Living by the code of the West?

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

In the western part of the United States, people prefer plain talk. It's been that way since frontier days. You're listened to a lot better, and respected a lot more, if, first of all, you speak so you're clearly understood, and, second, you get straight to the point. In other words, as the people out west say, "Don't beat around the bush."

Those thoughts rushed through our minds the other day when we hooked up with a dude on the Internet. Right off the bat, he was telling us about the "Cowboy's Ten Commandments."

Have you heard them? They're cowboy classics ... about as short and to the point as you can get. And, because they're so plain-spoken, the commands could help get the Christian creed across to those not reached by traditional religion. According to the story we're hearing, the cowboy version of God's laws originated at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas. Anyway, just see what you think. Following is the cowboy's simple and straightforward message:

Cowboy's Ten Commandments

1. Just one God.

2. Honor yer Ma & Pa.

3. No telling tales or gossipin'.

4. Git yourself to Sunday meetin'.

5. Put nothin' before God.

6. No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.

7. No killin'.

8. Watch yer mouth.

9. Don't take what ain't yers.

10. Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.


We don't care who you are. After listening to the cowboy's way of putting the Ten Commandments, there's no way you can be confused about the ten most important rules for human behavior. It doesn't matter whether you prefer the cowboy's way of saying it, or the preacher's, or your Mom's and Dad's, there's no better time than now to commit to the Christian code.

Still, as overwhelmingly important as the Ten Commandments are, we need two other great principles to guide our journey through life. In words that all of us need to understand, no matter who we are, we are commanded, "Love the Lord, Your God, with all your heart," and "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Do that and cowboys and tenderfoots agree: "The West ... and the world ... would be a better place."

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