to Moses in this day and age, this is how that event could be expected to have played out:
▪ Fox, CNN, MSNBC and various media websites would come up with different versions of it, making each accuse the others of spreading “fake news.” We’d never know the true version.
▪ CBS would do a special “60 Minutes” segment to discredit Moses by interviewing him and looking for inconsistencies in his account of what happened, or confronting him with third-party reports of circumstances under which the commandments were revealed. In addition, they would do a special expose on his baby-in-a-basket-on-the-Nile story.
▪ Followers of the Birther Movement would believe that Moses was not even born in Egypt based on what they claim is his real birth certificate.
▪ Conspiracy groups would claim that, contrary to appearances, Moses was really an agent of the Pharaoh and was urged by him to take his people out of Egypt in a relatively face-saving fashion for both of them.
▪ Labor unions would honor Moses in a special ceremony as a pioneer in protesting unfair labor practices and actually doing something about it, such as crossing the Red Sea under perilous circumstances.
He would have tweeted the Ten Commandments, thus naming them the Ten Tweets instead, and posted them on his Facebook page, with a certain number of Like reactions to each of them.
▪ LGBTQ groups would criticize Moses for not including commandments addressing their special concerns. The matter would go to the Supreme Court, which would then order Moses to come up with Commandments 11-20 addressing specifically LGBTQ issues.
▪ The commandment “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife” would be criticized by feminists as being sexist for not covering the flip side, “Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s husband.”
▪ College students would hold demonstrations on campuses, claiming that the word “commandment” has traumatized them, and demanding that Moses instead call them “My 10 Personal Opinions.” Extra credit would be given to those students who participated in such demonstrations. The demonstrations would turn violent on the day Moses is invited to speak on each campus.
▪ Non-Jews would take offense to the commandment “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me” for implying that the God of Moses is the only God, thus disrespecting the Gods of other religions.
▪ The New York Times would run an article insinuating that Moses has had multiple extramarital affairs, thus pointing out his hypocrisy in not following the commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
▪ Russia would hack the process by spying on Moses via satellite, if not drones, claiming that he made up those tablets himself when he got bored sitting on top of Mount Sinai contemplating what to do with a rowdy, unruly bunch down there.
▪ Environmental groups would visit Mount Sinai and find evidence of Moses destroying the environment, including certain endangered rodent species, in obtaining the two tablets, resulting in a lawsuit and a hefty fine Moses would have to pay.
Moses’ followers would have probably ordered the Golden Calf from Amazon and would not have been surprised to see a little tag on the back of it that read ‘Made in China.’
▪ Biblical scholars appearing on PBS or NPR would argue that since Moses broke the two tablets in anger and their contents were later rewritten on replacement stones, there were substantial reproduction errors, and that the commonly accepted version is not the version delivered by Moses. The courts would order their contents null and void.
▪ Texters would object to the commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” for making them uncomfortable in their use of the abbreviation OMG.
▪ There would be Yelp reviews of the usefulness of the commandments, each of the 10 receiving a certain number of stars in addition to comments. Some users would recommend improvements or suggest new commandments.
▪ Moses would have Googled “Promised Land” and Google Maps would have shown him its exact location as well as directions to it, thus making it unnecessary to wander in the desert for 40 years.
And if Moses were into social media, it would be natural to expect that:
▪ He would have tweeted the Ten Commandments, thus naming them the Ten Tweets instead, and posted them on his Facebook page, with a certain number of “Like” reactions to each of them.
▪ He would have taken a selfie of himself at the crucial moment of receiving the revelation.
▪ His YouTube channel would have a video for each phase of the events that led to the creation of the Ten Commandments: The Exodus, the wandering in the desert, the making of the Golden Calf, etc.
Finally, Moses’ followers would have probably ordered the Golden Calf from Amazon and would not have been surprised to see a little tag on the back of it that read “Made in China.”
Sasan Rahmatian is professor of information systems at Fresno State. Connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.