Sufjan Stevens will always be at least loosely linked to Christianity, though his connection to the faith has historically been somewhat unconventional. So it’s both strange and not strange at all that he’s shared the Ten Commandments on his website today as a reminder that some kind of moral baseline exists in this increasingly fucked-up universe. In a message accompanying the scripture — purportedly handed down from God to Moses as the foundation of biblical law — Sufjan argues, “You don’t even have to believe in ‘God’ or read these terms ‘literally’ to comprehend the basic principle of love at any cost and the very clear prescription for humanity.” Assess the commandments for yourself above and Sufjan’s interpretation below.
Friendly reminder, lest we lose all common sense and decency. The Ten Commandments are neither profound nor difficult, at all. They are meant to distinguish us from barbarianism and narcissism. They are basic rules for being a human—bottom line. You don’t even have to believe in “God” or read these terms “literally” to comprehend the basic principle of love at any cost and the very clear prescription for humanity. Don’t do as your corrupt leaders do. Don’t do as your corrupt celebrities do. Don’t do as I do. Don’t do as the world implores you to “get what’s yours.” You are not entitled to anything. The breath you breathe is on borrowed time. Your days are numbered. Take captive all selfishness and evil and be abundant in life! Eradicate your bullshit. This is the day the Lord has made. Do as kindness and love concede to purity and grace and gratitude. Love your enemies. Love yourself. Give up your life for your brothers and sisters. Be a servant and a steward and nothing less than a saint. The world is abundant and I am so happy to be in it with you. Amen! — Sufjan Stevens