Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Why the 10 Commandments are an Obsolete Document which Had Nothing to do with the Founding of the US

The Supreme Court recently ruled that displaying the 10 Commandments inside a Kentucky courthouse was unconstitutional. They also ruled that if they are a part of a display, showing other documents of law and government, and that it wasn't religious in nature, that it is ok to display them as a historical example of early law.

I would have to say I agree with their decision for the most part but since when are courthouses museums? Of course it's ridiculous to think that any God Bob could try to force his religion down someone else's throat by displaying his religious dogma in a place that was paid for by my tax dollars. No Christian would let the 5 pillars of Islam to be displayed in their courthouse would they? No, and for good reason, because in doing so it endorses a religion and could alienate the Christian population (wouldn't that be just terrible) and violate the 1st Amendment to our Constitution.

Even though only 3 of the 10 Commandments are referenced in our law books today, people still claim that this document is the basis of our government and that is why they should be displayed in all these public places that I pay for. We can all agree that it is not against the law to disobey your father and mother or covet thy neighbor's wife, or work on the Sabbath. So why is it this document that they deem so important to the development of the United States? Well some say that we were founded as a Christian nation but if you have read my other blogs you would know that is not that case. They also say that since we were founded as a Christian nation that makes the 10 Commandments all that more important and that it pioneered some great moral laws that we still abide by today. Some even say that perjury, thou shall not kill, and don't steal are Christian principles; wrong again. Hammurabis Code of Laws (origin of the 10 Commandments and Hebrew law) which criminalized murder (harm to others), perjury and theft, among many others, predated the 10 Commandments by approximately 300 years; the Babylonians were not Christians. Maybe that's why we invaded Iraq; we just wanted to return to our legal roots.

Solon of ancient Greece is also a noted law giver and his face does appear on the Supreme Court's building along with Moses and Confucius, therefore, not a religious display. So why don't these people in Kentucky and Alabama secretly rush in, in the middle of the night to install images of Solon, Confucius and Hammurabi in their courtrooms? Why don't they go to the Supreme Court fighting to allow images of The Roman Emperor Justinian, Solon and Hammurabi to be displayed in public schools if they are so concerned about the history of law givers and the impact they had on the development of the United States? Is it that they are just stupid and uneducated and don't know who these people are? Is it like when Bush was asked to name his favorite philosopher and he said Jesus because he didn't know any others? Or is it that their displays really are religious in nature and the reason they concentrate on Moses and the 10 Commandments and not Hammurabi's Code of Law or Justinian Law is because they are trying to convert the world over to Christianity?

If you are one of the people who don't agree with the constitution and Supreme Court, exactly which 10 Commandments do you want to put up? Would it be the 1st set of commandments which Moses destroyed, the 2nd set, the ones that were written on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 34) or the ones written on Mt. Horeb(Deuteronomy 5)?Although most people do agree that Mt.Horeb and Mt.Sinai were the same place, most Christians believe that Mt. Sinai was in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt where St. Catherine's Monastery sits but the "land of Midian" where Moses lived (Exodus 3) which includes Mt. Horeb is across the Gulf of Aqaba in Saudi Arabia. Yes that is correct, the "all perfect word of God" isn't at all perfect and contradicts itself all over the place, Hammurabi's laws did no such thing. Other contradictions include what the Sabbath was observing; was it the day God rested after making the Earth (Exodus 20:11) or was it to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15)? With all these contradictions regarding the origin of the 10 commandments, wouldn't you rather promote other, more concrete examples of law which actually inspired the American Constitution?

The following are examples of why other documents are so much more appropriate to attribute to our laws and government than is the Bible:

Excerpts from Hammurabi's Code of Laws 1750 BC:

"If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death." Does this remind anyone of our US crime of perjury? This is where Moses got the whole false witness against thy neighbor commandment.

"If any one steals the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death." Written apprx. 300 years before "thou shalt not steal".

"If a merchant entrust money to an agent (broker) for some investment, and the broker suffer a loss in the place to which he goes, he shall make good the capital to the merchant." Go Hammurabi, banking laws and everything, makes the 10 Commandments look like a square wheel doesn't it.

"If any one be guilty of incest with his mother after his father, both shall be burned." Incest is illegal even in most "red states".

"If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out." 300 years before eye for an eye.

Excerpts from the Magna Carta, 1297 AD:

"No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned,...or in any other way destroyed...Excerpt by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to none will we deny or delay, right or justice." Sounds a lot like the 5th amendment doesn't it?

"First, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed, for us and our Heirs for ever, That the Church of England shall be free, and shall have her whole rights and liberties inviolable. We have granted also, and given to all the freemen of our realm, for us and our Heirs for ever, these liberties underwritten, to have and to hold to them and their Heirs, of us and our Heirs for ever." Sounds a lot like the Preamble of the Constitution doesn't it?

"It shall not be lawful from henceforth to any to give his Lands to any Religious House, and to take the same Land again to hold of the same House. Nor shall it be lawful to any House of Religion to take the Lands of any, and to lease the same to him of whom he received it. If any from henceforth give his Lands to any Religious House, and thereupon be convict, the Gift shall be utterly void, and the Land shall accrue to the Lord of the Fee." Sounds a lot like separation of church and state doesn't it?

Face it Moses is a Plagiarist! And the 10 Commandments had absolutely nothing to do with the founding of this nation or its laws. There are plenty of other documents that are closer in relation to the Constitution than the 10 Commandments so can we just drop this issue already?

And by the way, all the smoke, "lightening" and "thunder" reported on top of Mt. Sinai during the writing of the 10 Commandments was due to the fact that Moses, who knew the area well, was sitting on top of an active volcano, not because God was hanging out on top of the mountain.

Sorry for the long boring post.


