And lo, there came Ted Turner, upon whose broad shoulders it fell to rewrite the 10 Commandments. For Turner lived a few millenniums after the first 10 Commandments were written, which was high time for an update--if you asked the Atlanta media magnate.
Turner dubbed his version the "Ten Voluntary Initiatives." In them, he promises to be, well, friendlier, but not too friendly because he also promises to have no more than two children. (But there is a discrepancy between theory and practice: Turner has five children.) He promises to recycle; to oppose nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and generally to save the Earth and everyone on it.
The prophet of cable television was named Humanist of the Year last week at the American Humanist Assn.'s annual convention in Orlando, Fla. Conventioneers could study copies of Turner's teachings placed on each table. The organization has its own controversial agenda: It declares that "promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful."
"Obviously, we are kindred souls," Turner told the 200 humanists at the convention.
He went on to lambaste fundamentalist Christianity's tenet that man is born into sin, and said Jesus would likely be "sick at his stomach" over such "twisted" interpretations of his teachings.