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Clara and Charlie’s Commandments

As Louisiana begins violating our separation of church and state and displaying a set of arcane religious laws in its public classrooms—a list containing a handful of meaningless rules ignored by even the most observant Christians, plus some glaring omissions—I was reflecting on a time when my kids were studying the Ten Commandments at Hebrew School.

June of 2017. Clara was eight years old. Charlie was five.

As part of the lesson, they were asked to develop their own commandments.

Clara’s commandments are beautiful. Possibly better than the Bible’s Ten Commandments.

Here are Clara’s commandments—nine in all.

  1. Have fun!
  2. Let me tuck and kiss my brother at night.
  3. Eat good food.
  4. Have friends!
  5. Have a good education.
  6. Get good helf care. (healthcare)
  7. Do not bother me when the door is close (except at night).
  8. Be kind, respectful, and responsible every day.
  9. Let me have flowers in my room.

Charlie’s commandments are fewer in number but much more like those his father would write.

  1. Do not die.
  2. Love.

They also say it all, at least for me.

And brevity is the soul of wit. Right?