A Revised List of the Ten Commandments… from the Late 1800s May 21, 2011

A Revised List of the Ten Commandments… from the Late 1800s

Adding to the collection of Watson Heston cartoons from the late 1800s, we have this: “A Modern Rendition of an Ancient Document” (click to enlarge)

I love 6, 7, and 10!

"The way republican politics are going these days, that means the winner is worse than ..."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."
"It would have been more convincing if he used then rather than than."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Shells

    It might be just me, but upon casual reading, #4 seems to be a tad antisemitic. Am I crazy or is it actually suggesting Jews spend all week cheating Gentiles?

  • cbc

    I thought the same thing…the rest are pretty funny though.

  • Shells: Not just you. Both 4 and 8.

  • Yeah, no religion was off limits back then. Freethinkers of the age didn’t see Jews as a race, but as a hypocritical religious sect, much like Catholicism, so being antisemitic was as common as being anti-Muslim is now. Case in point: drawing a certain Arab and labeling him a child molester. Racist? Or not?

    Irish Catholics were known for their drinking habits. Jews were known for their business practices. Average Christians were known for their drinking, gambling, and philandering. It wasn’t racism, it was just religious hostility.

  • Derek

    Upon reading 4 and 8, I could also see 10 being construed that way. Implying that Jews covet everything. I’m not sture I would read it that way if it weren’t for the antisemitism that came before it though.

  • jon

    Gotta love number Nine. Thou shall not lie, except when dealing with infidels or benefiting the church.

    Remember children its okay to lie for jebus.

  • You think THAT’s antisemitic? Try this:

    The U.S. in the Hands of the Jews

    Though, it would appear no one was being singled out, or left out, for that matter.

    Do you know who was the most offended by this cartoon? The Catholics. True story!

    With that said, can anyone say “Goldman Sachs” and not see this cartoon being drawn today?

  • BoomerChick

    10. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s … poodle… all these things are abominations unto the Lord!”

    Poodles? Really?

    Religion is the abomination.

  • Cyndi

    It’s not anti-semitic. Geez. It’s parody. The Big Ten were given to the Jews; that’s the humor.

  • Elaine

    Yeah, the whole thing seems like a slam against Jews in particular as a people and a culture, not religion as a whole or even the Christian perception of the ten commandments. I think you accidentally found an anti-Semetic cartoon and mistook it for an anti-religious one.

  • fiddler

    Crap people! This was a jewish set of commandments given to jews! The artist simply kept it in form, likely to point out the fact to christians who seem to think, even today, that these are christian commandments.

  • How is this anti-Semitic, at all?

    For one, none of this has anything to do with people who are “Jewish by race,” but rather to do with specific Jewish religious tenets. In fact, Jewish people are not mentioned at all, anywhere in the cartoon — it’s a pretty blatant condemnation of beliefs, not people. To call this anti-Semitic is to blatantly equivocate between “racism against Jews” and “criticism of Judaism.” That’s the same card played by fundie evangelicals — “criticism of our beliefs is the same thing as inciting hatred against us!”

    The only way this can be racist is if someone deliberately reads racial intent into it.

    And I mean, the commandments (and the Bible) actually do have hypocritical things like that in them. So it’s not like these criticisms are unfounded Calling this cartoon “racist” would be like saying that arresting a black guy for a robbery is “racist” because there is a racial stereotype about black guys being thugs and robbers. That may be (unfortunately) true, and that’s certainly not okay, but that doesn’t excuse people who *happen* to conform to a stereotype while doing something wrong, criminal or hypocritical.

    It’s like, you can do whatever you want, if your actions happen to coincide with a racial stereotype of some kind! Sweet; I’m a white guy, maybe I can go screw some ethnic minorities out of their civil rights!



  • Maverick

    About the possible Anti-Semitism:

    #4: Has the greatest likelihood of being anti-Semitic. However, it may be referencing the religion (not the people), especially the view of Gentiles in Talmudaic era Jewish religious writings and Jewish tradition.

    #8: Most likely attacking religious/Biblical hypocrisy, not Jews, especially as Jews are typified as predatory moneylenders (not borrowers) in anti-Semitism.

    #9: Makes specific reference to the Church. Unlikely to be anti-Semitic.

    #10: Just being satirical IMO.

    I think that it is primarily being anti-Religion and should be characterized as freethought, although #4 may indicate some anti-Semitism.

  • I love #7: “Thou shalt not do as the preachers are wont to do.”

error: Content is protected !!