Morning shows were abuzz with the recent report that a survey revealed many more Americans could name the ingredients in a McDonald’s Big Mac than could recite the Ten Commandments. Clearly, the implication is that American society is more interested in the trivial than the significant.
Of course, that is true. So-called reality TV shows reveal that fact, however, not this survey near the release of the new animated movie about the Ten Commandments.
The triple-decker burger embraced by Americans in 1968 has faced criticism in more recent years as health-conscious diners started reading nutritional charts.
But the beleaguered burger should share no blame for the lack of knowledge Americans possess about the Decalogue.
The answer is simple: We learned the jingle, and jingles never leave us.
The words, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” have been seared into our brains.
That doesn’t mean that more important information cannot be similarly learned. While recalling the Ten Commandments took a little effort for me, reeling off longer lists like the 12 Disciples and the 66 books of the Bible remain easy.
That’s because Sunday school and Vacation Bible School wardens of my childhood put them to simple tunes. (“There were 12 disciples Jesus called to help him, Simon Peter, Andrew, James, his brother John….”).
We memorized the words because we too wanted to be good disciples of Jesus — and be able to go outside to play, eat cookies, drink Kool-Aid and make ashtrays during craft time.
So does anyone have a catchy tune for the Big Ten? America’s moral future may rest on your jingle.