Butterscotch said...

Not boring at all. Rather interesting in fact.

I am new to your blog and because I am lazy I was wondering if you could direct me to a post that you have written on your personal religious views, if you have blogged about such?

Toad734 said...

I'll make it even easier than that; I am Agnostic.

You should be able to see that in almost all of my posts.

NewsBlog 5000 said...

Toad, thanks for stopping by my site.

I touched on this issue a little while ago.

Sandi said...

Never boring, always informative.

Plus I agree, government buildings should be about the government. Let Church's be about religion.

One would think that this is an easy concept to get, but obviously not.

The Waitress said...

You make a good point about the pillars of Islam. People would shit themselves if that happened. But, the 10 commmandments are just fine.

Butterscotch said...

Wow. Thanks for the sites.

I grew up in a home with a mother who was completely Christian and a father who was not.

My Dad made many of the same arguments you do. What always frustrated me when listening to him talk though was his inability to seperate God from people.

If a supposed Christian did something wrong, it was further proof in his mind that Christianity was a crock. I had a hard time seeing what one thing had to do with the other.

If one were to assume that God might exist, one should also assume that He is much bigger than the box we attempt to put Him into. Yes, people who are Christian are supposed to represent God but if they fail or abuse that title, I thought it made more sense to chalk that up to their actions, rather than the Entity Himself.

Then, when I listened to my Mom I was further frustrated because she is content to believe without proof. I had no doubt at all that she believed completely, but I am more apt to question everything, and I want to know the how and why of it all. I frightened her, cause of my lack of apparrent faith, but that wasn't it. It wasn't that I didn't believe there was something bigger out there; obviously something caused life... but I just wasn't sure what It was and her answers did not satisfy me.

Other people, religions, etc. just made for further confusion- though I did come to one conclusion. Everyone was searching for answers, be it scientific or otherwise.

It hit me one day that I was going about my search for truth all wrong. I stopped asking people and decided to simply ask God Himself if He was real, and I got my answer.

It always fascinates me to watch others make their own journey to what they feel truth is.


KJ said...

TOAD-Thanks for stopping by my blog. Glad it's led me to yours. Great work!

Toad734 said...

RE: Butterscotch

Same here my Mom is basically a born again and my Dad is an Atheist. Go figure.

Butterscotch said...

Are they still together? I am amazed that my parents are going 34 years strong considering how differently they see the world.

Nölff said...

Yeah man. I worship Angost too. I'm the kind of person that needs more proof to believe something.

United We Lay said...

Excellent post! I don't think it's boring at all, and it would be wonderful if we weren't all preaching to the choir. I nearly got fired for doing a lesson stunningly similair to your post when we discussed ethics and law.

Toad734 said...

RE: Butterscotch

Ya they are still together


Fired from where?

Neemund said...

Well, the US Supreme Court Building does have a sculpture of Muhammad holding 5 books. I never hear anyone arguing against that as an endorsment of Islam. The sculpture is located in the South courtfoom frieze if you would like to look at it.

Give it time and some idiot will probably go out and kill someone and argue in their defense that murder is part of religious law and therefore would be in violation of the establishment clause.

Toad734 said...

RE: Neemund

As I said, it is in context of historical law makers, however since there is also a sculpture of Moses (apparently they know what he looked like)people use that as an argument for putting religious dogma in other courthouses and say that it proves the founding fathers intended for us to be a Christian nation. But as you and I know it is not an endorsement of religion since for one Moses was Jewish and not Christian and that Confucius, Hammurabi, Muhammad and I believe a few other all adorn the Supreme Court building somewhere, in historical context.

United We Lay said...

School in Florida

Grant said...

Amen, brother! (read: fuckin' A) Go tell it on the mountain. Bring beer.

tugboatcapn said...

Apology accepted for the long, boring post.

BRUISER said...

Over the July Fourth weekend I was in a camp ground where a certain mullet wearing half wit was displaying the ten commandments. Now don't get me wrong if its your perogative to reduce the words of God to a ten inch by two foot cardboard sign than so be it. But as with most myopic followers of the Christian Right he had an abundance of bumper stickers that just preached his hate for the diversity is America. Bumper stickers that said "Homo's Have No Home In My America", "Jesus was a Republican", & a plethora of jingoistic slogans that have passed through Jerry Falwell's lips more than once. I thought for a second how intolerant this hate speech really was until I noticed that on either side of the Glass Trailor were two gay couples enjoying the nature of of the camp ground as well. One not touting their seperation of the mainstream and the other just enjoying their catch of the day from the near by river. This is ironically the real America cardboard commandments and all.

Toad734 said...

You should have introduced the two; it would have been much more entertaining than the fireworks.

Where do you buy "Homos have no home in my America" stickers?

erinberry said...

Bruiser: Hmmph! Clearly that redneck had not read my blog, which has a title that clearly states that Jesus was NOT a Republican!

BRUISER said...

Toad666 --- I have no idea your from Indiana right? Don't they just hand them out at the border there? Just kidding...really the guy was pretty scary I was not about to ask.

Erinberry---I believe this certain fellow might think the internet is the devils work...just a hunch.

Jeff Gannon said...

So Toad when is the Karl Rove is a traitor post coming ... I can't wait!!!!

The American Public said...

Sorry anyone keeping track because Bush ran into a security officer on his bike this like the 10th time ?????

Just give the Chimp some pretzels and let nature take its course....

Jack Mercer said...

Yeah, Toad, but I don't know any of our founding fathers who were "Hammurabians"



Jack Mercer said...


One thing I appreciate about you--I like that you mentioned you were "agnostic" (not-knowing). This seperates you from the religiously inclined "atheist" who believes in faith in a "not-God". At least you are honest!



Boiled Owl said...
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